chives

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Seedling Update!

I know I was late to the seed starting party this year, sowing my indoor seeds weeks later than usual.. but you know what? Things are coming along very well. It's amazing the difference two weeks makes. Just look at these seedlings - they are getting BIG!

I'm especially excited about my 'Peppermint' Swiss Chard and 'Ruby Gem' lettuce from Renee's Garden.  This lettuce is seriously on steroids! I'm almost ready to pick the leaves for baby greens, but will harden off the plants this weekend, moving them into the garden next week. The chard will also go in the garden next week, but I'm reserving some for large containers, as I saw at the Halifax Public Gardens did last year. They tucked the boldly coloured plants between more traditional container plants and it was electric!

Anyway, it's one of those 'two step back' days for spring.. cool, damp, rainy today, so it's a good day to seed a few more flats indoors - more 'Ruby Gem' as a succession crop!!


Ruby Gem you are getting rather big!


Peppermint swiss chard - gorgeous!

Sungold tomatoes. I need to move my lights up a notch.

My green cotton has germinated - great germination rate.

10 comments:

  1. Having started my seeds way too early, I'm really starting to stress about my 2' Lemon Boy and Sungolds. Aie aie aie. Will it damage the plants/fruits if they are already flowering at this point? Should I pinch off the blooms? So many questions. C'mon MAY! Yours look lovely though :)

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    1. Oh been there - yes pinch off flowers as they appear. I often do this - even after I put them in the garden and they put out flowers before decent growth. You might even want to repot them in bigger pots, buying 1/2 of that 2-foot tall plant. They will root all along that stem and be better able to resist drought once in the garden. And, if you use a mini hoop tunnel, you can set them out in the garden about 3 or so weeks earlier than usual. Just make sure you set up your tunnels at least a week before planting so that the soil pre-warms and that also gives you a chance to harden off the seedlings and get them used to sunshine before they're moved into the garden.. fun fun! :)

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  2. Wow! Your plants look fantastic! I was wondering if you start your seeds in "Seed Starting Mix" and later transplant them into something else? Also, Where did you find the white trays (without drain holes)? I used to get pretty decent ones from the local stores, but this year it seems that the ones that come in a set with clear cover are so flimsy. Just moving them a little cracks them and then they leak.
    Thanks for your time!
    April from Ohio

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    1. Thanks April! I've been to Ohio.. used to live in Louisville.. Ohio is so pretty! I do use a potting soil, which I buy in 'bales'. Bales are 3.8 cubic feet of compressed soil, so when you open the big soil cube, the soil expands a bit. I then put about 1/4 of the bale into a big rubber mail container and then moisten it before putting it in my trays/pots. I get the white trays w/o holes from my local garden supply store. You can order them online, but it would be cheaper to buy them local if you can source them. I hate the cheap trays too! Ugh.. the store I buy mine from also sells to greenhouses (by the box), so they open boxes and sell the trays individually for about $2.. Sweet!!

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    2. Thanks for the reply! Sounds like those bales are not something you'd open in the living room :) I will check at the local greenhouse... there's no way they could use the flimsy ones. I have gotten back in the gardening groove after taking a couple of years off with little ones. I have about 20 varieties down in the basement under lights. It's so fun to try new vegetables. I've never even tasted okra, so that will be exciting. And some Asian varieties of cabbage and greens are new to us. I have rhubarb and asparagus coming up. And sugar snap peas, spinach, onion sets, lettuce, and potatoes in the ground. We are supposed to get 4 to 5 inches of rain in the next week. That will set things back.

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    3. Ha.. I definitely do my potting on the lawn, not the living room carpet! :) you sound just like me in that you enjoy experimenting with new veggies! I hope you've tried Sungold tomatoes and Lemon cukes, which are among our favourites.. we also grow snake gourds, long dipper gourds and spinning top gourds (sometimes called Tennessee Dancing gourds). the kids love to grow them! Keep me posted on you progress.. Niki

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  3. Did I miss a post on what your planning to do with the cotton?

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    1. Nope.. I had tweeted about it, but I like to grow it as a fun plant for the container garden on my back deck. It makes an interesting plant and then we bring them indoors for winter, often getting the lovely soft cotton tufts.

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  4. Wow - that lettuce is phenomenal! I started mine a couple of weeks ago and it looks so tiny & fragile in comparison.

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  5. I really enjoyed reading this post, it looks fantastic! Great images also.
    Your blog has some great ideas and is full of inspiration for growing your own vegetables at home. Plus its very easy to navigate around, and you have a number of great links and great reviews.
    Looking forward to more pictures on the progress of the lettuce. Keep it up!

    Haleh, Perth, Western Australia.

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Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)