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January Garden Update

Seventeen degrees on Hilton Head? The cold snap that hit most of the country the first week in January did not spare our island or its plants.

The Palm in Our Front Yard Has Had a Tough Year

The Palm in Our Front Yard Has Had a Tough Year

Our community garden plot fared much better than the landscaping around our house. We lost our Swiss Chard, but everything else looks like it will survive.

The Swiss Chard was the main casualty during the first freeze.

The Swiss Chard was the main casualty during the first freeze.

Our friends Rachelle and Roger looked out for our irrigation timer when the farm’s irrigation  system had to be drained and hoses disconnected during the freeze. It was back up and running when we returned to Hilton Head on the 9th. The last week of the month brought another cold snap and another drain down- extremely unusual we are told.

As I mentioned last month, we invested in a Hydrofarm grow light and seed starter kit so we could start our seedlings indoors  this spring.  If this works out we will have organic, non-root bound plants in a month or so when the spring garden gets into full swing.

We are using a Hydrofarm T5 growlight and 17 watt heating mat to speed germination of seedlings

We are using a Hydrofarm T5 growlight and 17 watt heating mat to speed germination of seedlings

The kit came with a 17 watt heating mat and moisture dome.   The seeds were started in Ferry-Morse Jiffy Peat Pellets (available at Lowes).  Some of the seeds germinated  in less than two days!  I put the grow light on a timer and have it set to the recommended 16 hours/day to keep the plants from getting spindly.

Peat Pellets Make a Good Medium for Starting Seeds Indoors

Peat Pellets Make a Good Medium for Starting Seeds Indoors

Once the seedlings get  their  first set of real leaves,  they will be transplanted to peat pots filled with starter mix and be given a little diluted “organic” fertilizer.

Some of our fellow “farmers” have sown their snow peas already. We are going to try to get ours planted this week weather permitting.

Featured Garden Tool

We purchased this grow light and stand from Amazon along with a heat mat to start our indoor seed starting operation.  This setup provides an easy way to position the light, especially if you are not able to hang the light above your seeds.  It is sturdy and the height adjusts  very easily.  Amazon is currently offering a discount on this model.

Click Here to Purchase This Item from Amazon

Hydrofarm JSV4 Grow Light and Stand

Hydrofarm JSV4 Grow Light and Stand

About the author: John Turley blogs about Hilton Head, Geothermal, and Sustainability.

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