Category: Seed Sense: growing with Karen Kidd

Seed sense #10

Pushing the season?  Of course!  What else have we to do besides watching our seedlings grow and dreaming of fresh tomatoes and grilled baby zucchini?  Or are you just one of those people who wear white shoes before Memorial day and don’t care?  Tread lightly oh fearless one!  Planting on Mother’s day is no longer the norm for Door County.

Was it ever?

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Seed Sense #9

Its week 4/5 BLF date.

Besides taking advantage of the 2 over 50 degree days we had and direct sowing Arugula, Radish and Carrots, have you checked the viability of your saved seeds yet?

What? You ask.  What is it and why should I?

Well, it is a germination credibility test for the seeds you or your friends saved from favorite plants.  Or just checking to make sure those old seed packets are still good.

Why should we check them?  A seed is a seed right?  Wrong.

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Seed Sense #8

Its week 5/6 BLF! What’s going on with your seeds and seedlings?

I’m transplanting! The Kale, Kohlrabi, Chard, and Pac Choi I started on April 6 all have 2 sets of leaves on them and are getting crowded and tangled.

I found these nifty break apart 2.5” containers in a tray of 18 at a local big store. I was going to use them for the seed talk and thought, put them to use! If you do not have any previously used smallish pots on hand or want to purchase anything new, 8oz paper or styrofoam cups will work if you poke drain holes in them. There are DIY newspaper pot instructions on line too. The 18 pots took 1/2 bag of the 12quart size Jiffy seed starting soil. Start by filling the pots with slightly moistened soil. Or dry. It is easier to push the seedlings into the pots if the soil is drier.

Carefully lift the seedlings out of the germinating tray or pots by lifting out from the bottom, scooping them up by the roots with your fingers or a non pointed tool. Separate them, do not handle the plant by the stem.

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Seed Sense #7

originally published April 16

More on tomatoes.
This is a long post so grab a cup of coffee ( or wine ) and sit back and enjoy.

Who doesn’t love a good fresh sun kissed Tomato? That is why there are numerous books dedicated to the topic of tomatoes. There are 100’s of lovingly saved heirloom varieties and even more hybridized cultivars. How do you choose? What are the pros and cons of each and how many should you plant?

Well, if you were to listen to me during the Master Gardener’s seed selection committee’s review of my list, you’d know I have a really hard time at choosing, and consequently we always ended up growing more for the plant sale then originally planned or needed.

So how do you choose?

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Seed Sense #6

originally published April 13

6/7 weeks BLF! What are you starting this week? Tomatoes!!

I’ve heard from many of you that you have already started your tomatoes and that is awesome!

I just seeded mine yesterday. Yes on Easter! What else is one to do during a pandemic and a raining dreary day but think of mouth watering juicy tomatoes? So once again I lost all control and planted 13 varieties. See the photos from my last year’s bounty!

Every year I tinkered with start times of tomato seeds when growing for the Master Gardeners. Trying to get them large enough for the sale or not too tall and spindly is always a challenge which ends with just being at the mercy of weather
Tomatoes, like peppers and Basil prefer heat and will not grow without it. So if it wasn’t sunny out, the greenhouse did not stay warm enough. Tomatoes need the soil to be 70 – 75 degrees and respond best to warmer air temps.
This year I am following author and garden blogger, Margaret Roach’s advice and not starting them till 6 weeks BLF date.

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Seed Sense #5

originally published April 7

We are at week 7/8 before last frost free date. ( remember I am setting our date at May 31 not the zone 5 May 16 ).

I started my seed inventory and planting timetable back in February. I’ve also started a garden journal for the first time in years! I believe this is the year of all gardening years to be remembered…..and savored.
Since I’ve already admitted I’m a dreamer; to add to that thought, gardens are what dreams are made of. Seeds bring to our dreams hope, anticipation and Joy!

If you did not start your seed dreams timetable, here are some recommendations for what you can plant now outside and what you should be starting indoors.

Peas and Spinach can still be direct sown in the garden if you haven’t done that yet. Arugula and Radish can be direct sown also but better to wait another week.
Onion and leek sets. Seeds should have been started 3 weeks ago inside.
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Seed Sense #4

originally published April 3

Week 9 BLD ( before last frost date )

Time to plant peas, indoors or out, Spinach outside, Kale and Kohlrabi, Chard indoors!
I started an English shelling pea, Green Arrow, on March 1 in used Keurig pods for giving away during my seed starting talk at the grand re-opening of the Sturgeon Bay Seed Library. Unfortunately we had to cancel it. Now I have lots of plants.
Too soon for my garden so I have been pinching them off to keep them stronger and in control and nurturing them until they can be transplanted outside. Now I need to start hardening them off preparing them for outside weather. I am approaching this in 1 hour increments and going to slowly add time to being outside untill I can plant this weekend. More later.
Let’s talk peas!

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