LED/Christmas light projects

Just a friendly reminder to pick up some discounted LED or non-LED Christmas lights for some of my previous projects

Christmas LED Grow Box

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Basically take a old Rubbermaid container and drill some holes and insert lights and you have your own Christmas light LED grow box.  This worked great last year to hold my seedlings until they were ready to move into the bigger grow box in the garage.  Here are some posts on construction and updates:

Cheap LED Light and Grow Box
Christmas light LED grow box – Update #1
Christmas light LED grow box – Update #2

Supplemental Christmas LED Light

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Similar idea to the LED grow box, though used in addition to your normal grow lights for a little additional red wavelength light, see posts below for complete construction directions:

Make your own supplemental LED grow light

Heating row tunnels (or grow box) with non-LED lights

Replacing your old Christmas lights with LEDs to save on your electricity bill?  You can use your old regular old Christmas lights to heat your row tunnels to increase the temperature by about 10 degrees to help get your plants out a ahead of schedule.  I have been using some of mine in my grow box to help during some of our colder nights this winter.

Heating row tunnels and grow box with Christmas lights

How to save coriander/cilantro seeds from your garden

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Cilantro (at least that is what we call the plant in the United States) and the seed coriander as it is know to the rest of the world is the first plant I ever collected seeds from.

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What I like about cilantro/coriander is that its flowers actually grow great and the bees seem to like them.  As an added bonus the collection of seeds really couldn’t be easier.  Like other plants I collect seeds on I let them mature as much as possible outdoors on their own and bring them indoors when the heavy rains come.

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I give them a little extra time to dry by hanging the bunches upside down in my garage until I get around to the harvest.

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To harvest simply find these flower shaped clusters of seeds and pull down to release the seeds and add to your awaiting container.  If you don’t care as much how clean your seed collection is you can also run run hands down the whole plant from bottom to top.  While this will drop many leaves in your collection, this is definitely the way to quickly harvest a large number of seeds.

How to save radish seeds

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Harvesting radish seeds is a little more labor intensive than some other seeds but still pretty easy to accumulate a decent number of seeds in a short period of time.

If you let your radishes be they will grow little flowers and pods like you see below.  I like to let mother nature take care of this process as long as possible pulling them only after temperatures start to dip and heavy rains start coming.  At that time I will pick the plants and hang them in the garage to dry a little longer.

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Once the pods are dry, they should resemble those of the ones below.

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All that is left to do is use your finger nail to split the pod open and with a quick swipe of your finger pop the seeds out into an awaiting container.  One other option is to simply leave them in the pod and open them up during planting.  Now they will take a significantly more space though if you only need a few seeds, definitely a viable option.

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Giveaway: $1354.83 worth of fresh produce

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Ok there is a little catch, you have to plant the seeds and grow the produce yourself and have perfect weather and unlimited space to do it.  Over the past season I have intentionally harvested more seeds than I needed just for the purpose of sharing them so here is your first chance to get some of CVG’s seed stash.  This should be a good addition to your current selection of seeds or great for a person just starting out next year.

The harvest values were calculated using my most profitable vegetables in your garden post, so numbers are estimated but I tried to be as accurate as possible.  Below are also links to my harvesting techniques of most of the “Self” seeds below (just realized I never wrote up cilantro and radish seed harvesting so expect to see these soon).

CVG’s Seed Stash (Variety Pack)

Seed Seed
Type
Seeds (Est.) Harvest Value
(Est.)
Jalapeno Pepper Self Collected 10 $ 45.00
Radish Self Collected 30 $ 11.66
Lavender ? 50 $ 10.00
Cilantro/Coriander Self Collected 100 $ 525.00
Bhut Jolokia pepper Self Collected 10 $ 150.00
Sunflower (Big) Self Collected 20 $ 10.00
Spinach Self Collected 25 $ 11.25
Carnation ? 30 $ 5.00
Onions (White) Self Collected 50 $ 12.94
Tomato (Early Girl) Hybrid 15 $ 233.55
Corn (Sweet Yellow) Self Collected 25 $ 31.25
Pumpkin Self Collected 15 $ 150.00
Carrots (Finger) Hybrid 70 $ 15.58
Sunflower (Evening Sun) Hybrid 10 $ 10.00
Cucumber Heirloom 30 $ 116.10
Peas Self Collected 30 $ 12.50
Mint (Spearmint) Hybrid 50 $ 5.00
Total     $ 1,354.83

As always just enter a comment and a winner will be randomly selected using my patented “CVG’s Contest Winner Pickorama” on Jan 1st, 2010.  This contest is open to everyone inside/outside the United States pending any export/import of regulations of sending seeds, which I am still doing some research on.

EcoSmart Garden Insect Giveaway: Winner

Using the “CVG’s Contest Winner Pickorama” it has determined that =*N*= is the winner of their choice of an earth friendly product from EcoSmart.  Please contact my using the link in the header with the product you want and you contact information and I will pass the info to EcoSmart.  Thanks for everyone that entered and for those who didn’t win check in the next couple hours for another exciting CVG giveaway.

Hometown Seeds giveaway, and the winners are…

I believe Plato was credited with the quote, “Necessity, who is the mother of invention.”  As the Cheap Vegetable Gardener I prefer, “Laziness, who is the mother of invention.”  With laziness and some boredom on the bus while riding to work with my laptop this motivated me to create “CVG’s Contest Winner Pickorama.”  Basically I pass in the comment RSS feed and it extracts any duplicates (or my name if it exists) and by using some complex super top secret logic to pick the winner(s).
Now you can see it in action now and see if you were a winner:

For those without Superman vision the winners are: Trailshome, Red Icculus, and David (There were two David’s so be sure to click the link to make sure you were the right one)
If you are a winner please click on the “Contact” link at the top of the page with your name/mailing address and your seeds will be sent out shortly.  For those who did not win this time, no worries I have at least one more seed giveaway coming up.