Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Separating the Seedlings

Memorial day has come and gone and that can only mean one thing: it's time to plant the garden. Unfortunately, our garden isn't quite ready for planting. After a week of straight rain, plus a long weekend visiting family, there hasn't been enough time quite yet to get the sod up and the dirt tilled. It is getting there though. The space in the back yard is marked off and almost half of that space is now sodless.

(Ignore the loose piece of fence there. The backyard is a work in progress.)

So far, I can say that the whole gardening from seed idea seems to be a success. I have separated most of the seedlings. I say "most" because I ran out of little pots to put them in before I even finished with the tomatoes and I started with the tomatoes. The finally tally for tomato seedlings is as follows: 4 Bloody Butcher tomatoes, 7 Abe Lincoln tomatoes, 8 Purple Cherokee tomatoes, and 7 Big Red tomatoes. That makes for 26 tomato plants if all of them survive until the garden is ready to be planted. This, of course, does not include the additional 8 purple tomatillo seedlings.

Upon seeing what we were in for, I sent my husband out to a home improvement store to try to find more little pots, which he did not find. In lieu of those, he brought home a package of blue Solo cups. He then drilled holes into the bottom of each cup and filled them with dirt for me. With these, I managed to get the eggplant seedlings, 16 total, (a mix of Shooting Stars and Black Beauty and I can't tell how many of each because I can't tell the seedlings apart) separated, as well as the 10 Romanesco broccoli seedlings and most of the 9 kohlrabi seedlings (though I may have the two mixed up, as they look very similar as seedlings). By the 19 mixed bell pepper seedlings, I was using little starter pots from last year and doubling each plant. Finally, I just ran out and left them in their original starter containers.

(The one on the right is a lone tomato seedling.)

Those plants in the smaller containers are clearly not fairing as well as the plants in the cups or the updated pots. Since returning from Michigan after Memorial day, though, all the plants grew significantly in size.

The swiss chard and blue kale seedlings, being cold weather tolerant, I planted in the front bed with the herbs from last year, spinach, raddichio, and cold weather lettuce. There are about 5 swiss chard seedlings and roughly 7 kale seedlings at present. They aren't getting quite as tall as the seedlings still under nightly porch protection but they seem to still be alive thus far. And that's something. The raddichio, however, looks like it might not sprout for the most part, due to mole interference.

Neither the lavender nor the rosemary sprouted at all. We have since purchased four nice-sized pots for the various herbs, so, unlike last year, I can bring them in when the weather turns cold. The  sage and half of the thyme seedlings went in one pot, while the rest of the thyme went in a pot with the rest of the rosemary seeds I'm really hoping at least one takes off this time. If not, I guess I'll have to go buy a starter plant from the local greenhouse. In the other two pots, I put seeds for the parsley and basil in one and seeds for oregano and lemon balm in another. Some green is starting to come up from the seeds in the herb pots but I can't tell what yet. I do know that there is no luck with the rosemary seeds yet. I gather it is not an easy herb to grow in a pot, let alone grow from seed. Time shall tell.

The lavender, as well as the other seeds, including beets, carrots, parsnips, daikon radish, zucchini, butternut squash, chamomile, red lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, okra, two varieties of burpless cucumbers, and Early White Bush Scallop squash, will have to wait for the weekend. Hopefully the back garden is ready by then and I'll finally have time to plant the lavender and chamomile in the front somewhere.

And if all those tomato plants live, I might be looking for new homes for some of them. Twenty six tomato plants seems like a few too many for one small family garden. Also this columbine is totally out of control:

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