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.
Peppers can take 7 – 21 days to germinate so if you got pepper seeds in your Victory Garden bundles from the seed library distribution, start them inside now! To speed the pepper seed germination use a heating mat or some sort of heat source like a floor register. You have until June before you need to transplant the pepper seedlings outside. They will need heat and drier conditions to grow.

Parsley – 7 – 14 days for germination. Best to cover the lid with black plastic since the seeds are small and need absolute darkness to germinate.

Broccoli, Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Kale, Swiss Chard, Egg Plant. You can begin with some Tomatoes now. It actually is better to start tomatoes 6 weeks prior to transplanting outside. They do not like being confined to small pots. They also need heat to grow. ( soil temps of 70 – 75 degrees).

I direct sowed 2 different spinach seeds, Bloomsdale and America. Both claim to be more bolt resistant than other varieties. Bloomsdale was in a pelleted form. I like coated seeds because they can be seen in the soil when planting. The controversy surrounding pelleted seeds is that they are slower to germinate. There is no documented proof of that though.

Not a vegetable gardener? Wait, I will have herb and flower start times coming up!

I started 7 seeds all in the same flat. They all have the same germination times, 5 – 10 days so I won’t have to worry about the tray lid being on when half the flat is germinating and the other not yet. All 7 varieties had tiny seeds. So I gently pressed them into the moist planting medium, covered with 1/8 – 1/4” of soil, patted down again and then misted with a sprayer, placed a lid on top and set on a heating mat. ( The plant markers I use are 4 1/2” so the lid can fit on the tray without displacing the markers)
Last thing – I notated the date started and germination times on the lid so I won’t forget to keep checking.

2 different types of Kale, the dinosaur kale, Lacinato and a frilly leaf, Red Orsa. The later I plan to harvest as small leaves for salads.
2 different Pac choi , a miniature and a regular size.
Swiss chard – for the rabbits. Every year they eat them down, you’d think I’d learn!
2 different kohlrabi, a purple and a white.