Saturday, March 13, 2010

The peas are growing!

I had given up hope, but the peas have finally sprouted! They took the whole 21 days of the 7-21 listed on the packet, but at least they are growing!

The snap peas sprouted at a rate of about 70% and the snow peas only managed about 50%. I can't decide if I should pop a few more seeds in there of if it's getting too late in the season.

The first batch of sprout pics didn't turn out too well, so hopefully I'll get some new ones soon.

In another week or two I'll plant some carrot seeds and start some tomatoes indoors.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

RIP Sprouts

Well, apparently one or more of the chickens broke past my cloche's defenses at some point yesterday, because when I went to check on the sprouts this morning it was clear that there had been a sprout massacre!

Only two sad little radishes were left standing!!! So sad!

I have hopes that some of the salad greens may still rally, and there is still a chance that some of the spinach seeds that I put in last weekend will sprout.

After a mourning period, I recovered the cloche much more securely and went and started some new seeds.

I'd been saving up some old egg cartons so I filled the bottom portions with soil and started more radishes in one and more salad greens in the other.

They are hanging out in the sun on our kitchen table right now. I've been thinking of getting a little IKEA shelf for going across our kitchen window which would be an ideal spot for starting seeds - that will just have to wait until I have the energy for an IKEA trip.

In the meantime, I'm still waiting to see if the peas will sprout. Right after I planted them we had a bit of rain, and last night there was a light frost.

If I don't see any action by next weekend, I'll plant more seeds.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Peas Please!

Despite having a cold, I was able to get a bit of gardening done this weekend. President's Day is traditionally when I trim our rose bushes, and do a bit of other garden clean up. This year, in addition to those tasks we put in two small raised beds in our parking strip.

We have a long history of trying to get anything other than grass to grow in this area, with poor success, so I'm hoping that this time we've come up with a system that will work.

The beds are 2"x2"and there is enough room around them that they shouldn't cause trouble for anyone using the sidewalk or the street.

I'm hoping we won't have any problems with dogs using them as a restroom - we saw a cute sign in town on someone's parking strip raised beds which read; "Please don't let your dogs pee on our food." So maybe we'll put up something like that if it becomes a problem.

In one bed I planted snow peas, and in the other bed I planted sugar snap peas. Each bed has a little support we put together from bamboo - although I read mixed information about whether or not these kinds of peas require support.

I planted two seeds at the base of each support and three in the middle. I also used an innoculant on the seeds.

It rained a bit shortly after I was done planting, so hopefully that didn't make the seeds too soggy.

I'm really looking forward to seeing some sprouts peaking up from these beds!

Sprout Update

The Sprouts still seem to be doing well. The radishes are growing at a good rate - they are a couple inches tall now and looking strong. In just a couple more weeks I might even have a harvest!

The salad greens are still growing too - but much slower. It's a mix, so it's interesting to see the different kinds of greens coming up - different sizes and colors.
I remember reading about doubling rate in the gardening book, but now I think I'm getting a first hand lesson.

Basically even thought I got a head start planting the greens, they are growing so slowly due to the cold that greens started several weeks later would probably be ready for harvest at about the same time, because they will grow so much faster in the warmer weather.

At least they are alive - I'll count that as a victory, and eventually - I'll get a salad out of it!

Yesterday I dropped a few spinach seeds in the bed with the greens and radishes, so we'll see how those do.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The radishes have sprouted!

I am thrilled to report that the radishes have sprouted! I was beginning to lose hope, but every single germinated radish has now sprouted. I planted them 2-3 inches apart and I really don't want to thin them, so hopefully this is enough room.

Still no sign of the salad greens, but according to the package it can take up to 15 days for germination, so hopefully they will sprout soon.

This weekend I plan to get a couple more beds ready, and then valentines/president's day weekend will be super planting weekend!

I always take a three day weekend for president's day - that is when I always prune the rosebushes, but this year I'm taking a four day weekend and I plan to plant the pea seeds then.

I will start some spinach this weekend or next also.

I think there will be a trip to the local nursery sometime for a few more seed packets. The last couple of days have been sunny, and that's making me hopeful for an early spring - I guess it depends on which groundhog you're counting on for your forecast.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Seed germination test.

While thinking about what to grow this year, I remembered that several years ago I grabbed a number of seed packets out of a 'free' pile at a chicken keeping workshop.

I went and found the packets - quite a few of them - and saw that they were all stamped with "03". So that means I've got at least a dozen 7-year-old seed packets on my hands.

Rather than just throwing them all out, I thought I may as well do a quick test to see if they were still viable. I started with the radishes, thinking that if the seeds were in fact still good, I could try an early planting.

I assembled the necessary components; seeds, paper towels, plastic bag, and plant mister.

I sprinkled about a dozen seeds on the moistened paper towel, folded it up, placed it into the plastic bag, and waited.

Less than 48 hours later I took a peak and much to my surprise found that every single seed had sprouted!

A little bit of research has since told me that radishes are known for their high germination rates - but 100% germination of 7-year-old seeds is still really impressive!

Finding all the seeds so happy, I went and popped the sprouted seeds into the prepared raised bed next to the lettuce seeds that had been planted a few days before.

No signs of green yet - hopefully I'm not pushing my luck too much planting them this early!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The first seeds are in!

Yesterday I planted a pinch of the salad greens seeds under the cloche. Hopefully I'm not starting too early, but they claim to be able to germinate at temperatures as low as 40 degrees and my soil is already at 50 degrees.

I woke up this morning to find that the plastic cover of the cloche had blown off - but today is sunny and lovely so far, so I don't think any harm was done.

The seeds are supposed to germinate in just a couple of days, so I should know soon if the conditions were favorable enough for them.