Getting Started

Starting Tomatoes

I'm way behind on this, but I finally got my tomato seeds started this morning.  I had a great little helper in my 5 year old nephew, so he was motivation to me and it gets him started seeing that vegetables don't come from the grocery store.  Last year was the first time I started seeds, and I used a UV light in a windowsill with limited success.

This year, I'm trying something new.  I cleared off one of my shelves in the temperature controlled side of my shop.  I've got the seeds on in a planter box on the shelf, with a UV light on either end of the box, and a timer controlling the lights.  That way, I don't have to remember to go out at 5:30 in the morning or or 8:30 at night to turn the lights on or off.  I just need to keep it watered.  I've also set the thermostat in the shop to 70, which is warmer than the house was last year.  I'm hoping that this process will jump start them, and combined with my cold frame on the garden box, I can make up for lost time.  If not, a friend started his on time and has a few extras if I need them.

Starting a Shooter

After we got the tomato seeds planted, we broke out the Rossi Youth Model single shot .22 rifle and took a few shots in the back yard.  He had shot the gun one time before, but this was the first time we made a morning of it.  He has a good understanding of safety and is learning form.  He still needs a couple inches to really start a proper form, but he got a couple good shots in.

Here the little guy is, proud and still excited by his success.  I printed the targets courtesy of the good folks at Lucky Gunner Ammo.

Sponsor of the Week

Up as Sponsor of the Week is The Berkey Guy and his Wise Food Storage.  Wise Food Storage is packaged in handy serving sizes, and nitrogen packed with a 25 year shelf life.  There's a huge variety of delicious meals, and it's available in sizes from a 72 hour emergency stockpile to a year's supply for a family of four.  Please check them out and tell Jeff that you heard about him here at If It Hits The Fan!


  1. It's great to see you starting him out on shooting and teaching him gun safety. He will turn out to be a great shot and a safe one too. Great job.

  2. I have friends that start dozens and dozens of tomato plants in February of each year and have done so for years. This year, they are starting a few for me. I asked them how do they keep the plants from getting so "stringy" or "leggy" since there is a long time from February to May.

    They said that when the plants get about 1 - 2 inches tall (5 - 11 cm), they position a couple of small fans to blow gently across the flats so that the plants "wave" a little bit (less is more!). This creates enough resistance that the plants will naturally thicken and strengthen the stems!

    I appreciated the great tip and hope it works well for others.

    -- Doug in Kansas


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