I absolutely adore spring! It always seems like the time between Christmas and warm weather lasts forever. So I couldn't wait to get outside this past weekend and get my hands dirty. My husband and I started making our raised beds last fall and have finally finished them. Needless to say I worked hard on Saturday getting some things planted in two of them. Here is what I have planted so far. Buttercrunch lettuce transplants, onion sets, shallot bulbs, mesculan, loose leaf lettuce mixture, spinach and green onions. I think I've checked on those beds about 50 times since Saturday! Sunday I also decided to start some of my seeds inside. I started Mammoth sunflower, Genovese Basil, Hibiscus, Italian Pepperoncini peppers, Pritchard's Scarlet Topper tomato, Kellog's Breakfast tomato and Dixie Golden Giant tomato. Yum! Fresh garden tomatoes with Basil and olive oil is the best. It's important to use seed staring mix and water from the bottom to try and prevent dampening off. After the seeds have sprouted take the plastic or dome cover off your container to prevent moisture building up and dripping on the seedlings. Here is a good tonic that I found in a Jerry Baker book.
Dampening-off Prevention Tonic:
4 tsp. chomomile tea
1 tsp. of liquid dish soap
Mix these ingredients in 1 quart of boiling water. Let steep for at least an hour (the stronger the better) , strain, then cool. Mist-spray your seedlings with this tonic as soon as their little heads appear above the soil.