Seed Starting, Season Extension, and Hydroponics

The horticulture program has been starting seeds in the greenhouse: lettuce, spinach, and kale, with pak choi and swiss chard still to come. These are all for a low-cost demonstration hydroponic system currently under construction for the coming season.

The portable cold frame is out on the hort plots awaiting its coat of plastic. One project on tap for this season will investigate how cherry tomatoes in mineral buckets in the cold frame perform compared to the same varieties in raised beds outside.

At the moment, one speed bump for this project is the recent excessive rainfall; the raised beds can’t be built until the ground dries up enough.

The Kerr Center’s online horticulture library offers ample resources on both seed starting and season extension. We’re new entrants to hydroponics, but we will be sharing our procedures, results, and lessons learned as we go. In the meantime, this video offers a glimpse of a system similar to the one we’re putting together:

horticultureorganic gardeningseason extension

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