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The seed starting is gearing up, even in below zero temps — 8 Comments

  1. Michele,

    We have plain old whitetail deer. We’ve been lucky so far in that they don’t snack on our squash/pumpkin vines and fruit until the frosts. There’s plenty for the deer around here to eat during the summer, especially the new seeding on our new pasture. We are going to fence the patch, but not the 6′ high fence we’ve got around everything else. The guy we bought our truckloads of pumpkins from didn’t have his field of 20 acres fenced other than a single strand of electric. But his cabbages, brocolli, turnips, etc. had an 8′ high fence!

    Here’s hoping but if it doesn’t work, we’ll figure out something else next year. Homesteading is one big experiment.

  2. Thanks for the new way to germinate. I’ve always used paper towels and for whatever reason never thought to use a towel.
    LOL, So you must tell me, what kind of deer do you have that don’t eat the vines or larger fruit??? I had beautiful squash and pumpkins last year and the deer had a feast of half of the vines and most of the fruit. Those rascals. They left my peas and beans alone until the veggies started to come then they too were nibbled down to practically nothing. They got 4-5 of my paste tomatoes too.

  3. Great news about the germination of your seeds, gives me hope on the ones I have been storing.
    We are trying something new in our garden this year. We are using a covering of wood chips. We have been told that the wood will absorb water to keep plants moist, (since we seem to be entering another drought it will help). Also the wood breaks down to feed nutrients to the plants and the dry chips on top help keep weeds at bay. We will not need to till again, so we’ve been told, just add manures to the top and rake and water it in. I would think it would keep your plants warmer also. I’ll let you know how it works!

  4. Howard,

    Very good idea! We will definitely do this. I’m always amazed at the creativity of homesteaders!!! Thank you for sharing. Good luck with your growing. I’ve used plastic in the field as mulch as well as covering to heat up the soil/plants. And it did a good job for me, hurrying up maturity and keeping early and late frosts at bay.

  5. Meary,

    No, those seeds were just stored in bags in plastic totes. I’ve germinated 12 year old squash seeds as well, with just minimal loss of viability. Seeds last longer than most people give them credit for. Especially seed companies who want you to buy more new ones!

  6. A suggestion on watering your squash and pumpkin row. Lay a line of drip tape on each side of the row. Make a garden hose adapter for the outlet on the tank and park the truck over night and let the water drip slowly. You waste less water and it all goes to the plants instead of evaporating off the leaves. I wish we could grow quantity squash and pumpkins. I’m going to try a short row with IRT mulch on the ground and row cover and on cold nights plastic over it this year.
    Howard
    Kenny Lake, Alaska

  7. Some of those seeds are pretty old! Did you store them in a refrigerator over summers? Congratulations on the germination rate.