My seedling update will eventually end as the seedlings all become plants. In its place will be my weekly harvest and the monetary tally. Since this week is the first week with a harvest and I still have lots of seedlings, I will do both.
The harvest was tiny and if you follow the this blog you've already seen it once. I harvested 1/2oz of chives and 1/3oz of spinach thinnings. It was exciting for me to get my first harvest, but it hardly evened out my tally. The spinach came in at a whopping $0.14 and the chives at $0.22. But hey, its 36 cents on the positive side of the tally. Us northerners will take anything we can get at this time of year.
On the negative side I spent $1.56 more on two pounds of seed potatoes this week to make a total spent of 210.55. Dang I'm getting a harvest and still spending more than I'm making. The total now stands at $210.19.
Now on to the seedlings. Since I harvested spinach from seedlings, I'm going to show you those first. This photo is for Annie's Granny and Annie's Kitchen Garden who had trouble thinning her spinach (but did finally do it). The bottom two rows were planted with chitted seed three inches apart. The rows are six inches apart (15 cm). The top row is where I put all my excess seed. It was seeded 3/4-1 inch apart (2 cm). I thinned out half of the top row already. That row's plants are tiny compared to the ones that have had more room to grow. They are about 2/3s the size of the other plants. Thinning really makes your plants grow faster. Be ruthless.
Weirdly our recent heat has really made the peas take off. I have gaps in the rows that never germinated. I reseeded the gaps on Friday.
The heat has really made the corn start to grow. It just sat there during our cold weather earlier last week, but now it is shooting up. I took the plastic off the four hills that were covered with it. The mid 80°F (30°C) was really hot enough. It didn't need to be baked. The three hills with the remay row cover I left on. It also covers my spinach and I want to protect that from any possible insects.
My brassica bed is really no longer seedlings. They are plants. They have grown so much. The row on the right side are Gonzales cabbage. The dark green plants in the front are tatsoi. The light green plants behind that are the Fun Jen. Above the middle Fun Jen you can just make out the purple mizuna. Over to the left is the komatsuna (also called mustard spinach) and the Holland greens. What you can't see is the broccoli. It is to the right of the cabbage. Two are doing well, one is getting eaten by the slugs. Sigh. I pulled a slug off this morning and squished it.
I do have real seedlings out in the garden too. My marigolds in soil blocks were eating up the warm spell. I had to pinch off the first bud. They really need to go into the bed already, but I haven't finished double digging it yet. Note to self: seed the marigolds two weeks later next year.
However the tithonia is has gotten burnt from the heat. Poor things. We have had two days of record breaking weather in the Northeast. We broke one record that has held for about a century. The seedlings would have been fine if they were in the ground, but the little soil blocks just heat up too much and the plants suck the water out of them too fast. I did water them twice yesterday, but even that wasn't enough. I've moved them to a place that gets afternoon shade, but really they are of a size to go into the ground. I need to make their bed today. I have SO much to do in the garden. I spent about four hours yesterday working and am still behind. At least today will be cooler.
Now on to the indoor seedlings. I've been starting the hardening off period for them. Friday they had an hour. Saturday three hours. And Sunday five hours. The place they were in was almost full sun. It is under the oak trees, but the leaves haven't come out yet. The branches provided a bit of protection from the scorching sun however so they all did fine.
They have taken off now that they are in the real sun. I can't believe how quickly the peppers and tomatoes have grown in just two days. I normally plant them sometime between May 1st and May 15th. Usually the later date since May can turn very cold and rainy. About May 1st I look at the long range weather forecast and see if it is going to be nice weather. Nice weather means not rainy all the time. I can make it hot with a plastic tunnel, but only if there is sun. Sadly it is too early to tell what May will be like and the peppers really need to be planted now. It looks like the tomatoes will need to be planted in about a week. Note to self: peppers only needs six weeks, tomatoes only four weeks from seed. Don't believe that silliness of 8-10 weeks for peppers and 6-8 weeks for tomatoes.
I have so many other plants growing in small amounts. My Italian basil is doing well (four plants on the right). The lemon basil is smaller but still looking nice (center bottom). The tomatillos doing great (bottom left). It took them three weeks to germinate, but once up they seem happy. The following are not shown. The eggplant is all up and just has seed leaves. The monarda is finally getting a bit bigger. The next succession of lettuce and tatsoi is coming along great. One block of lettuce (not sure which one yet since the blocks got mixed up) didn't germinate so I seeded some more red sails in it and it is up.
All in all the garden is getting to be an exciting place. In a few weeks there will be almost nothing left of my seedlings. Just my eggplant and maybe some germinating cucurbits.