Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Seedling Update

There are so many thing growing right now. I'll start with the outside first. Yesterday I planted three parsley plants, two borage and four lettuce. I love the photo below that shows the each succession. They were planted on: 3/27, 4/7, 4/19. Hmm I really need to plant them farther apart in time. They are supposed to be every two week, but they are closer than that. Note to self: Next year I need to plant three times as many plants in my earliest plantings. If I had I'd be in salad greens already.

Plants that were direct seeded a while ago were spinach and peas. The peas have finally started coming up. Their germination is spotty. I'll probably go out and fill in soon. The chitted spinach seed almost all came up. I'm doing this again next year. In the photo below the top plants were grown without a row cover and the bottom ones had a remay cover. The covered ones are so much bigger. Note to self: always use a row cover in the spring. It's worth the effort.

I might have carrots coming up in the garden too, but I just can't tell. I let my dill self sow and it is coming up all over the garden, but the worse section is near the carrots. The majority of the dill grew right here last year. The seed leaves of dill look just like carrots. Sadly carrots and dill hate one another. I really need to get that dill out as fast as possible. I've weeded out the stuff that isn't following the rows, but I'll have to wait until the plants get bigger to tell which ones to pull. As speaking of the self sowed seed, both the cilantro and parsley are coming up. I can't tell these apart as seedlings either. I need the first true leaves, but I do know where they grew last year so I have a good idea which is which.

The Fun Jen (above) has been found out by the slugs. It might be in the middle of the bed, but the slugs will always find it first. They love this stuff.

The outside seedlings are my marigolds and tithonia. Mostly they have done well. One tithonia has some brown edges. Did I let it dry out too much? Sometimes after a day in the sun they are very dry. I should check them more often. One tithonia was tossed. It never grew well and was barely green. Is there such a thing as an albino tithonia? It looked like it barely made chlorophyll.

The princesses of the indoor seedlings are the tomatoes. They are getting bigger and will probably be potted up at the end of this week or the beginning of the next. The Sungold F2s are the most vigorous. All the others are doing well except for Gregori's Altai. Neither of the two seedings germinated. Well one seed did, but it didn't make roots, just a stem. I chitted the rest of the seed to see if I could get any to grow. No luck yet. The seed just isn't viable.

And if the tomatoes are princesses, the peppers are definitely the princes. Most of them look gorgeous, but one pack of six was at the end of the fluorescent lights where it is too dim for them. Their new leaves were coming in a bit yellow. I've shoved the lettuce down to the end and moved the peppers closer to the middle. The lettuce can take the dimmer light.

The basil is still doing well too. It is still small with just one true leaf - well two, but just one set. The tomatillos finally came up after weeks of waiting. Not only that but they were all up within a couple of days. The eggplants that were seeded four days ago are not up yet. This is expected. Last year it took a week for them to germinate. I start them so late because I like small transplants and I also wait a while before putting them out. Waiting until after my last frost date really isn't sufficient for eggplants. Last year they got planted on June 1st.


  1. Your plants look so healthy and stocky! I plant my lettuce that close and then thin them out and have a salad- I just take out the middle ones and the plants left end up being spaced just right, having more room to grow! Cuts down on weeks and creates more salads- baby lettuce and spinach salads! Yum! Everything is popping in your garden! Happy planting to you, Daphne :)

  2. I didn't plant nearly enough early lettuce, either. By growing them inside and setting them out, I spaced them just right so I didn't allow for thinning for early salads. Of course, I then direct seeded way too much, so I'll go from famine to feast. Over all, I'd say you and I are real near each other in our growing season. I might be about a week ahead. We're getting temps in the 80s now, but it will cool down next week for 2-3 days then warm back up to the mid to high 70s. I'm still looking at May 1 for my tomatoes, which is two weeks earlier than last year.

  3. Thithonia,Fun Jen. You're making me work. (And that's's good for the brain)

    I'd never heard of these two and I looked them up. They both make pretty plants.

  4. Hi Daphne, I have so much to learn. Your seedlings look fantastic. I really liked seeing the lettuce is the different sizes too. I started my tomatoes too early, they got too big, had to go in the coldframe, got frosted and are now all dead. I had to buy plants. Next year it will be different. Do you keep these notes to yourself about changes in your methods, so you can find them before making the same mistakes over and over? Like me?

  5. Your plants just keep getting better & better. A few questions. What is the lowest temp parsley & marigolds can take? I am growing both for the first time and am not sure when to put them outside.

  6. Tessa, I so need to do that next year. I want lettuce. The good stuff, not the supermarket stuff.

    Annie's Granny, wow 80s. We barely got into the 70s once. But we may get there this coming weekend. If not at least we ought to get a few really warm days in a row. If I look at my long range forecast I ought to put in my tomatoes this Thursday, but they are so tiny and I haven't finished double digging that bed yet. I'm thinking I'll wait until my usually which is the middle of May.

    Cheryl, lol yes I am. Tithonia is new for me too. But it sounded so interesting and supposedly the butterflies love it so I'm trying it out.

    Frances, everyone starts their tomatoes too early. I see so many people that have huge plants. :> If you have room for them it is fine since you can just keep potting them up (they love that). I don't have room for huge plants either, so I start them six weeks before I want to plant them out. They get plenty big in that time.

    Dan, yeah I cheated and didn't show you the yellowing peppers, just the good ones. Parsley is a VERY hardy plant. It over winters reliably in my zone 6 garden. So it can take freezes, but it really needs to be hardened off well. I probably wouldn't put it out to see freezes (some biennials bolt prematurely when they see really low temps), but wouldn't care if a few frosts hit it. I'm not sure about marigolds. I usually don't put them in until after my last frost and don't remember if they can handle it or not.

  7. Frances, I'm hoping I can find those notes to myself again. If I can remember then maybe history won't repeat itself again.