Homesteading In The Pacific Northwest

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head ....

Well, it's monsoon season in the Pacific Northwest ... we might see the sun again on Saturday.

I've been running out between downpours (and sometimes during them) to work on the newly remodeled raised beds.  As I mentioned a while back we decided to reconfigure the garden and add some mole proofing while we were tearing everything up to put in the new greenhouse.  I have three 4 x 8' beds to work on getting planted now.  Here's a shot from a second floor window of the new configuration with the greenhouse foundation coming along on the left...

The center bed is the deep, heated bed for my root crops.  As usual I forgot to put the heating cable (Charley's Greenhouse) in before we added the soil so I ended up having to dig trenches in the bed to install it ...

Once I got the cord buried I plugged it in and covered the bed with some plastic sheeting to retain the heat and let the bed warm up for a couple of days...

 I used my 16 per square foot seeding jig to space  my carrot seed and a 9 per square foot to space the beets.  I cover the seeds with vermiculite so I know exactly where they are ... anything that comes up outside one of those little circles is a weed and can be safely plucked out.

I watered the bed lightly and covered it with a piece of burlap and then laid another soil warming cable ( a FitzGyvered special) on top of the burlap.

The two cables together brought the soil temperature from 41 degrees up to a toasty 63 degrees and I had my first seed germination in six days.  Once the seedlings started popping up I removed the burlap and replaced the second heating cable.

Once the rest of the seeds have germinated I will unplug the permanently installed cable and remove the temporary one to use on another bed.  It's a lot of work, but with temperature still in the 40's it's the only way to get my direct sown seeds germinated in time to have two crops during the growing season.  Oh, the joys of gardening in the soggy Pacific Northwest :)


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