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May 2013
Planting Seeds

or Hope in Spring is Eternal

Optimism is the gift to the gardener. Since May 4, I have planted 19 flats of vegetables, herbs and a few perennials and annuals, and direct seeded some seeds in containers. It takes a lot of tomatoes to make fresh juice. They are for my veggie garden, defunct now for two years and covered in weeds.

Besides salivating for organically grown clean fresh nutritious delicious food so local it’s just a step away, I am curious about old seed from 2010 onward. I want to see if they’ll germinate, how long it takes and a rough percentage given the paltry conditions I offer them.

With no greenhouse, I’ve been piling the flats in a dark room, checking them every day. As seeds begin to germinate, I take the flats outside for the day, then indoors at dusk. It gets tougher to find floor space for them indoors as days go by and more germinate so, luckily, night temperatures look good and, as of May 21, they have permanently moved outdoors. The seedlings have been “hardening off” as soon as they sprout. No facility to coddle.

Spoke too soon. Last night, May 24, it was 44 degrees so I took them all in and will do so for the next few nights. They are saturated from the rain, more are sprouting, some must be stacked and I worry about damping off. I can’t stack them unless the bottom ones are either unsprouted or so short that a flat on top won’t crush them. The Spanish flag are not doing great.

Nothing would be better than to have a small greenhouse.

rg=Renee’s Garden
ss=Select Seeds
as=American Seed
1st number: year packed
2nd number: (days to germinate)

Direct Seeded in Containers April 27:
Oregon Sugar Pod ll nk 13 (7)

Direct Seeded in Containers May 4:
Lacinato kale rg 13 (8)
Italian arugula rg 13 (5)
Red Baron organic Dutch beets rg 13 (8)
Karina organic shelling peas bp 11 (8)
Baby Napa cabbage rg 11 (7)

Direct Seeded in Containers May 8:
Simpson Elite lettuce bp 12 (Zero)

Planted in cell packs, one seed / cell May 5:
Blue woodruff ss 12 (14)
Thunbergia rg 13 (9)
Tronchuda Portuguese kale rg 12 (6)
Big beef tomato rg 13 (9)
Southwestern chili trio rg 12 (15)
Pompeii tomato rg 13 (7)
Color fountains cleome rg 11 (17)
Rose bon bon cosmos rg 11 (6)
Apricot blush zinnia rg 11 (5)
Corno di toro mix Italian sweet peppers rg 12 (15)
Spanish flag ss 12 (6)
Italian large leaf parsley organic rg 13 (12)
Mrs. Burns lemon basil rg 13 (9)
Persian baby cucumbers green fingers rg12 (6)

Planted in cell packs, one seed / cell May 15:
Zinnia classic mixed colors (profusion) as 13 (7)
Bachelor’s Buttons Blue Boy bp 12 (5)
Gentian sage Cambridge Blue ss 12 (10)
Four O’Clocks Broken Colors rg 10 (10)
Matricaria recutita bp12 (10)
Snapdragon Ruby ss 12 (Zero - forgot to chill seed for 2 days)
Cerinthe rg 12 (8)
Texas sage Brenthurst ss 12 (8)
Cypress vine rg 11 (7)
Helianthus maximiliani rg 13 (10)

by Mary Jasch

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