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At the starting block

A room filled with trays of seedlings for the garden makes this place feel like home!

Gardeners everywhere are drawn to this inspiring task and gardening blogs are filled with pictures just like this. I like to make soil blocks to germinate seeds and to grow the seedlings. The roots fill the two-inch square block and hold the soil together. I can plop them right into the ground when the time comes without damaging fragile roots or creating any waste. I have started kale, collards, chard, cabbage, onions, leeks, hollyhocks, oregano, kohlrabi, thyme, parsley, bok choy, lettuce, beets, and spinach. It has been staying in the 50’s in this house, so, I’ve put peppers and eggplant upon warming trays to germinate. I’ll, soon, begin booting the kale, cabbage, spinach, and leeks out the door to a protected space. I’ll need the space inside for tomatoes, basil, flowers, okra,…  The night time temperatures continue to dip below freezing and the forecast seems to be sticking with that. I may find myself shuttling trays in and out of the house until they are well hardened off and it gets just a little warmer.

I plan to bring some of these plants back to Elkins Park so the yard can continue to be productive. Some of these will go to the few raised beds that exist at StellaLou. The remaining will go to gardens not yet prepared or will be shared with other gardeners.

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