Saturday, March 27, 2010

Seed Planting was a Hit!

We had our seed planting session this morning as planned.  It was cold outside (in the 20s), but plenty warm in the sunny greenhouse (about 70).

The turnout was excellent (and enthusiastic, despite the early hour)--we had Alexis, Mike, Sandra, Allison, Tracy, Keff, Nathan, Noah, Suzie, Isobel (Noah's 4th grade classmat), and Fiona (Isobel's little sister).  In addition, two journalism students, Liz from BU and Jenn from Emerson, came to check out the project, but also ended up lending a hand and planting seeds themselves.  All those hands made the work go fast, and within an hour we'd planted and watered 18 flats (about 650 seeds).

On the night before the planting, Tracy and I spent some time going over the seed list and working up a chart that showed exactly how many of each type of seed needed to be planted and how deep.  We then attached a copy of the list to each seed packet, with the relevant information highlighted.  This made the work go much faster.  (Though next time, we need to make sure that all our wording on the sheets is super clear--we confused a few people.)

Here is Alexis planting a flat (I think it was peppers), using the sheets to her left as a guide.

We had a very nice mix of people with some experience and people who were planting seeds for the first time.  Everyone jumped right in and we all had fun--Tracy and I ended up doing more talking and answering questions and organizing than actually planting seeds ourselves.

The next big challenge will be to figure out how to manage the temperature in the greenhouse.  When I went back at 4pm today, the temp was in the 90s (it had gotten over 100), and the trays had mostly dried out already.  I had to water again and open the window and leave the door open.  We'll figure it out, but it's going to take some work (and serious planning) on our part.

Here's Nathan watering seeds with a spray bottle.  The spray bottles work great when starting out, but I discovered this afternoon, when I had to water 18 flats, that they're too slow.  I'm going to need to bring a spray attachment for the hose.

Thanks very much to everyone who helped!  We're going to have quite a bounty when summer gets here.

Here's the flats, all soaking up the sun.  We're using humidity domes to keep the soil moist.  If the greenhouse was in optimal condition, these wouldn't be necessary, but right now we're unable to control the humidity effectively, so the domes will help.


  1. This is one of the best ideas around...good luck!!!

  2. Thanks, Maureen! We're having a great time with it.