No, we are pretty set in our ways. We have a cherry tomato we call “Carrie” after my wife, because she found in growing in the mulch pile a couple decades ago and like it. One called “Pansy” after her aunt which has been in the family roughly forever, and Brandywine for slicing. Burpee put out a sauce tomato called Big Mama that we have had a lot of luck with, so those are what it will go up against.
The first of the seedlings are started. Early spring leafy greens, and various peppers that have a long germination time.
I’m also working on a plant incubator idea. I have access to these large Styrofoam boxes that are watertight. If I mount a bright-enough puck light to the lid I could make a plant incubator for people who have small apartments. The idea is you could stick this in a small closet, then transplant to small pots on a patio/balcony when it warms up. The challenge is getting puck lights that put out around 1500 lumens in the 5000-6000 kelvin range.
We’re doing something kind of similar. We repurposed an old cooler instead of your awesome style of box. It’s for mushrooms so we replaced the opaque lid with a clear bin inverted over the top. Since we can have it out in the room near a window, we don’t need additional light.
We’ve kept a sensor in there to monitor humidity and CO2 levels, and the CO2 gets surprisingly high, even when we prop the lid open.
This cooler was used to transport medical testing reagents to a hospital lab. They have to be kept cool throughout transportation. Once delivered these boxes are discarded.
Just for prototyping purposes I stuck a 8W LED grow bulb into the lid and ran a temperature test. The bulb does not get hot so no concerns about melting the styrofoam. It got from 70f to 100f in only an hour. Water in the bottom should moderate the temperature though. I will also add some vents in the lid that can be closed off.
The box is 24" wide. There is a stepped in level where I will put a layer of acrylic when the seedlings are germinating. The box has a pleasing purple glow when the bulb is on.
Imagine opening someone’s darkened closet and finding that thing in there! That’s some Pulp Fiction level mystery going on.
I started my tomato seeds a couple weeks ago, based on the old farmers almanac, and I’m pretty sure I’m north of you.
I’m betting on a warm spring.
I usually start 3/1, anticipating setting out around 4/15, give or take. That’s (historically) our avg last frost, but that needs updating pretty badly.