June 3 garden update

It’s been over six weeks since I updated the blog.  It’s not that nothing has been happening — quite the opposite!  I’ve simply neglected to blog about it.

Many lessons learned.  Most notably…

Sugar snap peas, dying early and small

It’s not easy to get sugar snap peas to germinate, and even if they do, they can start dying off before they’re 10″ tall.  I direct-sowed about sixteen positions in a GrowBox, with several peas per position.  After 2 weeks, only 3 positions had emerged.  I grew a number of seedlings in the garage and then transferred them to that same box, plus populated another entire box of them.  The first box is stunted, with plants dying off already, rushing to set fruit when they’re hardly a foot tall.

Healthy snap peas

The second box grew prolifically, as you can see above. Maybe there’s something in the potting soil of the first box.  I’ll scrap that box, and throw the mix into the compost heap and start over.  I need more room for tomatoes anyway.

Meager leeks

Leeks don’t take kindly to transplanting, at least, they don’t take kindly to having their roots disentangled from nearby leek seedlings.  These should probably be direct sown, or sown in soil cells or little peat pots that can move to the final growing location without touching roots.  My leeks have been growing for 120 days and most aren’t as big around as a dime.  This variety is 2-3 inches in diameter at maturity.  I’ll give them another month, and then we’ll see.

Potatoes, in grow bag.

Growing potatoes is easy.  Getting a good harvest — well, time will tell.  They’re in process now.

Baby carrots, in window box

Baby carrots are pretty good germinators.  We’ll see how they do in 4 inches of growing space.  (They’re in a little window box on my anti-rabbit tables.)

I thinned out the shallots today, and the thinning are excellent to eat like chives.  More mild.

Mirai sweet corn

When it’s happy, corn grows really fast, as in, inches per day!

Three boxes of leeks

I planted out several dozen of my 52 leek seedlings, spread over 3 GrowBoxes. They’re a giant variety so I wanted them to have plenty of room. No growth since I planted them out 7 days ago. These were probably shocked a bit when I transplanted them, because I removed the seedlings from their potting mix, to separate nearby seedlings from each other. We shall see…

leek seedlings

Leek seedlings, with Romaine lettuce volunteers

Note the romaine lettuce in with the leeks. I didn’t intend to plant these. I think the seeds dropped in when I was arranging things on my grow-light table. I’m not going to turn down a couple of healthy lettuce plants, so I planted those out, too, in a small window box on my lettuce table out back.


And here’s one of 3 GrowBoxes containing leeks. (note that most of these photos can be clicked to link to larger versions of the photos.)


First emergings


Here’s the kale, recently changed from seed to seedlings.

A few leeks have sprouted, too, and about 5 of the 100 chive seeds are now about 1cm tall.


2012 first seed starts

Here’s the kickoff of my 2012 vegetable container garden. I started some seeds in my garage, to get a jump on the growing season. I use a heat mat to urge the little plants to get started.

I’m trying three starting methods:

  1. a plain flat pan, filled with moist seed starter mix, for the chives;
  2. a tray of 72 cells containing the same mix, into which I planted leeks, which looks like this empty:


  3. a Park Seeds 40-cell Jumbo planting block in a Bio-Dome, which looks like this when it’s empty:


It feels good to have some spring seeds started. This is my fourth gardening season, and I hope to make the entire year productive.  How hard could it be?  Heck, it’s the end of January and I’m still harvesting 15 tomatoes every few days!

Here are photos of the starts.