tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
I must be truly evil - four more parsleys were up this morning. No rosemary yet, so perhaps Larry is right.

Started the big guys on EarthJuice "Grow" today, 1 Tbsp. per gallon. This stuff is basically liquid compost, and it seems to settle out of the water pretty readily, so I'm going to keep it in the mixing jug and give it a good shake before each watering.

The little guys are still getting unfortified water until they have significant foliage.

The broccoli is leggy. I remember this being the case in years past, too. It amazes me that it can start out so floppy and end up growing what amounts to a small tree trunk by midseason. Oddly I didn't check the maturity time of this one and got a 120-day variety. With the head start we're getting, this will be fine.

Everything else is looking great. Of the little guys, only the rosemary, 2 thai basil, and 1 sage haven't come up. No more mishaps with temperature thus far, and I think we're pretty safe from those now that I've stabilized the height of the lamps and am no longer covering the trays.

I have also increased the fan speed to "medium".

The German Pink tomatoes are a "potato leaf" variety. I've never grown these before; they certainly are distinctive!

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
This evening I see 4 tiny parsley necks beginning to poke their way up through the soil.

Seldom have I been so pleased to be evil.

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
Things are looking very good overall. Many more of the peppers eventually came up than I expected, which is great; these are easy and popular plants to share and even fruit well in containers. The peppers from the first tray and from the tray I planted a week later showed up at nearly the same time, which suggests to me that the heat from that light bulb contraption was even more poorly-distributed than I thought.

Everything else is up except the rosemary and the parsley, and considering their long germination times I'm not sure whether to be concerned. I'll give them another week, and if I get nothing by then I'll try another tray in a different environment, maybe soaking them first. It's possible that I got duds, but since these are my two long-germinators and germination rates for all of the other seeds from the same source is near 100%, I'm going to start with the assumption that they're fine and just haven't had enough time yet.

I've set up timers so that the lights come on for 12 hours during the day and shut off 20 minutes before the heating pads and fan come on. (Which looks ridiculous, of course: a power strip with two timers, each with a power strip plugged in. What I need is a great big electromechanical "NOT" gate. Fortunately the wattage of all this stuff is low enough that I'm not creating a fire hazard. But I digress.) This setup seems to be working very well for the seedlings; they appear very strong and robust. Once everything is up I'll reduce and then eliminate the heating pads.

Distance from bottom of hood to the seed trays:
HPS = 10"
T5 = 4.5"


tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
Interesting. Several of the seedlings that I thought weren't going to germinate have done so and now seem to be strong and healthy. I have a small smattering of peppers, a tiny bit of sage, oregano, etc..

I'm keeping the cover off the more mature trays now to prevent mold & damping off (besides which, some of the seedlings are getting too tall for my short tray covers already). I'm also keeping the fan on at night to strengthen them. I've seen what an astounding difference having a fan can make to indoor gardening and I'm not going without one again.

I'm also waiting for the more recently planted set to sprout - I hope they're as rambunctious as their older siblings have been.

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
Two trays full of seedlings are doing great - every single cell is going strong, and some of the seedlings are about to get their second leaves. I simply cannot believe how quickly the cucumbers grow; apparently they store up a lot of energy in those great big seeds.

However, the third tray has problems: nothing on one end germinated at all, and some of the sprouts in the middle have died off. This is the 128-cell tray that is warmed by a light bulb, and judging by the distribution of which plants are thriving and which aren't, it looks like the bulb just got too hot for the little guys. Poor little sprouts. I feel bad for not taking better care of them, worse because it's entirely my fault for not being more careful about the wattage (and hence heat output) of the bulb. FFR: 25W is too much!

Marching onward: I think K's comment about moving the lamp closer to the seedlings was right on, and I have done so - that means that there's only room for 2 trays under the HPS fixture. So today I bought a simple 2-bulb T5 fluorescent fixture and set it up over the old pine table from the farmhouse. It's 48" long, so there's room for two trays underneath. I put the half-devastated tray under it; I'll decide what more I'm doing with that when it's clear exactly what will and won't survive. But I also started another 72-cell tray with all the varieties that I lost. This time I'm using a warming mat instead of a light bulb; I hope it will give better results.

Eric is interested in having more plants throughout the house. I am, of course, all in favor. He's thinking about herbs and suchlike as well as traditional houseplants, and doesn't mind the goofy-looking lights that they require to be truly happy. This promises to be fun. :)

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
Over half of our seeds have sprouted!  At this point I'm waiting on borage, chives, oregano, rosemary, sage, sunberries, all of the peppers, and the catnip (upstairs).

And oh, how they've begun!  When I left for work yesterday the cucumbers were barely beginning to peek out of the soil; when I got home they were 2 inches tall with 3/4" leaves.  Apparently they like this year's setup.

I have tweaked the setup a bit: they're about 20" from the light hood, and they're getting 12 hours of light.  I still have the trays covered night and day.  At night I turn on an oscillating fan in the other corner of the room (putting in on during the daytime makes things dry out too quickly).



Seeds!

Feb. 27th, 2010 11:35 pm
tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
We started planting for the vegetable/herb garden today.  It was [livejournal.com profile] bitwise's first excursion into starting seeds, which was probably more exciting for me than for him.  (When I first tried this I had a lot of anxiety about doing everything right; now I feel calmly confident that if I use care and sense, the seedlings will do what they need to do.  Not every one will thrive, but most probably will, and I'll certainly learn something either way.)

I used Mum's supplies from previous years, including an absolutely wonderful seed starter mix made from worm poop and horsehair, and three heated incubation trays with a total of 200 slots.  Of the 48 (not a typo) varieties we've decided to plant from seed, 27 are appropriate for starting indoors - leaving me with an irrational (practically if not mathematically) number of slots per variety.  So I rounded up to 8 and planted fewer of each pepper variety, since I have 5 of them.

Of course I then complicated matters by double-planting thyme.  That pushed the catnip out to a separate tray that will just have to live in a south window rather than under the light in the basement.  Not a big deal, and for the first time in recent memory I'll be able to say I have plenty of thyme.

I'm using a fixture with a high-pressure sodium lamp, which must have burned out fairly recently (I sometimes keep houseplants under it in the winter.)  I was delighted to find that a replacement cost $19 instead of the $75 or more that similar lamps sometimes run.  Unfortunately my friendly neighborhood indoor gardening store has moved to somebody's else's neighborhood; fortunately they're open 'til 7 and are still friendly.

Now the waiting.  I'm so eager to see tiny little sprouts peeking out of the soil!

Here's everything that will be in the garden this year. )

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
Oh, I nearly forgot: I am the mighty vanquisher of bats. (Dylan is pretty effective, too, until I shoo him away. Wish I could've gotten a photo.)

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
Today's "quote of the day" makes me very happy:

No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.
- Michel de Montaigne


Renters?

Jul. 28th, 2009 11:24 am
tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
Reposting from [livejournal.com profile] bitwise :
 
 

My old apartment has become available again, as the new renter flaked out. If anyone wants a big place in NE with high ceilings, that stays cool in the summer (hardly ever need AC), on a surprisingly quiet street, with a good landlord, get in touch with me. It can claim 2 bedrooms, but one is kind of tiny. And yes, the loud upstairs neighbors got the boot a month ago.

It's a really nice place.  You should rent it - unless, of course, you need a 3-plus bedroom house in a couple of months, in which case you should rent my southern estate instead.
tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)

This is a last-minute request for moving assistance tomorrow (Saturday) at 11:00. Please let me know if you can make it.

Many thanks!

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)

Due to a Ticketmaster screwup, my party has ended up with a Quiet camping pass in place of one of the Festival camping passes we need.

Does anyone know of someone who has a Festival camping pass they could sell me? Please put the word out, and give me a call if you hear anything promising.

Many thanks!

Minnesota

Mar. 21st, 2009 05:23 pm
tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)

I live in a very odd place: people put on shorts and t-shirts to walk, run, or bike around lakes that are still frozen, commenting all the while on what a beautiful day it is.

It *is* a beautiful day, you know.

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
It must be spring; I had time to walk home from work, eat something, watch a podcast, get my bike fixed, and ride around the lake before the sun set.

Yay!
tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] lakeboy_55, I don't seem to have your e-mail address after all. If you'll send me a note at myfirst.mylast@gmail.com, I'll send the flyer your way.

Thanks!

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
xckd tells the truth again

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
This has been the most incredible week. I don't know if it would be possible for me to be happier.

And regardless of what happens next, I'll have the memory of the happiness that I'm experiencing right now.

tesla: Wedding photo: Eric and Tesla in Millenium Park on their wedding day (Default)
And while you're at it, check out the fascinating global electoral college map created by the Economist.



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