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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

First GUL sowing

Arugula & Swiss Chard
Well, it wasn't long after I cleaned up the plant lab before I was filling window boxes with potting mix.

On Sunday (16th) I sowed arugula (rocket) in one of the boxes.  Then on Monday I sowed 3 kinds of Swiss chard in another (green, red & multi-colored).
Blue and Red Kale

I also filled some plastic cells with 2 kinds of kale (blue dwarf curly & redbor).

Last couple of years I started greens in a germinator, but not this year.

Instead I'd noticed that my older (40w) fluorescent bulbs actually gave off a bit of warmth, so I lowered the bulbs to within an inch of the top of the window boxes/cells and loosely draped some plastic wrap over the moist potting mix.

Wasn't too long before a fine mist developed under the wrap and there was a noticeable warmth to the surface of the soil.

Hey! Free heat.  And it works.  By Wednesday the arugula had sprouted.

Guess it's official.  The basement is open for business.

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  1. Kris, I lower the lights like that too and also use the top of the light fixture for bottom heat.

    Most of the cold season crops like a warmer temp to germinate.

  2. Glenda - yes, I've occasionally put cell packs on top of the lights, too, and have had good results. Once germinated, sprouts are off the heat else they cook.

    I'd forgotten how quickly arugula sprouts. :-D


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