Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Basement, and Score, Maybe!

Things get better, year by year.  There's an Italian term that's used in the music world.  Poco a poco.  Little by little.

I have a basement under about 1/3 of my house that has a stone and dirt floor and stone walls.  In my first December here, I thought wood was supposed to go down there, so I put 2 cords of wood in here. Then I spent 6 weeks in May and June taking the wood out after it started molding.  That was a big, rough lesson.  When it rained bunches, you could see water in the cracks between these stones, although the tops of the stones stayed dry.  I despaired of ever being able to use the basement for anything.   Until, that is, I started to read about root cellars.  Now it looks like the basement might be useful for something after all. It's cool and humid, and there's airflow. Poco a poco.  More research to come.

I'm going to jump the gun on this next one because I'm excited about it.  If all goes well, in a few hours, this little baby will be coming home with me, courtesy of craigslist.

Last year I tried to start seeds by hanging a fluorescent fixture from two sawhorses on a table in a cold part of the house.  I think one of the reasons that went poorly is because it was too cold (the cold part of the house was about 47 degrees last year), so this year I've resolved to start seeds in the warm part of the house (I've hung contractor's plastic and closed off about 2/3 of the house for winter and I'm living like a college student, on mattresses on the floor in front of the woodstove.  The front room is big though, and there's room for seed starting if I rearrange some things.).

I'm not all that enthusiastic about sharing my room with some sawhorses and a table.  I mean, the whole shootin match is about 6 feet tall and 6 feet long.  I'd been keeping my eyes open for something more appropriate and saw this about a week ago.  I was not first in line, but I got lucky and the first person in line flaked out.  We'll see how it goes!  Poco a poco.


  1. A REAL score on the seed starting table! Call me crazy (or just a gardening nut job) but wait until you see all those little seeds for the garden starting to sprout. What a thrill! Be careful to not do what most of us eager-beaver gardeners do . . . start the seeds too early. They then get too "leggy" and malnourished and don't have a lot of strength left to turn into robust, healthy plants when it's finally warm enough to put them out in the dirt where they really want to be.

  2. What a great find!!I've got to get into this whole Craigslist thing! I started, last year, but one on a window sill, so the ones further away, were leggy and didn't fair too well. Yes, Mama Pea, when they start to sprout, you feel like a mama plant!

  3. Wow! Wish I had that kind of luck! I have one lamp hanging on adjustable chains over a table in my basement :( FWIW, you may be able to get away with keeping the lights in the colder part of the house and just germinating the seeds in the warm part of the house. Then you can move them to the rack if that will save you space. All the advice I've heard says that most plants are not only fine with cool after they've sprouted, it actually can make hardier seedlings. Good luck this year!

  4. Oh, good suggestion Alison! I did read that you can germinate, say on top of the refrigerator where it's warm and then move the shoots. I like that!