Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Spring Garden

Update: After further review, I restarted all my seedlings today. The first batch was very leggy, which means that once some heavier leaves grow, they'll fall over from the weight.

My mistake was in thinking I could wait a couple days to get them out into cooler temps once they sprouted.  By the time I got them under the lights, they were frail and leggy.  This time, the moment I see the first seedlings poke through the soil, I'm getting them out to the workshop, into cooler temps and under the lights.

It's 6 days later and almost all my seeds have sprouted.  All but the cabbage.  My broccoli and bok choi seeds are from Johnny's.  The cabbage is a pack of Burpee that I picked up from Lowes and only one seed out of the 12 I planted sprouted.

I've now concluded that Burpee seeds really are the shits.  I will never plant them again, as this isn't the first time I've had trouble.

Good news is, it wasn't the right cabbage anyway.  I'd planted Chinese cabbage.  The following day, no less, I'd read that Chinese cabbage isn't recommended if you've got a problem with slugs.  Me?  A problem with slugs?  HAHAHAHAHAH  That's like saying Jack Nicklaus has a so-so golf swing.

So, I quickly ordered a package of English cabbage, "Gonzales F1" from Johnny's, which came in the mail yesterday.  I spent this morning digging up the Burpee seeds (not an easy task since almost none of them had even broken their shells and were hard to see).  I replaced them with my new Johnny's seeds and have faith that in a week, I'll have cabbage seedlings too.

Now my quandary is what to do with them.  If you can see this picture well, the seedlings are leggy.  I probably should have gotten them out of the toasty office and into the light a couple days ago  I have two choices:

1)  Put them out in my little greenhouse during the day where they can get natural light and southern exposure.  Nighttime temps have been down in the low 30's lately, but these are cool season veggies and they'll have some protection.

2)  Set them out in the workshop under the fluorescents and give them light 14 hours a day set on a timer.  I don't think the temperature in the workshop is any warmer than outside, but they'll get longer light and I think the fluorescents might put out a couple degrees of heat.

I think I'll go with option 2.  It will be good practice for when I try my hand at starting tomatoes in 6 weeks.

I'll keep you posted.

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