FIRST PLANTS IN, MORE SEEDS TO COME

It was a great weekend in the garden: two marathon days that left the garden in pretty good shape and my body in pretty bad shape. There is something so satisfying about the pain one feels after long days in the garden.

I put some row cover over the peas and lettuce seed, if only to protect them a bit from the torrential rains predicted for this week.

A highlight of my work in the garden this weekend was planting my first veggies in the garden. Kale, lettuce, peas and onion seedlings (purchased) all went in this weekend. Some of the kale and the peas were among the seedlings I started inside.

By and large, the seeds have been doing well. Everything germinated and grew very well. As seedlings got their first sets of true leaves, I pulled out or snipped off all but the strongest seedling in each plug of basil and kale. I let the bunching onions get bunchy and I had already thinly sowed the nasturtiums.


On Friday I potted up the basil into 3-inch pots. They have a long way to go before I'll plant them outside. In a normal year I wouldn't plant basil outside until the last week in May at the very earliest. With the way the weather is going this year, it could be a couple weeks into June before it is warm enough for them. Most of the pots are back inside and will be moved to the mini greenhouse (essentially a cold frame) when it gets a little warmer. A few pots didn't fit in the tray, so they are outside in pots protected by row cover fending for themselves as a bit of an experiment.

I've been hardening off the kale for the last week or more and planted out the plugs directly into the garden on Sunday. I also planted some kale seeds as well. I will plant more kale in coming weeks as well.


The bunching onions aren't doing much. They seem to be stalled in their growth. I may harden them off and move them out hoping to spark some growth.


The nasturtiums are growing really well. In fact, when I picked up the tray the other day, I noticed roots were jumping out the bottom, so I also potted them up in 4-inch pots, two plants per pot, on Friday. I pinched them back at the same time, hoping to encourage nice bushy growth.

The roots of the peas were already coming out the bottom of the biodegradable pots.

Peas planted in their pots in the garden.

I read that while peas like cool weather to grow, they germinate best at 70 degrees, so I sowed some snap peas in a cardboard seed tray. They germinated quickly and I immediately started hardening them off. Sunday, I planted out the trays intact into a corner of the garden where they will quickly disintegrate (the roots were already coming through the bottom). I hope to have a better pea harvest than most years, as I'm using first planting seeds outside at this point.

The biggest challenge so far has been keeping the cat away from the seedlings.

With some room in the seed trays and under the grow light, I was able to sow a few more seeds.

I planted an entire tray of kale. Yep, more kale. I intend to plant most of these in the ornamental gardens where they will be beautiful foliage (that we'll nibble on when we're too lazy to walk to the veggie garden). Once those germinate (i.e. move off the heat mat), I think I'll start some zinnias and some more nasturtiums, or perhaps some parsley. I'm so impressed with how the basil is doing (it's already at the size I have purchased plants at in the past) that I'm inspired to give parsley (which I never have enough of) a try.

Some ciopollini onion seedlings also went in and plenty close as they stay small. Also, you're getting a sneak peek at another project I'm working on in the background.

How is your seed growing going? Did you get to plant anything in the garden this weekend?

9 comments :

  1. You so much further ahead than I am! I need to get one of those cool covers to protect my babies.

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    1. Row cover + PVC tubing jammed in the dirt! Oh and a few metal staple things to try to keep the row cover from flying off.

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  2. Wow, you've really got your act together! I'm lazy and just wait to sow most of those things outside, despite my own impatience. But you'll have all your lovely vegetables and flowers a month ahead of me, at least, even though we both garden in 5b. I'm impressed with all your work. Thanks for sharing the photos.

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    1. Honestly, this is the first time I've ever grown stuff ahead of time from seed, but I'm so worried about it being a cold summer that I feel like I have to do as much as I can to give the garden a head start. I was debating pre-starting some other things like beets and cukes from seed, but I think I'll probably just direct sow them. The back room is getting a bit crowded with plants everywhere!

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  3. A week of rain began Sunday so we are doing indoor projects and trying not to let the weather get us down.

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  4. I'm kind of new at this gardening thing. Why are nasturtiums in with the herbs? I thought they were flowers. Are they edible flowers? If so, how do you eat them? Thanks. I'm jealous of all you have done already!

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    1. You can think of nasturtiums as herbs or as edible flowers, but either way they are great plants that are lovely to munch on. Both the flowers and leaves are edible, and both have a slightly spicy taste that is fantastic for perking up salads. They are maybe the easiest plant in the world to grow from seed (just soak them for up to 24 hours first) and they aren't too particular about the amount of sun they are in. They are right up there with my favorite flower!

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  5. I planted a bunch of seedlings this weekend, too. But they were mostly flowers and a lone tomato. My basil is still enjoying the comfort of a grow light. Did you use cowpots? I have some but always worried that they'd decompose before I was ready to plant them so I haven't used them yet. Your seedlings look awesome, especially that fat, happy basil. :o)

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