Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Seedlings - Heirloom Tomatoes & More - Our 8th Annual Seedling Sale May 22!

We've had a few questions about the seedlings we'll be offering at our annual seedling sale in May. I'll include a list here, as well as updates in future posts as we get more confirmations from the other two vendors who will be selling here.

This is our 8th annual seedling sale, as always on the Saturday of the May long weekend - so that's Sat, May 22 from 9 am -12 noon this year! We had a huge crowd the last year, so please plan to come early for best selection! We hope to set up a small area of our yard with tables and chairs, so people can relax and chat, eat baked goods and meet each other. There were so many wonderful people here for previous sales that it really felt like we needed to create a space for people to hang out after they purchase their plants - otherwise, people are crowding the driveway while discussing their garden plans with their friends and new acquaintances. It should be quite an event again this year and we are REALLY looking forward to it! I would say this is one of our main hightlights of the season! Such a hopeful time of year, and exciting to see that there are so many eager urban gardeners in K-W!

As for how we start our seedlings, yes, we do use grow lights. We have two large grow shelf units with three sets of shelves and lights each. This holds aproximately 12 seedling trays, though we usually try to squeeze in more than that by turning trays sideways at the peak of seeding time. Once our seeds are seeded into trays (starter peat), we keep them without lights on under the clear plastic lid covers until they germinate. As mentioned in an earlier post, as our house is quite cool we also have our grow shelves surrounded by plastic sheeting to help keep the seedlings warm. Once they germinate, we move them under the lights for about 12 hours/day (on a timer). When the seedlings are large enough to take a little cooler night temperatures, they get moved (and transplanted) into the greenhouse. This is usually in mid April that we start moving plants out there. More on the greenhouse in the next post.

Ideas of Seedlings for the May 22 sale:
- Heirloom tomatoes (many shapes, colours, sizes - indeterminate and determinate, etc)
- Basil varieties (purple, lemon, thai, sweet, tulsi/sacred)
- Herbs like thyme, mint, lavender, sage, oregano, savory, fennel, parsley
- Flowers like marigolds, calendula and other annuals
- Other veggies like zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, hot peppers, kale

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