Deuce Cities Henhouse

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors
Hey! Guess what? This is going to be my first official post of the year for Ace Hardware! I’m sincerely so, so excited to be working with them – I just love my neighborhood Ace Hardware store, and I feel really fortunate to be teaming up in a brand that I truly adore and use all the time.

I’m madly excited for spring, and I wanted to write a post to share with you guys on indoor seed sowing. Sowing seeds indoors is one of my cures for the winter blues – there’s nothing like a little seed sowing to get you amped for spring. In case you’re new to this idea, “sowing” is planting seeds in soil with the hopes of having them germinate and sprout. Many seeds can successfully be sowed indoors before the ground thaws – with patience and daily maintenance your seeds will germinate, turn into plants, and grow! Before you know it you’ll be ready to plant them in your spring garden. Don’t have a veggie garden? That’s just fine, consider starting a flat of Impatiens or Petunias indoors and save yourself the cost of paying up for mature plants at the nursery.

Sowing Seeds Indoors
There are many options when it comes to materials to sow your seeds in. You’ll find items on the market that range from sterilized seed starting soil to sponges designed for growing seeds. My first few years sowing seeds I used a soil made specifically for seed starting, then last year I started seeds in coconut husks for the first time and was happily surprised at how easy they were to use, and I had more success germinating my seeds. I’m a coconut husk girl now. The coconut husk pellets expand and grow as soon as they are introduced to water, within a few short minutes they’ll be ready for seeds.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors
Refer to the instructions on your seed packet for depth of planting. A good rule of thumb is to cover the seed with a fine layer of soil, usually only as thick as the seed.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Taking Care of Your Seeds
Germination
Germination is the stage in which the seed sprouts after you have planted it. Light isn’t necessary during germination, you could even start flats of seeds in the basement if it was warm, it is imperative that provide a warm environment for them. There are seed mats available to guarantee a warm spot for your seeds, but it isn’t necessary. I put my germinating seeds in the warmest room in our house, and place them about a foot away from the radiator.
Temperature
Keep sprouting seeds at a room temperature 60-70º Fahrenheit
Watering
Sow seed in a moist mix, or in this case husk. During the germinating phase cover the seeds with the plastic cover that comes with the seed starting kit to trap in humidity. Remove the plastic top once you notice the seeds beginning to sprout. During the germination phase keep the seeds moist with a spray bottle, once the seeds begin to grow and sprout water the seedlings by pouring water directly into the bottom of the tray.
Light
Once seeds germinate (usually 10-20 days) and sprouts appear they will need a lot of light. These young seedlings need 16-18 hours of light per day! Sun is hard to come by here in the upper-midwest, so I got serious about my seed sowing and invested in a 48″ grow light. It made a huge difference, within days my seeds had germinated and are now growing fast and furiously. Remember, if you decide to use grow lights you’ll want the lights to hang 3 – 4″ over plants as they grow. The Hyrdofarm system that I am using is easily adjustable to accommodate growing plants.
Seed Scheduling
It’s important to schedule your seeds! You don’t want to have plants that are too big and outgrowing their containers, or too small and unable to survive transplanting. Below you’ll find a schedule that I like to use – for the Twin Cities area May 15th is generally a good rule of thumb for the last frost.

Schedule for Sowing Seeds

Containers
Around the 6-8 mark, your seedlings will be outgrowing their husk homes. Now is a good time to move them to a larger container until it warms up enough to transplant them outdoors. In reality you can use any container as long as it’s sterile and has adequate drainage. Recycled food containers, newspaper and biodegradable pots are a few options for good planting containers. To sterilize, use a mixture of 1 part bleach 9 parts water.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors
Once your seeds begin to have one to two leave sets, you’ll want to thin them out if you have multiple seedlings growing in one husk. Most will be 2-3″ tall by then and easy to grasp. Make sure to water your seedlings before thinning them as they will be much easier to remove in damp soil. If you’d like to keep excess seedlings place them in their own individual husks, do this in the evening as it will give the plants a chance to adjust to their new environment before being exposed to light.

When it comes time to move your plants outdoors you’ll have to get them ready. This is called hardening off. To do this, bring them outdoors for a few hours daily, increase the amount of time they are exposed to the outdoors over the course of a week. Then go ahead and plant them in the ground.

Sowing Seeds Indoors

Sowing Seeds Indoors
My pals over at Ace Hardware want you to get your green thumb on too. I’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one of you lucky people. Giveaway runs through Friday, February 27th at midnight, the winner will be announced within this post.

This giveaway has ended, Congrats to Renae!
I’m excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided me with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project! All opinions are my own. Thanks a biznillion, Ace!
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in gardening, Sponsored

Let’s Think Green!

+++ source +++
French By Design

Only one more week of February left! I always put these milestones in my head during the winter, it helps me cope. March 1st is a biggie, you see once we get to March the weather eventually has to warm up, the sun will have to stay out longer and everything will get better, it just has to. There is light at the end of that wintery tunnel (hopefully). This is the time of year where I have to muster up every ounce of positivity that I can bare, and try and focus on the end. I know it can be so hard to do, the winter is weighing so heavy right now. For me, this war on SADZ is always best fought by tending to green living stuff. I have a lot of green this year – my collection has grown by leaps in bounds over the last few, and I have to say, I don’t feel as down in the dumps as I have in other winters gone by. I sincerely believe it helps. If you’re picking up what I’m throwing down, I highly suggest you go out to the nursery and grab some green before it gets cold again, or at least look at these pretty photos and feel better. It will help, I promise.

I’ll be dropping an indoor seed sowing post early next week – looking forward to sharing. Have a great weekend and hang in there, it’s almost kinda sorta over!

+++ source +++
Liz Marie Blog

+++ sources +++
Varpunen | Sand and Sumac

+++ source +++
Urban Outfitters

+++ sources +++
The Design Files | SF Girl By Bay

+++ source +++
Congo Studio
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in Inspiration

A Plan for the Basement


Alright pals, I’ve got some fun stuff to share today. At least I think it’s fun, maybe you will think it’s lame and boring, but it’s my blog, so whatever ;)

We are in the midst of starting our big basement revamp project. This will be the biggest investment we’ve put in to the house to date. We’ve been scrimping, saving and dreaming for years now and are really excited to get this project started.

I’ve been really getting into planning the space out with sketchup – I’ve spent hours and hours messing with different designs and plans, and I think we’ve finally realized on paper (or ‘puter as it were) our dream basement situation. Below you’ll see a cool animated sketchup movie I provided you with to get the full effect of how awesome this could be.



You may have notice we’ve included a sweet TV watching area with a big screen TV (we’ve never had a big TV!) also, under the TV is a gas fireplace, something we always wanted in our dream house and had to compromise on when we bought this crappy place (I kid). Tons of built-ins utilizing ikea cabinetry to make it feel really cozy and nestled in. There is also going to be a hang area for board games and projects and beers and what have you. Also, a mini fridge bros, and an egress window to let the light in. We’re going to enlarge the currently unuseable bathroom and have it be the boys’ primary bathroom, and we’re going to put the washing machine and dryer in their own room, I think when that happens they call it a “Laundry Room”.

Now you’re probably wondering what this place looked like before. The only time I’ve ever posted any pics of our basement was right after we moved in because it’s basically an embarrassment. Really, it’s more like a shame cave then a basement. We hide it from everyone and apologize to guests who might have the unpleasure of encountering it. BUT today I’m sharing it with you, you’re so, so lucky! Welcome to what we affectionately call ‘The Cocaine Den’. You’ll see why we named it that in a sec.


No you’re not seeing things, those are beveled glass mirrors all over those walls. Also, why do we have two televisions down here, and Christmas lights hanging haphazardly from the ceiling? Cause we gave up on giving any of the shits a long, long time ago.


The space is currently overly segmented, the storage space juts out into the main space and is crammed full of boxes that could easily be moved to the attic. The bathroom is small, and the shower is inoperable. There is a “bar” (made of glass blocks) in the back 1/3 of the space – the bartender is our washing machine, dryer and a full sized fridge. The space just doesn’t function for us, and I have given up on trying to make-do with what it is.


The good news is that we do have a basement space that has been updated at least once in the last 100 years, so we aren’t exactly starting for scratch. The bad news is that the “now” version wasn’t executed well. The design is poorly planned (like I said) and the materials used are low quality – it shows. The tile needs to be torn up, the ceiling needs to be removed, the lighting is not up to code, the electrical box needs to be moved, and we need to replace some of the plumbing.

I don’t have the slightest clue as to how much this crucial behind-the-scenes stuff is going to cost us. We haven’t gotten quotes from contractors yet – that will be the next step. We’ve already established a list of what we will be eliminating first to accommodate the budget. Our intention was to have a detailed plan to share with a contractor (recommendations warmly welcomed), then scale back if the budget dictated.

SEE MORE, READ MORE

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in Around the House, Basement

Last Minute DIY Valentines

Last Minute DIY Valentine Ideas

Friends. Are you in need of a last minute DIY valentine for your kids? Don’t worry, I got you. Check out both of these super cute valentines my kids and I have handmade for valentines days of yore. Both are easy, fun, kid friendly, and made with stuff you can find around your house! You can thank me later ;)


Potato Stamped Candy Pouch | Coffee Filter Hearts Bag
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in Crafts

Ikea is Getting Springy

New Line of Planters at Ikea : Spring 2015
Did you guys happen to see the new line of Ikea planters on the Livet Hemma blog yesterday? If you’re in need a little dose of spring, may I highly suggest you pick up a few of these. I had seen the watering can two weeks ago, and snatched it up right away – I’ve been wanting a pretty watering can for a long time, and for $10 bucks, this one fit the bill and didn’t hurt my wallet. Now I need to go back and get a few of those self watering planters too – this might be just the thing for my overly sensitive precious ferns. Also, that upside down cloud-ish planter thingy, perfect for any windowsill. I’m in!

New Line of Planters at Ikea : Spring 2015

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in Cool Things, Inspiration