Rock Wool Seed Blankies

36  bar steep fall 29.84 1mph SSE  Dewpoint 26  Spring

                Waxing Gibbous Moon of Winds

Ah.  Hands back in the soil, thinking and doing with plants.  We bought two stems of yellow Plumeria when we were in Hawai’i and I potted them today.  Just the act of finding a pot, putting in some potting soil and adding water immersed my soul deep in the earth. 

The hydroponics setup is underway, too.  Seeds don’t grow well in hydroponic growing mediums, so there’s a prior step that involves starting seedlings in small rock wool blankies, then transplanting them, blankie and all, into the large pebble-sized lava rock medium.  

A seedling needs a couple of critical tools to grow inside.  The first is a warming coil to make sure the temperature underneath the seed pack does not get below 60 degrees or so.  We have those, four of them.  The second is a grow light.  We have those, too. Two of them. 

Tomorrow lettuce seeds will go into the rock wool seed blankies and some herbs as well.  These are all heritage seeds Kate and I purchased at the Seed Saver’s Exchange outside Decorah, Iowa.  Potting soil will go in some small cubes made of molded peat moss.  In them will go a few heritage tomato seeds and anything else we need to have a jumpstart on for the garden. 

The lettuce and herbs will make the transfer into the hydroponics.  We’ll learn how to work with the temps, timing of the nutrient solution flows, the nutrient solutions themselves while growing an easy crop.  The tomato seedlings and the other seedlings will get planted in the raised beds we’ve turned over from flowers to vegetables.

There are still a few more tools we need like an electrical conductance meter, a turkey baster and an aquarium heater or two.  I’ll pick those up on Friday when I go in to do two Weber tours.

This manual labor balances the intellectual work I do and I’m glad to be back at it.  From now until mid-October the garden and our land will take up more and more of my time and happily so.

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