It has been (and will be) really warm these days and I could not wait any longer and planted my porch containers today: hot peppers (Early Jalapeno and Thai), Thai basil, Green Zebra tomato (with the parsley, and I am planning on using string to trellis it), Fairy Tale eggplant. I had fertilized the soil a few days ago.
I have been hardening off my seedlings for about five days now, last night was the first night they spent outside. The nights are now consistently above 50 degrees, so I am planning to transplant them into the plot next weekend.
I have a ton of seedlings: 12 tomato seedlings (one each Striped Roman, Paul Robson, Valencia, Black Krim [all of those are from the Neighborhood Farm], 1 Break O’Day; 2 each Beaker Family Heirloom, Poll Robson Angolan (according to Sand Hill Preservation Center it is not entirely clear what variety this is, but I grew it last year and it was not a true Paul Robson) and 3 Green Zebra). I also have 3 peppers (one each Early Jalapeno, Thai and Chico Invite), 3 eggplants (2 Fairy Tale and 1 Ping Tung), 2 each Butternut Squash and Honeyboat Delicata, 3 each Tokiwa cucumber, Dekah cucumber (a pickling cucumber), National Pickling cucumber, 3 watermelon, 1 Lakota winter squash (a gift from a neighbor) and 1 Zucchini (all cukes, squash and melons have three plants per cell), 2 Thai Basil, 3 Genovese basil, 1 cilantro. I also started new head lettuce for succession planting.
On my porch, I will plant two peppers (Early Jalapeno and Thai), 1 eggplant (Fairy Tale), 1 tomato (either Green Zebra or Poll Robson Angolan) and maybe 1 cucumber (likely National Pickling or Dekah). Also the basil, Thai basil, cilantro. The rest of the seedlings will go in the plot and I will give some away.
Yesterday I harvested my porch radishes (they were sharing a big pot with lettuce seedlings) and my two grow bags of arugula. The arugula is super spicy and flavorful. (as are the radishes). It is starting to get warm now and I noticed signs of the arugula bolting. I used the radishes as an accompaniment to Eggs Florentine for breakfast and the arugula went into a little salad. Yum!
I spent a few hours in the garden today, weeding, spreading manure and planting. I sowed a few more peas (to fill in the gaps), rainbow carrots and beets (Chiogga and Burpee Golden). I also planted lettuce mix, head lettuce, flat leaf parsley, one curly kale plant and some Bok choi. (The Bok choi and lettuce mix came from Neighborhood Farm).
The overwintered leeks are looking nice and strong. I will pull them in the next few weeks. The arugula and spring greens and overwintered lettuces are looking good as well. And I have peas this year! So far they have not been destroyed by rabbits or birds.
I lost a few seedlings yesterday: lettuce, all Zinnias, all Genovese basil, all cilantro, all but one Thai basil, all Dr. Wyche’s Yellow tomatoes (my favorites, sigh) and one Break O’Day tomato.
Currently, my seedlings are either under the grow lights (2 butternut quash, 2 Delicata squash, 3 Pickling cucumbers, 3 Dekah cucumbers, 3 Tokiwa cucumbers, 3 watermelon, 1 lettuce, 1 mystery pepper, 1 Thai basil, and some very mangled cilantro) or are in bigger pots and grow next to the window or under regular table lights in the evening (1 Darkibor kale, 2 Fairy Tale eggplant, 1 Ping Tung eggplant, 1 Thai basil, 1 parsley, 3 Green Zebra tomatoes, 1 Break O’Day tomato, 2 Paul Robson (?) tomatoes and 2 Baker’s Creek Family Heirloom tomatoes).
I will supplement the loss with seedlings from the Neighborhood Farm and/or the Trustees. I will get basil, cilantro, flowers and a couple of heirloom tomatoes. Lettuce is growing on the back porch, so I will just transplant a few of the larger heads into the garden.
Whole Foods had an herbs sale ($2 each), so I got English lavender “Vera”, creeping rosemary, common thyme “Faustinoi” and sage to put on my porch. I also got two parsley plants to put into the big planter with the flowers.
I will add more herbs to this container plus a plant in the center, probably an eggplant or pepper or perhaps a dwarf tomato. I love having herbs on my porch. I still have my old, woody rosemary from two years ago (I overwintered it in the kitchen), and my chives from last year (they overwintered on the porch). And I will plant cilantro and basil, and mint of course (which I will dig up from my garden plot. I can’t seem to get rid of it.)
This afternoon, I repotted the remaining tomatoes (Green Zebra, Paul Robson, Break o’ Day – Dr. Wychee is still in its seed trays) and eggplant (Pint Tung and Fairy Tale), peppers (the gifted mystery pepper), cilantro, parsley, kale and Zinnias. I also started new seedlings: cucumbers (Tokiwa, Dekah and National Pickling), winter squash (Waltham Butternut and Honeyboat Delicata) and a watermelon (Sugarbaby, an heirloom variety). I started three each for the cukes and the watermelon and two each for the winter squash. I just realized that I have not started any summer squash yet. But as, with my daughter away for college over the summer, I am currently the only one in our family who will eat Zucchini, I might want to rethink planting them. Still, one plant would be nice.
I transplanted the basil, some lettuce and a couple of tomato plants from their seed trays into bigger pots. The lettuce is looking kind of sad at the moment, I think I should have transplanted it sooner. Hopefully, the plants will recover. I also transplanted five lettuce plants outside into a big container on our porch.