So it seems that the long range forecasts going into the middle of April were wrong – hurray for that! We will actually be seeing above seasonal temperatures, with highs in the teens (50's-60'sF) for most of the coming week. Hard to believe when it's 2C (35F) outside this morning.
Each day – when it’s not raining that is – I am out there scouring the flower beds for any telltale sign that spring is finally here. Will I finally see some green popping up in the perennial borders & herb bed? I'm so looking forward to spending more than a few minutes outside (without freezing) and finally being able to tend to the beds.
On the bright side, at least there has been a lot to keep me busy indoors while I'm waiting.
My little asparagus seedlings are a mass of ferns right now.
|Asparagus - 8 weeks|
|Eye Spy a 2nd Spear!|
Onions & Leeks
The alliums are now being hardened off so that I can get them into the ground next week.
|Onions & Shallots - 7 weeks|
Bunching Onions - 5 weeks
Surprisingly, even though I finished seeding the bunching onion cells (with pre-germinated seeds) over 4 weeks ago, I had some seedlings coming up as late as last week. I’m still having issues with watering (which may account for the late emergence or absence of some seedlings) but overall, I think I'm doing a better job at keeping the onion flats moist than I did last year.
As for the leeks, the Lancelot are looking good. The Jolant, however, are not doing nearly as well.
|Leek Seedlings - 5 weeks|
Brassicas & Spinach
With the turn in our weather, I have now started to harden off the collards, kale & spinach seedlings and they will hopefully be getting into the ground next week. All of these should have been planted out this past week & the collards especially are on the leggy side, but I'm not too worried. Last year I transplanted the collards a full 3 weeks late and they did just fine.
|Collards, Kale & Spinach Seedlings|
3 weeks old
Most of the peppers are sizing up nicely but the seedlings were looking a bit pale. The seeding mix I use has macro & micro nutrients mixed in that should provide seedlings with all the nutrients they need for the first 6 or 7 weeks. I love that because it's one less thing to worry about and, as it turns out, only a couple of the veg I grow (like the peppers) need any extra feeding as most are transplanted long before they are 6 weeks old. As we are now in the 7th week, I have just started feeding the peppers with a diluted kelp fertilizer. I think that next year, I should probably start feeding them one week sooner.
|Peppers - 7 weeks|
Firstly there were the Ostra-Cyklon & Corne de Chevre. One seedling each came up without any issues. The 2nd ones seemed to be taking much too long. I dug around in the soil and found one seed with no growth and there was no sign of the other seed - it had completely disappeared. Perhaps I sowed several containers at one time and I missed that one by mistake? So one each of the Ostra-Cyklon & Corne de Chevre had to be started over again; I also threw in a couple more seeds, just in case. All of the seeds germinated and the seedlings are up and running.
Then there were those pesky Hungarian Hot Wax peppers that I had issues germinating both last year and this year. I decided to grow 3 each of the Baker Creek (from last year) & William Dam (new this year) seeds to see if there is any difference in the actual plants and/or peppers. The new batch I purchased from William Dam germinated with absolutely no issues, all 3 seeds that I needed germinating in 5 days vs. the Baker Creek batch which took from 9-20 days.
As of now, all of the William Dam seeds are well on their way (even though they were started 2 weeks later). Unfortunately, I only have one Baker Creek seedling as 2 of the pre-germinated seeds didn't come up. Once again I dug around in the soil. One had a tiny bit of a stem (but no evidence of leaves), the other had no growth at all - another mystery. It's much to late to start over at this point, so I will be using the extra Ostra-Cyklon peppers as replacements.
I'm growing Gigante & Comune 2, both of which are Italian flat-leaf parsley varieties. I only need 2 plants for my herb bed, plus one that I'm growing for my mom, so the plan was to thin each cell to one seedling.
|Parsley - 4 weeks|
I have a few roots on my sweet potato plant & several sprouts as well...yay!
This is what the sprout looked like when I purchased the potato:
|Baby Sprout - 5 weeks ago|
|Teenage Sprout Today|
You can see from the above photo that one of the sprouts is below the water line. In fact, when I turn the potato over, there are a couple more, right next to the roots:
|More Sprouts Growing Right Alongside Roots|
The alyssum & petunias are still small, but coming along.
|Alyssum (left) & Petunias (right) - 6 weeks|
The past couple of weeks have been busy on the sowing front. I have started eggplant, kohlrabi, basil, upland cress, lemon bee balm & marigolds. I'll do a post on these new sowings soon.
Now I gotta go - I have some peas soaking in the basement. Busy, busy, busy...I love this time of year.
Till next time...