Wednesday, March 20, 2013


The grow light is on its timer and clicking away. I've started tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, and kale and they're growing at a speedy clip.  The kale will go out in a week or two (once it gets 6 true leaves) and the tomatoes will be repotted any day now. That's a big task and I'm sure I'll need to purchase more seed starting mix, so they will probably be stuck in their 6-packs for a bit longer.

I think next year I'm going to throw caution to the wind and only plant one seed per cell for my tomatoes. Both last year and this year they have ALL come up, and I have this serious internal struggle with just clipping off a perfectly healthy tomato seedling. I know I'll have to snip several of them because I've got 2+ seedlings per cell and I planted probably more cells than I really want tomatoes in the garden.

After the great seed exchange with the ORG I came home with a bunch of basil seeds. I planted some in Earthpots I got for freesies after the NW Flower and Garden Show.  ORG's Amethyst basil and Cinnamon basil have come up, and so has the Aroma basil from Territorial. I'm trying to start some lemon balm again this year, and again, nothing has sprouted. Maybe my seeds are just duds?

Earthpots are kinda cool (especially the free part). They came stocked with seed starting mix, so that's a big help. So far I noticed that they do dry out pretty fast, due to the wicking nature of the cellulose wrap. They're basically like the toilet paper rolls I used last year, but thinner. Pretty handy since they were just laying around, but I think in the once I use them all I'll stick with the 6-packs and yogurt containers and filling them with seed mix.  I got a flat of 3-inch guys that I think I'll try to start my giant pumpkins in when I get back from a wedding this weekend. 

The peas I planted on George Washington's birthday have all come up. It was agonizing waiting for them. They always say 6-14 days for germination, and intrinsically I know that the soil is cold and it's going to take the max number of days to germinate, but... It's so hard to wait. That first batch of peas took 16, 19, and 20 days to show themselves, depending on the type of pea.  I planted other sections on March 10 and on March 18, but it's been in the 50s recently, so hopefully I won't have to wait 2 more weeks for them to sprout!

My kale from last year was budding out, so last night I cut down one of the "palm trees" they've become and chopped off all the leaves I could. We used some in last night's dinner, and still have a big bundle in the crisper drawer.  I left out the other two plants, to be cut down in the coming weeks. I'm worried it's going to bolt soon, so I might have to share instead of hording it all for myself.

I planted some lettuce seeds outside on March 10 and they're the tiniest little sprouts now. If I wasn't specifically looking for them, you wouldn't know they were there (or you'd think they're just another of the weeds that's trying to take over).

After a speed weeding frenzy two weeks ago I discovered that the strawberry runners I harvested from elsewhere last year are actually growing! I imported lots of runners, but very few of them took root. I think some of them weren't quite big enough when planted. But about three or four planted in the "rose bed" are doing wonderful, and one or two in the blueberry pots look like they'll make it. Yay for free strawberry plants!  The plan for this year: Import as many as possible! Fresh berries and jam all summer long!

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