Hello pumpkin people.  It’s that time of the year when you get updates of what I am up to as the season progresses.

I usually try and get the germination started around Labour weekend and use that as the mark of when things should be happening, it has worked OK for me as a date to work to or from.

I know other people have started earlier and that is also fine, I am always worried about the weather and coldness that we can still get.  It can knock plants around and I want to get the seedlings into the ground as soon as possible without them being in the pot for too long.

This is what I have been up to

A good way to get the seeds germinating is to place them on top of the hot water cylinder at your house, but what happens if you don’t have a hot water cylinder?  I couldn’t access our one last year, and we now don’t have one at all.

The seeds have been soaked in a solution of fish fert and liquid micronised humate.

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So last time I had them on the bench in the shed, and everything seemed to have worked out OK with the seeds being on the window sill and getting some warmth from that.  But this year I had the heat pad which I mentioned in the previous post.

While having the heat pad is cool I started thinking about how inefficient it would be if it was just sitting on the bench in the shed so i found a container to put it in.

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I remembered I had a little digital thermometer from when I made compost tea years ago, so I now know the heat on the pad is around 100 degree Fahrenheit one it gets up to maximum temp (which is around 37 degrees Celsius.

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I built a platform of wood over it with a gap to allow air between the two and to make whatever is on the wood not get all the direct heat.  The temp within the box is:  while on the wood it is around 85 – 87 F

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I manged to find a LED Aquarium type light on Trademe which I am still waiting to turn up, this will go inside the box as well above the seedlings once they have been put into their pots.  This will allows me to keep them short and stocky and to monitor how much light they are getting, in previous years they grow towards the window and get all leggy.

And I am paranoid that a rat or something will get in and eat the seeds which happened quite a few years ago at a different place and I know they have been in and eaten seeds from the sunflower head I saved from last year, traps etc are good but you never know how many of them there will be.

And………. I hope to put some square holes in each end of the box to allow a small fan to blow a bit of air through the box to get air movement going.  I’ll see how I get along with that set up and show you the results later.

A productive sort of day for something I hadn’t thought out at all.  I’ll keep you up to date with the progress.