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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Seedling Madness

Yesterday was spent dealing with seedlings, lots and lots of seedlings.

The first round of lettuces went out to a hoop house where they will be transplanted in the next couple of days. The first round of onions and leeks went into a cold frame because they grow better in such conditions than under lights in a too warm and humid for them grow room.

I was good to see all those flats and pots of seedlings going outside because the second round of lettuces germinated and had to be put into 4 flats of 2" soil blocks (49 per flat). This round of lettuce includes two of my favorites-lollo rosa and cracoviensis, both heirlooms. Also did with 3 flats of kale-winterbor, Holona (aka Dinosaur kale) and Russian white. the winterbor we have been growing for years and the other two are new to us.

I still have to do up another 3 or flats of large soil blocks for the celery and celeriac that is just beginning to germinate. Hopefully, I will get to that today after harvesting the leeks for the farmers market this Saturday in Oxford. otherwise they will wait until Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.

I also did another round of onions yesterday as the Stella Natura indicated it was a good day to plant root seeds. We thought we had enough planted with the first go round but two pots of red onion seed failed to germinate (well one had a whopping 2% germination rate, the other zero) leaving us with 6 pots of onions. So I prepared 6 additional pots and planted more Ailsa Craig, Boulder belt Sweets and some older Copra seed which had fairly poor germination but needed to be used up or thrown out so I sowed them very heavily in hopes of getting 2 full pots of seedlings. I also did a pot of some red onion seed Eugene saved last year that has been doing well for us.

While I was doing that Eugene made soil mix, trimmed the blackberry canes, carried lettuces up to the hoop house, tried to dog proof the fence only to find while he was fixing one part, Nate was wiggling out of a new hole he had created further down the fence line so he could run across 127 to see the dogs on the other side of the road. Damn Dogs.

And it is still early in the season. I have not gotten into the thousands of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, etc., seedlings that will be started in the next couple of weeks. Or all the seedlings that need transplanting or all the perennials that need mulching or the fruit trees that need pruning. We have a lot on our plates but it will all get done as it does every year.

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