Here in Kitsap County, Washington, it's still very much winter. Albeit a mild winter in our maritime climate, we're not planting seeds outside. But to get a head start on our growing season, were starting many seeds indoors. On the back of seed packets, it usually says a time period, something like "sow in trays 3-4 weeks before the last frost date or direct sow after danger of frost has past." We are now about 9/10 weeks out from our last frost, so we're sowing our seeds that say 8-10 weeks.
Over the years, we've used different soil and mostly trays as a method, but we're trying to hone in on what's going to be the best version for us. We take into account:
longevity of plants once they've germinated
time it takes for each method
the cost of supplies/materials
The usual things on the farm.
This year, we're doing a bit of an experiment with how we're doing seed starting. We're changing up both the medium that were using as well as how we're creating seed blocks. We're using two different mediums: one, a sterile propagation mix and two, a homemade mix of our own design. We'll also be using seed trays and also trying soil blocking for the first time.
While Hannah didn't think we'd have time to create our own mix, Chris wanted to give it a go. We wanted something without peat, because it's not a sustainable medium. So Chris found a recipe consisting of vermiculite, perlite, coconut coir, and compost that we're going to mix up.
We're hoping for good outcomes with each method, but we'll have a better idea once we get going. We'll keep you posted!
Your local farming team,
Chris and Hannah