Monday, April 9, 2012
First Round of Seedlings IN!
I feel so accomplished, satisfied, simply happy... when the first round of seedlings go IN dirt. We had managed to get a short row of peas directly in the ground a few weeks ago...
I feel I'm a little late for some things that should have been far earlier, but they're in NOW, and life was just CHAOS when it was TIME to put them in... so...
Egg cartons fit perfectly into the black drip trays that I've been recycling year after year - however, you have to take two of the egg cuppy things off.. and I always just plunk them in the end. Egg carton divity-bits aren't good for ANY seedling that's got to stay inside for more than 10 days ish after sprouting. There's just nowhere for the root to GO. HOWEVER, they are VERY good for things that like cold weather, and can go out anytime now anyway.
I put mesclun mix, lettuce, and spinach in these. Oh, and Swiss Chard, too. This way they sprout up, and when I put them in the garden, I poke out the bottom of the cup, and then I KNOW what's a funky mesclun mix sprout and what is weeds... I've had issue with direct sowing of cold weather crops in open raised boxes... the rain washes them out of their pretty little rows. With this technique, I keep them in pretty rows and know what I've got.
I rolled tall but thin newspaper cups for the warmer weather seedlings that will have to be inside a little longer - tomatoes, green and red sweet peppers, eggplant.
The biggest challenge is making sure the seedlings stay moist BUT the paper or cardboard isnt' DAMP all the time. That'll cause mold, which kills all the foods! So, I've learned to NOT keep the little lids on all the drip trays, and water with a spoon directly on the dirt, instead of misting the shite out of the trays, which just soaks the paper/cardboard.
We've also got some herbs in pots on the go, and hoping we'll be able to keep them going in the kitchen-that-gets-no-sun. If not, they can do day trips to the picnic table, with all the other container plants that'll be on the go out there.
So, planted this weekend:
leaf lettuce, mesclun mix, spinach, green and red sweet pepper, tomato, Rosa Blanche Eggplant, Sweet potato squash, Swiss Chard, Pak Choi... plus the herbs: spearmint, greek oregano, dill, basil, thyme.
I have left to put in (and think these will be direct sewn for the most part) 4 different dried bean variety, more peas, baby carrots, broccoli, radish... I've been replotting the garden to fit everything!
The best is that all of these seeds are either my own left overs or saved from last year, OR came from the awesome seed swap I went to with my good friend Monika this spring!