Monday, April 4, 2011

More Soil Blocks

No photos today. It seems to be Monday's theme since I had no photos for Harvest Monday either. But how many photos of soil blocks do you want to see? Once they have seedlings, yes, but as they get planted not so much.

Today I planted my peppers in microblocks. I put one seed in each. I was distressed to find that Carmen only had 10 seeds. I wanted to plant 20 seeds and move the best 10 up to the 2" block in a week or two. Chocolate only had 17 seeds. I really hate that for small numbers of seeds. I wish the catalog would tell you how many. The catalog says 160 seeds per gram. And the Carmen pack was 0.1g. So there should be about 16 given that, but nope. The Chocolate is 0.2g so should have 32 right? Nope. I just hate that.

Anyway after sowing I covered with vermiculite and put the blocks on the heat pad. This is the first time that has come out. I only use it for the hot weather plants. The others germinate just as well without it. The following pepper seeds were planted:

  • Anahiem x10
  • Big Chili x5 (the last that Dan gave me last year)
  • Carmen x10
  • Cayenne x5
  • Chocolate x17
  • Early Jalapeno x10
  • Feherozon x10
  • Krimson Spice x10
  • Serrano x10
  • Tabasco x10 (from Barbie)
  • Scotch Bonnet x 5 (from Letti)

Then I made my 1 1/2' soil blocks for the rest. The basil was put on the heat mat too, but nothing else.

  • Bodegold Chamomile x 16
  • Sage x 2
  • Oregano x 2
  • Goldstrum x 2
  • Ground Control Marigold x8
  • Dianthus Rainbow Loveliness Mix x 12
  • State Fair Zinnia x 6
  • Genova Basil x6
  • Cosmos x 12 (from Silence)
  • Borage x6
  • Nasturtium x6

Again I had seed count issues. I only had six seeds in the zinnia pack. Who just plants 5 zinnias (assuming one won't germinate)? I'm going to have to buy more if I want zinnias on the rock wall garden this year. Then on the other side of the coin, the basil pack had four grams in it. Yes four grams for $1. Well damn that is a lot of basil seed. And the chamomile pack has an amazing amount. The seeds are so tiny that one gram of seed is huge. No one could use that much chamomile seed in a year. Well maybe if you seed outside as you can't tell where you put it or if the wind has blown it away.

My form that tells me when to plant things was also telling me to plant tomatillos again this year. I'm thinking not so much. I loved them last year, but I still have more than 3/4 of my tomatillo salsa left. I don't need to make more this year. I don't use it for much else. Too bad though, I wanted to see if the mutation of my tomatillo would run true. I guess I'll see another year.

I don't have many seed left to plant indoors. I've got eggplant and tomatoes in a week. I ought to have my brassicas planted outside by then so there is more room under the lights. I've got my cucumbers two weeks after that. My melon a week after that. Then my summer lettuces in mid May. I don't have any of the fall veggies on the schedule. I just do them without a schedule usually, but maybe this year since the garden is so large I ought to plan it so I don't forget something.

And as a side note. I'm really messing up the timing of the posts that I've already written for this week. My Tuesday post is about what I did over the weekend and lies about when I plant my onions. My Wednesday post corrects the lie and talks about what I did on Monday morning. This post is also about what I did today - Monday afternoon. I thought about at least keeping the timeline straight and posting this on Thursday. Ack it has been too busy with gardening chores recently. And only more to come.


  1. Paprika type peppers are terrific fresh. I buy a paprika plant every year at the local greenhouse. Last year the label on the seedling showed a typical thin paprika but the plant produced the round paprikas similar in looks to the Feherozon you're growing. They were good but it did not produce much for me. I like that the older paprikas produced some peppers with no heat and some with heat. A little uncertainty makes the pepper more interesting.

  2. I envy you all those peppers! I love peppers but they don't grow well here so I'm limiting myself to a bell and an Anaheim since those are the ones I cook with the most (except the dried red peppers from Mexico...can't do without those; fortunately we have a large Latino population here so there are markets where I can buy them).

  3. Daphne, Daphne! It doesn't matter to us when you planted the onions. What really matters is that you've accomplished all these sown seeds and that you blogged about it and discussed your efforts.

    They give you lots of the seeds that easily reseed. The pretty things are dear and you just get a sprinkle. But Zinnias? One blossom has dozens of seeds. Go figure.

  4. I planted carmen peppers too and was disappointed about how few seeds there were. And stevia, only 9 seeds in the packet and only 3 germinated! Not happy.

  5. NellJean is right, I've got zinnias growing now from seeds collected last year. More seeds collected than I can possibly use... and we won't even talk about the bucket of marigold seeds collected last summer.

  6. Maybe the tomatillos will surprise you and come back by themselves. We planted them two years ago and they have returned by themselves each year since.

  7. Sounds like a lot to start- which reminds me, I need to figure out what to start next. I have so many lettuce right now, so no more of those for a bit. Zinnias sound good, but not for a few weeks- and I'll definitely sow more than 5 ;)

  8. This is a nice post and i like that the older paprika's produced some peppers with no heat and some with heat. A little uncertainty makes the pepper more interesting..
    Thank you for sharing ..

  9. Great post I cant wait to start to collecting seeds.

  10. gardenvariety-hoosier, I'm hoping I like one of the paprika peppers that I'm growing. Paprika peppers are hard to grow here. They take too long to produce. So I'm hoping. But what I really want is an OP one that I can collect seed from year to year.

    Deb, chili peppers seem to do decently here, but sweet peppers or big peppers don't grow well at all. We just don't have the heat or the length of season for it. Last year we did, but usually not.

    NellJean, One year I ordered marigolds and got very few seed (more than 6 though). I couldn't believe it. So I just collect it every year and have so much to give away. I don't understand why they are so stingy with zinnias.

    Kathi, I really wonder why they make packets that way. I guess there are a few gardeners that just one one or two plants, but 10 is ridiculous for peppers. I really expect at least 30 in a packet. I guess it is one of the ways that Johnny's makes money. But when they sell it they put in 30 seeds which makes it a lot cheaper than Fedco (must be the only one too).

    Brian, I'm sure I'll collect seed when I grow it. I'll just pick up a few packs at the hardware store. I don't think the variety of zinnia is so important to me.

    Jody, Oh I hope they don't. They are where my zinnias are going to grow this year. It is no longer a vegetable bed now that my real beds are ready.

    Tessa, it is a lot to start, but I have a full 4x16' bed that will be peppers this year. I want to dry some and freeze some.

    Tennessee nurseries, I'll probably try some more paprikas next year. I'll have to go searching for seed.

    cathy, thanks