Spring is happening right here at our farm...in our basement! About a week ago we planted some herbs in trays, the first of our planting for the year. I have wooden shelves set up in the basement with shop lights hanging over each shelf. We planted 12 trays of 36 cells each with herbs. Nine of the trays were placed in home made heat trays. These are wooden boxes lined with foam insulation and then a heat cord run back and forth across the bottom. We can fit three trays of plants in each heat tray.
Every other day we water the trays and see if any little green guys are sprouting. A couple of days ago I noticed the dill coming up. Yippee! They are now about an inch or so tall. I moved that tray off of the heat and put the sage on. The heat trays help the germination a LOT. Today I also noticed the parsley starting to come up...and a few little sprouts of weeds which I plucked out. We re-use our soil if we can and also incorporate some of our composted leaf mulch. It saves a lot of money, especially when we are planting close to 75 trays in the spring.
Since the basement is still a little chilly, I set up a small heater to help bring the temp up to 65 degrees. That way the trays that aren't on the heat will still germinate. We try to keep track of which seeds need higher temps. Some of the seed catalogues and some of the packets list the heat requirements on them, but not all. In another week we will begin to plant our peppers and rotate the herbs off the heat and the peppers onto it. It is really fun to go downstairs and see all those little green leaves coming up!