Sowing Has Begun!
Here in Southern Ontario, the majority of veg seeds don’t get started until mid-March/April. When it comes to peppers, however, I typically sow them in mid-February, as they can be slow to bulk up. In addition, pepper seeds can take a long time to germinate so I try to give myself a bit of a buffer, just in case there’s a problem and I have to resow.
A pepper harvest from 2018
In my last post, I forgot to mention that we were away for a couple of weeks at the end of February - we had a lovely, relaxing holiday at Disney (this is becoming a habit, I think - we love it there!). One of the best things about going away is the awesome food - and the fact that I don't have to cook it!
One of our favourite restaurants at Disney is Teppan Edo.
This is Tomo and he was not only awesome at the grill but quite the comedian too.
Love this green roof in the Norway pavilion at Epcot 💗💗
I soak my pepper seeds for 24 hours before pre-germinating,
which speeds up germination
Now on to the varieties that I'm growing this year. Normally, I grow a mixture of both sweet and hot peppers but this time, I’ll be sticking with only the sweet ones. We won’t be without a little spice, however, as I still have plenty of hot peppers from last year, both frozen and dried. My daughter prefers things on the milder side (but we are working on it!) which means that I use hot peppers sparingly (unless I’m cooking for myself 😁)
Lu Mei is quite mild for a hot pepper and an awesome producer,
but it won't be on the grow list this year as I still have plenty in the freezer.
Not only will I be cutting out hot peppers but I've also eliminated a few of the sweet varieties from the grow list. Sparse producers or those that I’ve had issues with in the past (such as the Odessa Market slug fest a couple of years ago) were dropped in favour of those that are more reliable. Unfortunately, one of my favourite sweet peppers, Carmen, will not be on the list this year as I’ve run out of seeds.
So these are the varieties I'll be growing this year:
Subsequent to taking the above pic, I added one more variety to the list: Chervena Chushka. In my mind, I had thought that this variety was a sparse producer, but when I looked back at last years numbers, I realized that it actually had the highest yield of all the sweet varieties.
All told, I'll be growing a total of 6 pepper varieties - quite the contrast from the 16 varieties I grew last season!
One veg that is conspicuously absent from my February/March grow list this year is onions. Normally, I would have a couple of trays of them under the lights by now. But not this year – and it’s pretty darn awesome! Now, don’t get me wrong – I love to get sowing in the spring, but nursing a couple of hundred onion seedlings for 3 months before they go into the ground is a bit of a pain. This year, the onions will not be sown until April. If you’re thinking that this is much too late to grow onions from seed, take a peek at the results of my onion experiment from last year (An Onion Experiment - The Reveal) and prepare to be amazed 😄
One of these was sown in April, the other in February....
which is which? You'll have to read the Onion Experiment post to find out 😉
While I'm waiting for the weather to warm up outside, there is sowing to do inside. This week I'll be starting a few more vegetables as well as a slew of ornamentals...but more on that in my next post.