It’s cold with blowing snow outside. What better time to prepare for this year’s garden!
I had been doing some research on how to grow luffa for some time, but it was just a few days ago that I found someone who had managed to grow luffa in zone 3.
After reading this post, written by someone in Saskatchewan, I certainly wished I’d found it earlier.
Realistically, the chances of my being able to successfully grow luffa here are very, very low. They have a 150-200 day maturity range. All the resources I’d been looking at suggested starting the seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost date, but from this person’s experience, I should have started them in January! Ah, well. I’m going to try them, anyhow!
These required some advance preparations.
First, I set a few seeds to soak for 24 hours. Then tucked the bowl into a container I could seal, to protect them from cats. Like Susan, whom you can see at the bottom of the photo!
I was going to use the Jiffy pots in the red solo cups to collect drainage, but I found that three pots fit into a take-out container I’d saved. This will make watering from the bottom easier. I had some pre-soaked peat and filled the pots well in advance, so that the pots themselves would absorb some of the moisture.
I also prepared the small fish tank-greenhouse. I raised the level closer to the light, and added the light with the incandescent bulb to warm it up, since I don’t have a heat mat. The light has a full spectrum bulb in it, so it will be useful for the seedlings later, on, too, but for now, it’s the warmth that’s needed.
These are the seeds after soaking for 24 hours.
I was really surprised when I saw them, as every resources I’ve looked up showed black seeds!
I know there are different varieties, though, so if anyone knows anything about luffa aegyptiaca, please do leave a comment!!
I planted three seeds into each pot, pushing them into the peat to the required depth with a drinking straw. I am hoping to have 3 good transplants, but honestly, I’d be happy if I get just one!
Then, it was into their little greenhouse.
I think they need to be raised closer to the lights above!
The little light is staying in the tank for the warmth.
Yet another item repurposed from when we had fish; I’m keeping the aquarium thermometer in the tank, too. It’s reading about 24C/75F, which is impressive, considering the top is now just covered with a screen. The rigid insulation and aluminum foil definitely helps. We shall see how things go!
The other gourd seeds will be started after Easter, though I’m tempted to just go ahead and start them now. Which I might still do! 😉
On a completely different note, I have come to the realization that a problem I thought was with our crappy internet connection is actually my monitor giving up the ghost. Images not loading is a common problem, but I was having them only partially load, and the parts that didn’t finish loading tended to be bright, neon green. Or entire backgrounds of web pages would have blocks of this eye-blinding green. Then text started not loading completely, though I could still read it if I highlighted it, or it would sometimes work if I reloaded the page. When I started having this happen, or letters of text randomly showing as magenta or that green instead of the default colour, even when I wasn’t online, I figured I couldn’t blame shoddy internet anymore! My husband has already ordered me a new ergonomic keyboard (it’s a good thing I can touch type, because the letters are worn off most of the keyboard) that should have arrived weeks ago. Now he’s gone and bought me a monitor already! Now those are some sweet anniversary gifts. 😀
Hopefully, this monitor will last long enough for the new one to come in! 😀