Spring seed starting with the Culti Cave

Let it begin!

SKids Enjoying Springpring technically starts on March 20th in the northern hemisphere but here at Leaning Tree Farms it seems like it has been here a while already. We actually had record lows in December followed by record highs in January and it’s been warm since. Call me crazy, but it seems a few fruit trees started to bud out early as a result.  As much as I love sitting in my rocking chair, looking out into our newly budding orchard, it’s always concerning when I look at the calendar and realize we’re still 2 months out from our last frost date of April 5th(ish). I can already see myself out in the orchard in the middle of the night frantically running between trees with every blow drier I could find as the temperature is dropping…but alas, why worry about the weather? That’s like, being…uh, worried about the weather.

Every home gardener grapples with this dilemma right? Do we try to cheat nature by putting out our young fragile seedlings a week before “last frost”? A month before last frost? Our last frost was in December, so what do I do start my seeds in October? This is madness.

Apart from this year’s weather lunacy, starting your annual seeds at home should be rather straight forward. For most of us this means buying some seeds and seed starter soil mix, perform some “advanced calendar math”, finding a sunny window, and get to planting. The problem I most often encounter is procuring ample “sunny window” space to germinate enough seedlings to fill in all our annual raised beds. And then there’s the keeping the temperature high enough…oh yeah, and that humidity thing. Could there possibly be anything out there to assist us greenhouse-less gardeners?

Enter the Culti Cave

 

Culti Cave ProductThis thing is awesome. Instant seed starting benefits include:

  • Lots more of that scarce “sunny window” space. A single Culti Cave has enough floor space for 50 “6 packs”. I would imagine this is enough for most home gardeners. With a somewhat small footprint of 6.5′ x 2.5′, the Culti Cave would fit well on a small patio or balcony.
  • Temperature control. Don’t warm your home to germinate seeds, just add a small space heater in your Culti Cave and you’re set. In direct sunlight I’ve observed an internal temp of +25F differential while the Culti Cave is closed up. 
  • Amazing humidity! We don’t have much humidity on the homestead and I think my seed starting has suffered from this in the past. With the Culti Cave there’s as much humidity as you could want. I don’t have a humidity gauge in the Cave yet but my personal, highly, scientific analysis is ranging from “super damp” to “damn near raining”. See photos below!
  • Fast germination. This is really a result of all the benefits from the Culti Cave (temperature/humidity) but have you seen Cucumber germinate in less than 36 hours? That’s right, 36 hours! Even those pesky tomato seeds seem to be doing well.
  • Modular/Stackable. A unique design, two or more Culti Caves can be zipped together for more germination-mania! See photos below.

Product Usage

Ok on to the good stuff already. Starting a few melon seeds.
Melons for the CultiCave

 

I had the Culti Cave in the garage for a few days while initial germination took place before moving it outside.  Look at all that wonderful humidity.

Here’s photos of Cucumbers (and Joshua) after 48 hours.

Modular/Stackable design. I moved the Culti Cave outside and “zipped” on a second unit.
2nd CultiCave

Other Culti Cave uses

It’s worth mentioning the Culti Cave can be used for more than seed starting. How about over wintering your favorite tomato? How about those perennial plants that need a few zones above your current one? I plan on overwintering tomatoes, Black Eyed Susan vines and pink bananas this fall using the Culti Cave. Heck, I may even use this as an out door sauna during the dead of winter while I dream of next year’s cucumber harvest.

Happy Germinating folks!

-The Dude

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