Saturday, March 16, 2013

Warming the Pots

I've been having trouble with several kinds of seeds not germinating. The one I was most concerned about was the basil: I want to grow a lot of basil this year, for myself, for my kids, for my brother, for making pesto.

I asked at The Barn, and they said that basil is notoriously challenging to start this time of year. It wants warm soil. In fact, they don't usually even try to get starts for a couple of months.

I took an old heating pad and wrapped it in several layers of plastic, turned it on high, and set the a bunch of pots (including basil) on it.

I ended up double stacking the basil starts on top of a whole bunch of smaller pots with starts in them: tomatillas, tomatoes, chrysanthemums, peppers, and yes, more basil underneath.

Two days later, I had chrysanthemums sprouting. The next day, the basil was sprouting, and more come through the soil everyday.

The idea worked so well, that I'm trying to make use of pretty much every warm thing in the greenhouse. I have a heater that I use to take the edge of cold nights. I now have chiles and tomatoes on top of that. (I'll throw a cover on it.)

And I've got lemon grass on top of one of the dehydrators.

We'll see how that goes.

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