Thursday, April 12, 2007

SEEDLINGS AND TEA

My seedlings need sun!! They are definitely a pitiful sight. I started them late on purpose, but I didn't expect to lose all of the warmth and sunlight like we did. They are just sitting there doing nothing. They are on a heat mat, but even that doesn't seem to help. They need sunlight!
I just started a few tomatoes, peppers, zinnia's, basil, and some miscellaneous flowers that I saw in some of my garden catalog's and couldn't resist. No great lose if I don't get anything, but it's the principle of the thing. I went to all of that trouble, the least they could do is grow! I have managed to pot the tomatoes and basil into individual pots, so now I will be able to help them along with a little fertilizer. And until we get some sun, that is the only thing left to try.
I don't like to start them on fertilizer when they are still in the flats, but I am getting desperate.
I tried for the first time last year, compost tea. I like the idea of starting the seedlings off with a natural boost, so I set up my 'tea set' this afternoon. It should be ready by the weekend, and if we get some sunlight, I will be back in business!
I make the tea, 5 gallons at a time. Not nearly enough for all of my plants. So, last summer I was at a school auction and saw a big plastic trash can that had a spigot on it, at the bottom. I thought that it would be perfect, so I bid on it, and got it. I don't think that I paid more than $10.00 for it. When it came time to leave the auction, I went to load my trash can, and after looking at it closely, realized that it was made for exactly what I want to use it for! It is a 55 gallon plastic trash can, with another can that slips inside and stops about 6 inches from the bottom. The inner trash can has a row of small hole in it. So when you make the tea, it filters through these holes, and you use the spigot to drain of the tea. Eureka!!!! How often does that happen!! Finding exactly what you need, no adapting anything.
So my next batch of tea, will be made in my new 55 gallon tea maker. But for now, I will use the little amount for my seedlings, and hope that it helps boost them along. We still have about 4 weeks until it's safe to plant them outside. With a little cooperation from the sun, they will be ready.

2 comments:

Marc said...

Wow, I would love to have your compost tea setup! I still use a burlap bag and a bucket and can only make small quantities at a time.

Is there any way you can get some of your plants under a florescent shop light or two? Maybe even hang the fixtures under your benches? Florescent light kept close to the plants is a really good substitute for sunlight. I start hundreds of plants under lights since I don't have a greenhouse or coldframe.

BTW, I'm new to your blog and I really like it and it's name. Your subtitle text is so true!

Good luck with the seedlings!

Leslie said...

This is my first visit to your blog...I like its name,too! My seedlings need to get into the ground too...I'm hoping after our rain tomorrow I can get a few things in on Sunday. It is borderline warm enough here so I think I might take a chance on a few things. Good luck with yours for the next few weeks!