Monday, March 28, 2011

Greenhouse update

The greenhouse is filling nicely since the weekend's flurry of activity. I have moved most of the soil blocks from trays that are open on the bottom to something that'll retain some water for the blocks to absorb. They are looking better, more moist now. Before this they were drying out, of course, yet the broccoli was trying to get a root-hold.

I noticed the 1st couple Heinze 2653 tomatoes have sprung from their potting blocks. These blocks are on the heat pad and under a dome. The heat pad boosts germination times without fail. They are fabulous. Buy one of the $25 types that doesn't have a thermostat. These seem to work just fine. I've yet to see something that doesn't spring quickly with this unregulated heat.

Along the lines of the heat pad, I noticed a couple Talon Onions are out of their blocks. These are on the other heat mat.

The tomatoes from the weekend are all doing well now. I didn't give enough water to one of the flats and they slumped over like a batch of Borfins. They popped back up in a couple hours after a good drenching.

The Broccoli and related bassicas are still alive, a notable thing. Last year was horrid and I wait for the day that I go out there to find them limp and dying.

Label, label, label

Note to self (as nobody has this link), always write down or label the rows as they go in. I discovered tonight that I lost the post / note regarding the front pea rows. There is a row of Alderman and a row of Super Sugar Snaps, each 10', but which is which I don't know. I have another packet of Super Sugar Snaps sprouted in a pint jar. They were supposed to be added to the other row out there, the thought being that they'd be a couple weeks behind and give us a longer harvest time over the same row. I feel like the rows are a little sparse. I don't want to mix pea variety, thought.

I have two jars of peas to go in still, the Super Sugar Snaps, and a bushy type Snow Pea. I think the Snow Peas will go into one of the new front beds, with the hope that they'll make it out of the ground in time for the tomatoes to go in. They are labeled as 70 days, making the end date something in the early part of June. That should work for tomatoes.

Big planting day

To follow up a vigorous weekend, I took the couple hours between work and darkness to put in bunch of stuff. Each is about a 3' row, planted across the north-south rows. I also took a few minutes to label pots and trays in the greenhouse. There are too many items in there to remember what's what, because you just never will or can.

I also put in the last of the onions this morning:

1 sampler packet of Red Bull Onion into a 10" pot. These will grow out nice and lanky for transplanting in a month or so.

What went in tonight.

In front of the greenhouse between the remaining green onion and the Leeks. 

  • Cherry Belle Radishes
  • 2x Swiss Chard
  • 1x Collards
In the east-center row, between the existing Collards and the grape:
  • 4x Mokum Hybrid Carrot
  • 2x Napa Hybrid Carrot
  • 2x White Russian Kale
  • 3x Toscana (maybe 2)
  • 1x Collard

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eggplant in.

Millionare Eggplant go in - 16x - in soil blocks, inside on the dining room table. They are next to the flat of peppers.

The peppers look good, but are not as vigorous as I may have expected. There is some thinning/moving to do.

Missing stock, and schedule?

I felt like were lacking some seeds, but it turns out that I'm wrong, mostly. I checked the inventory and there were only a couple things missing. One was my current favorite carrot, YaYa. The other was a couple types of Kabocha (a winter squash) that I want to try for this year. I have carrots on hand, and in the ground. The squash doesn't get started for a few more weeks. I suppose the inventory is good.

I also feel like I'm behind schedule. I think this is more true than the stock issue. I have a good number of things in the ground, but they feel later than last year. The peas are an exception, they are exactly the same as last year. The tomatoes are the other. They are weeks ahead of last year, the middle/end of March last year. The broccoli and cousins are nubbins now, onions in, and the lettuce is poking out as well. If I can keep the broccoli from dying this year I'll be happy. It is a week away from what seems my critical stage - putting on true leaves. Last year it got to that point and then stalled and died. I put my finger on the swings of heat that it felt. I think they were too wide throughout the day. I will move some samples out of the greenhouse this year to compare.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Brassicas emerge

The very first soil blocks are sporting their tenants. This is a fledgling broccoli, I think.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tomatoes, 1 month on

We've thinned and move tomatoes to fill in the blanks. The true leaves are developing well. I am behind in potting these on, but that means 150 4" pots. It needs to be done, so the remainder of the table will be consumed soon. We started another 32 saucers in blocks the other day. We noticed that the seeds are germinating, as I am following Eliot Coleman's advice and not covering the seeds. It'll be very interesting to see it work, and how well.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Last tomatoes in

Beautiful blocks this time around, a much better mixture. These are the last of tomatoes for the year - Heinz 2753, an organic, determinate saucer. We've had good luck with these in past years. The only downer is that they lag behind their cousins (in the background) by a few weeks. Hopefully the potting blocks will make up for it a bit, as there will be less shock and greater area for root growth.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Snap Pea, second planting

This will be the third planting of peas this year (Sugar Snap, Alderman, and a bush type snow already are in. The snow isn't up yet, but the other two are.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rainy day planting

The day brought torrents of rain, but the evening just a drizzle. The temperature was warm, 50s, and the ground soft. All in all, a very nice day to spend some time out back.

Started Talon Onions in 10" pot in greenhouse. They'll grow long and lanky by the time they are planted out in June for a fall harvest. These are storage onions. They've been good before, holding most of the way through the winter.

East bed, starting at the South edge:
  • 2x Bull's Blood Beet
  • 2x Red Ace Beet
  • 2x Peacemaker III Beet
  • 3x Regatta Hybrid Spinach
  • 2x Wild Garden Mustard
  • 2x Pac Choi
Moved the Kale and Collards from where the Peas will go. They are now adjacent to the other over-wintered Collards and Kale. These were the last Kale and Collards to go in, sometime in September. They grew only to 4-5", but withstood the winter perfectly.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trying out the soil blocker

Soil blocker - first blocks.

Brassica in the 2" blocks

Left to right in the first batch of 2" soil blocks. 8 Snow crown cauliflower 11 Derby day cabbage 12 Packman broccoli 12 Franklin Brussels sprouts

Lettuce in the 3/4" soil blocks

F - Flashy butter oak
V -Valmaine
I - Italienscher
M - Masrshall
S Mascara

Tuesday, March 15, 2011