January 2010
In This Issue
January Garden Tasks
Starting Seeds Indoors
Quick Links
 Dear Roland,

You may have noticed that website products pages are unavailable.  Our site was again attacked by a malicious virus, this time form a Russian site selling fat reduction products.  We will have the site up and running in the next few days.  In the meantime, email your order to [email protected]. We are also totally rebuilding the whole site, so look for a brand new look and easier check out in early March. 
Roland in the garden
Each year I juggle the wish to grow everything, with the knowledge of what actually thrives in my soil and environment.  January can sweep me away on a wave of seed mania as gardening catalogs keep flowing through the mail.  It is hard to resist adding just another tiny packet to the order but I do try to put the brakes on!One intention I am carrying through is to start my seeds early.  Already I have onions and leeks in seed trays, peas sprouting for pea shoots and an indoor tray of salad greens. With such a short growing season, I need to be a bit ahead of the game.  This month’s article is about starting seeds indoors.  Many gardeners hesitate to plant seeds early. It took me many years to get the confidence to try it myself. Now I love the sight of those tiny seedlings in their protected trays reaching up towards the light. Take the first step with a tray of lettuces and another of tomatoes.2010 will be very exciting year for Organic Bountea.  We expect to have our products in many more hydroponic and garden stores across the country.  Of course, the more you ask for Bountea by name, the more likely store owners will stock what you want!  We are also developing some exciting (still secret) new products that will become available in a few months.

Our non-profit and development project projects will come of age in 2010.  Already John’s work with Bantay Bayan farmers in the Philippines is poised to expand dramatically.  The tests on the rice harvest grown using the Bountea system showed an increase of 50% compared with chemical grown. 

Lets make 2010 the most bountiful year in the garden.


Roland Evans

Organic Bountea

January Garden Tasks
(January 15th — February 15th)

Seeds Indoors
January: onions, leeks, artichokes, pea greens,
fava beans, early tomatoes.  Plant salad greens in large indoor containers.
February: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celeriac, kale, leeks (second sowing), lettuces, Brussels sprouts, Trees: prune fruit trees and fruit-bearing shrubs, but especially apple and crabapples.  Clear suckers and waterspouts from base of trees.


The Bountea Growing System:

Add SuperStart for Plants to to your starting mix and potting soil whenever you sow seeds or transplant.
  If your soil is already workable, now is the best time to apply your first dose of Bountea with Root Web.


Starting Seeds Indoors

Now is a great time to get your seed starting supplies ready for some indoor seeding.  It will give you a great start to the season and save a lot of time. 
Seeds — order your seeds early from reputable print and online catalogs – I use Pinetree and Fedco.  Choose some varieties you recognize and a few that are unusual, for example Italian varieties from gourmetseed.com or Asian vegetables from evergreenseeds.com.
Seed containers – any container will do as long as it has drainage holes.  Use plastic bags to keep the moisture in.  I prefer the commercial trays with waterproof base, seed containers and a clear
cover.  The trays are 21″ x 11″ with 12 seed packs each of which holds 6 plants – that is 72 plants per tray.  For onions and leeks, I use 3″ x 3″ seed containers and sow quite thickly.
Planting Mix – choose a commercial mix that has a fine grain and holds moisture.  Many books suggest soilless mixes to prevent disease but this is mostly myth.  My own mix is 2 part Humisoil, 4 parts coconut coir (a renewal fiber product) and 1 part sand plus a little SuperStart for Plants.  I put it all through a ¼” mesh.  The Humisoilwill often produce a fuzz of white fungi that seems to prevent damping off.Tips
Germinate – to pre-germinate seeds and to check their viability, place seeds on a damp paper towel.  Cover with another damp towel and place in a zip lock plastic bag in a warm place.  Check after a few days to see if the seeds have developed a root or stem.  If so, plant carefully.
Seeding – do not plant seeds too deep.  Ignore the advice on the packet and plant at the same diameter of the seed beneath the soil surface. Plant at least 2 seeds per container.

– keep your seeds at around 70F while they germinate.  Gentle heat from underneath is best – a light bulb works well. Keep the temperature constant.
Moisture – keep the planting mixture moist but not soggy.  Most seedlings are lost because of too dry or too wet conditions.  Allow trays to almost dry out before re-watering
Watering – water from underneath or with a find mister so as not to disturb the seeds.  Mist regularly when the seedlings pop up.
Light – as soon as the seedling is visible, make sure it has plenty of light.  Place close to any artificial light source (about 3″ below) and move it down as the plant grows.  Leggy, yellowish seedlings means there is not enough light.
Feeding – as soon as true leaves form (not the tender rounded first ones), feed the seedlings with Bountea plus M3 and Root Web.  If you are not ready to brew, sprinkle a small pinch of SuperStart around each plant.
Rotate – plant only a few seeds of a particularly variety.  Replant that same variety after 2-3 weeks to produce a continuous supply.
Transplant – some vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuces and the cabbage family, like to be transplanted regularly.  As soon as roots are visible underneath, transplant into a larger pot or into the garden.
Hold back– if the weather is too cold or you simply wish to have vegetables at different times, reduce watering and feeding and keep in a small container.  This will stress the plant and stop it growing until you are ready to transplant.For more information, check out the article Seeds, Sun and Soil: Tips for Spring Gardening.

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Organic Bountea
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