Seed starting in 2010 has been an interesting process. After collecting toilet paper rolls from friends and getting them prepped, we figured that they might not be a great starting medium.
All of a sudden we sprung up on the idea of using these small wax paper cups, and we got a big bag of them from Costco. I pinched holes at the bottom of the cups, and lined them up on a aluminum serving tray, into which i watered, instead of overhead watering. The trays will be re-used next year for seed starting. The wax cups made it easier to write on them with permanent marker. Though most of the bottom half was disintegrated by the time we got to planting, the top rim was the only piece that was left intact.
The other lesson i learnt in the process was to probably not put more than 1 seed per pot, or should i really be eliminating the weaker plant in each pot?.....I just don't have the heart to do that.
We also set up a new new irrigation pipe set up near the old planter area to avoid trip hazards with the drip irrigation lines running all over the concrete.
There were 5 planter beds set up last year with the boards from our old fence. These dont have any Gopher proofing below. 2 more planter beds got set up with some reclaimed wood that we saved when the remnants of the fence were taken apart to make way for the new one. These 2 are going to house all our tomato plants
Here is a full view of the planter beds set up in 2009
Here are the new planter beds that went in recently. We had the guys who did our fence pre-cut pressure treated lumber for us. As always Guru did the planning and design of the boxes and gave them their sushi list of parts.
As luck would always have, I started reading all these articles on the usage pf pressure-treated wood in planting areas. . With the lumber already purchased, Guru came up with an idea of stapling the plastic tarp (typically used as drop cloth for painting) onto the wood to prevent anything from leeching into the soil.
In one of the classes we took, we learnt about these things called Gophers and that they are a BIG garden menace. Add this other dimension, and we figured that we should put in the netting for the Gophers for the new planter beds we were going to install. So we went and got 1/4 inch hardware cloth for the netting. We dug about 2 feet below the existing soil level and set the netting that deep and snug against all the sides of the planter bed.
The digging also helped loosen up the clay that we needed to have done to get the plants to grow and thrive in there. Loosened soil means deeper roots and deeper roots rewards one with healthier, larger plants with good produce. We are hoping all our efforts and investment in the infrastructure bears fruit!... and vegetables ofcourse.