Improving Growing in Early Spring

The Shirak Region of Armenia is much like parts of the Northern United States, in that frost-free growing days come late in the spring and end fairly early in the fall. And since many people depend on their gardens for their primary food supply it becomes very important for them to maximize their yields.

Purchased seedlings are too expensive for most people to be able to use, and the only things they can buy are sold bare-root with very little root system anyway, so growing their own seedlings is very important.

We are trying to teach and demonstrate the best ways to do this – first with a proper seedling greenhouse, and then recognizing that most people can’t even hope for a greenhouse we are building and growing in a “tunnel”-type coldframe/hotbed.

Several village families in Getk have these, and depend on them for their seedlings. However, they have no heat source, use no fertilizers (even manure), and grow in the native dirt, ending up with bare-root seedlings – again with little root systems.

In the next few days we will publish pictures of villagers’ coldframes as well as our own, with the differences.

We will use horse manure as the heat source, we’ll plant in a sand/sawdust/dirt mixture, and will fertilize with the Mittleider Pre-Plant and Weekly Feed formulas. More later

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