Starting Seeds with a Homemade Heat Mat

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We are about six weeks out from the last frost date around here, which means it’s time start seeds for a lot of the warm season crops. Last weekend we started seeds for 11 varieties of tomatoes, 8 different kinds of chile peppers, and 2 types of tomatillos. Looking at the hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes in the seed catalogs, its hard not to get carried away. Continue reading

Sowing Peas

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St. Patrick’s Day is the traditional pea sowing time in the Northeast, though usually there’s a pretty good chance that the garden is still buried in snow this time of year. Lately the weather has felt like late May and the garden is ready to go.┬áThis year I’m growing two kinds of regular green shelling peas, Green Arrow and Laxton’s Progress No. 9, plus Sugar Snap and Blue Podded Shelling Pea. This last one was a last minute addition. When I went to the garden center on Saturday, I couldn’t resist browsing the seed racks and ended up picking up a couple more packets, even though I already have too many seeds. It’s a soup pea rather than a fresh-eating pea. I’m looking forward to making pea soup from homegrown peas next winter! Continue reading