Today, I sowed about 30 seeds of two varieties of lisianthus in rockwool. These are especially delicate flowers used in floral arrangements. I'll grow them hydroponically in a greenhouse for best results
The weather this last week of January has been warm, with nighttime lows in the 40s and 50s.
Sunny days have heated the greenhouse up early in the morning, keeping temps inside in the 80s, which is excellent for germinating the seed starts I planted two weeks ago. The heat has also benefited the hydroponic basil growing system that I've begun to experiment with.
After losing successful starter seedlings to crickets, I have had to undertake a total cricket eradication program in the greenhouse.This included removing all dead leaves and debris from the floor, getting rid of clutter an extra buckets and other items that were not in use, and spraying the greenhouse floor, wall and doorway with an organic pesticide.Essentria IC3 is an organic pesticide with plant oils as its active ingredients. Although I was skeptical that the product would work as I needed it to, it turns out that after two applications I have almost totally eliminated all crickets that were already in the greenhouse and ones that migrated into it after application.I still must follow up with a light spraying daily in order to control the crickets that have entered each night through crevices and cracks between bricks in the floor of the greenhouse. But I have lost no more seedlings since I have using the product..
The basil that I propagated in starter cubes last week has begun to sprout. There are only about a dozen sprouts, but I had planted more than 200. I suspect that crickets have eaten the rest. I will reseed the cubes on Saturday.
Several trays of the seeds I started last Tuesday have sprouted, just a week later.
Seeds that have sprouted so far are: tomatoesartichokesSwiss chardkalebrussels sproutscauliflowermarigoldscalendulaTulsi basil
Temperatures in the greenhouse have been maintained at 65+. Under one side of the wire bench that holds the tomato trays, I've placed a small electric room heater so that warm air envelopes them.
I am experimenting with cut flowers in a hydroponic setup. I have planted 8 gladiolus bulbs in 4-inch net pots. As these grow up, I will build a flood and drain table to keep them moist and evenly nourished.
Today, I will complete my goal of starting several varieties of tomatoes, egg plants, peppers and other warm season crops indoors, in starting trays, for transplanting in the spring.
This year, I am mixing only coconut coir and perlite as a seed starting mix. The mix consists of equal parts of both. I am not adding vermiculite to the mis this years because it doesn't seem to add any benefits to the mix.
A simple Mr. Heater Big Buddy propane heater is keeping the 144 s.f. greenhouse in the 50 on medium and in the 60s on high, even on the coldest nights when temps dip into the 20s.
I expect the seeds to sprout in a week or two, then grow for two months before being set out into raised beds by late March or early April.
So far, the month of January 2015 has started off the year cold and wet. The 18,000-gallon capacity of the rainwater collection system is almost full, in part from December rains.
Most of the nighttime lows have been in the lower 30s, with an occasional dip into the 20s. A frost blanket over a raised garden bed of artichokes has so far proved competent at keeping them alive through the freezes.