Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The start of the seedling season is well on its way. We were away for a long weekend at a little bed and breakfast over Harvest Monday, but before we left, I planted up some more seedlings. I put in eight varieties of lettuce: Red Sails, Deer Tongue, Little Gem (from Dan), Freckles (from Emily), Paris Island (from Granny), Tom Thumb (from Stefaneener), Dazzle (from Jody), and Bath Cos (from Jody). As you can see they are already up and growing well. I put one seed into each tiny 3/4" block. I wasn't perfect. As you can see Bath Cos on the right isn't coming up well, but one of its seeds is coming up from the side and another from the bottom of the dish. I have trouble seeing those little seeds. I should bring my glasses down when I sow. In a week or two I'll pot these up into 2" blocks, but I'll only take the best two of each variety.

I also put in some Evergreen White Bunching onions and five kinds of leeks. Four of them are from Miss M. I sowed ten each of the varieties she sent and 20 of King Sieg that I bought from Fedco. They are not yet up as alliums usually take a week or so to germinate. I expect to see something happening over the weekend. Some of the leek seed is older, so may not germinate, but hopefully I've planted plenty of seed so it shouldn't matter.

When I got back, I had a nice surprise. My backorder seeds from Fedco arrived. I'm not sure if the onions will have time to grow, but I seeded them anyway. They are about a month behind schedule. I seeded them in the 1 1/2" blocks with four seeds to a block.

The other onions that I planted a while back are doing well. I seeded them at the same rate and today thinned them to two per block. There were five blocks that didn't have any seedlings in them. You would think at least one of the seeds would have come up, but no. In most of the other block most of the seeds came up. I often had to thin out two seedlings to leave the two strongest.

I didn't turn the flat for quite a while and this is what it looked like last Friday. You can see one side is much less vigorous than the other. That side was the side closest to the window. The window gets cold at night and the cold inhibits their growth. My laundry room where they are located gets to about 57F at night and about 62F during the day. I'm guessing those closest to the window see even lower temps at night.

I did one more sowing today. I'm not sure if I'm really up to it or not this year, but I started it. Early tomatoes. I've done them in the past, but find them way too much work. They tend to get diseased more and don't grow as well as the tomatoes grown in the correct season. But sent me Siberian Tomato seeds. These are really early tomatoes. They set early, but fade quickly. I would never put them in the main garden, but in a pot might just be the ticket. I seeded four seeds into the little tiny 3/4" blocks. I'll pot up the best two and if I can bear killing one, I'll only put one in a 5 gallon bucket to grow.


  1. I'd hazard a guess that the later sown onions will grow fine. Last season I started some early & some late and really couldn't tell the difference. Good luck with all your sowing, especially the early tomatoes.

  2. It'll be interesting to see how the older leek seed germinate. Good luck !

  3. I've got to try this wintersowing thing next year. The seedlings look fantastic! Spring is on the horizon.

  4. Ah! Lovely to see the northern hemisphere gardeners are starting to plant seeds! Our summer is over here, but fortunately we have warm enough weather to garden all year so my autumn seeds have just gone in.

  5. Now I'm wishing that I had a 1 1/2 inch blocker. The 2 inch blocker just takes up too much space!

    What kind of potting mix do you use for 3/4 inch mini block? The mix that I'm using works really well for my 2 inch blocker but not my mini blocker.

  6. What a great variety of lettuces you will end up with! Even better many of them have a great provenance of whom you received the seeds from. I see lots of "blogger friend salad" in your future!

    The onion seedlings look great.

  7. Looking good! I've never managed to get onion or chive seeds to gerninate. Goodness knows why.

  8. Dan, I hope they grow well. Without them I just don't have enough onions. With them I might not have enough onions. I use them in everything.

    Miss M, me too. Sometimes year old seed work sell. Dan got my year old onion seed to work. But sometimes it doesn't. I'm going to guess the seed that was wrapped in the foil inner packet has a much better chance than the one wrapped in tissue. But even if non of those two germinate, I'm sure the others will.

    Ribbit, spring was tempting me on Tuesday then Wed it snowed a bit again, just as a reminder.

    Funkbunny, it is that time. I can't wait to start planting in the ground again.

    Thomas, that was the first one I got. I do like the size a lot, but no little insert like for the 2" blocker, so it is that size forever. I just used Coleman's mix for it. I pick out the large bits. I find the little blocks harder to make than the big ones. They either want to fall out before I'm done, or stick and won't come out. Sometimes both with the same batch. The edges don't keep up as well either, but the rest of the block holds together well.

    kitsapFG, lol blogger friend salad. Yup and I've got tomatoes from Dan too so I can really make a nice one if the tomatoes and lettuce would ever get harvested together.

    Jan, they do take a while to germinate. They are very very slow.

  9. looking good on the seedlings! Gosh, I didn't know that early tomatoes had more problems than the rest. That's just one more thing that i've learned from you. Thanks!

  10. I like Stupice for an early tomato. It is extremely prolific, with tomatoes about 3-4 times the size of a cherry tomato but which taste like real tomatoes.

  11. This is so inspiring. There really is a lot to do.

  12. almost all my seeds I started indoors failed and died on me :(

    I have seedling envy of you right now lol.

  13. EG, typically early tomatoes are given a lot of protection outside way too early. The enclosures really promote disease. They provide a really moist windless environment which is just perfect for most tomato diseases. And the tomatoes are always a bit stressed by the lower than normal temps.

    Karen Anne, they sound like a good choice.

    Stefaneener, Oh yes. The season is just starting.

    LoveMeKnot Creations, I'm so sorry to hear that. I've almost killed off my seedlings so many times. Usually I forget to check their moisture level one day and bam, all those wilted plants.

  14. I've never tried growing early tomatoes, Daphne. I'll be interested to watch how you do it! (I suspect I'm probably too lazy for all of the coddling required.)

    Beautiful seedlings!

  15. Daphne, do you trim your leek seedlings to get sturdier growth, or do you just leave them alone? I ask because mine are in a sort of flyaway mode, long and spindly, and I'm unsure about how to progress with them. Any advice would be more than welcomed!

  16. The Idiot Gardner, I trim all my alliums at about 3-4 inches when they are young.