Just a quick update today....it is hard to believe, but the flower flat (pansies, snapdragons), and lettuce flat are now under fluorescent lights in the garage. And it is still January (barely!).
One other amazing observation today - a few of the Asian greens I planted yesterday germinated today - in ONE day. More details to come, as well as what was planted - but next on my planting agenda will be eggplant, tomatillos, and peppers. Target date is February 5.
Quick update on the Dwarf tomato project as well. I just sent seeds to Tomatoville members for their 2011 growing assignments. But the best news is that I've also sent seeds to four seed companies - brand new dwarf varieties from our project, which we expect to be listed in each of their web catalogs very soon.
Once this all becomes final/"official", I will let you know which companies, and which varieties. Note that they will be very, very limited in quantities this year!
Whoops...last item - I made some updates to the 2011 plant list - especially listing the cucumbers, watermelon, and basil I hope to have as seedlings this coming spring!
The official start to my 2011 gardening season was January 21. That was the day that I cleaned off (most of) my garage planting table and located the 50 cell plug flats that I use for pretty much all of my seed starting. With some fresh MetroMix 360 in hand, it was time to plant!
I keep lots of records - in notebooks, in Excel spreadsheets, and in my head. One thing I did a few weeks ago was to look back on last year - when did I start seeds, transplant and then plant out - and how well (or not well) it went. My plan this year is to try to do everything from a little to a lot earlier - thinking that if I can get my tomatoes planted by April 1 (instead of last year's May 21!), a much better yield of fruit should be achievable....I can beat the heat, and even perhaps the onset of disease. We shall see...
But I am getting ahead of myself. It is too soon to start tomatoes. My modest planting on January 21 was cool blooming flowers, just to see how they will do. So I seeded three types of Pansies (St. Tropez mix, Stokes Giant Exhibition mix, and Panola mix), one type of Snapdragons (Ribbon mix), one type of Sweet Pea (Explorer mix) and Oleander seeds that I collected from dried pods while on vacation at Ocracoke last fall.
As I type this on January 30, germination went very well for the Pansies and Snapdragons....the Sweet Peas are coming along, and it is too soon to see signs of life from the Oleander.
There is more growing in front of the window, on heat mats, in my office - but I'll tell you about that in a future blog entry.
Actually, my season has been underway for a week or so. Here's what I've got planted and growing in my sunny office window (this is just a general update right now - I can get specific on varieties in a future blog post):
First planted tray - Flowers - snapdragons, Pansies, Sweet Peas, Oleander
A few days ago I seeded my second tray - lettuce, spinach, and arugula.
If all goes well, tomorrow I will see tray #3 with Asian greens, Rabe, Chard and beets.
I am madly multitasking at the moment.....getting everything up to date on the Dwarf project in Tomatoville, packaging and sending out seeds for the 2011 Northern Hemisphere dwarf project assignments...
......confirming my plans for seedling sales this coming year (and finalizing the plant lists on this website - a few more changes are likely over the next few weeks, as I see what seeds I've got, which I am lacking, and what I need to fill in with)....and catching up on various garden emails received over the past few months that need answering.
So watch this space - the updates will be much more frequent. It's that time again - with anticipation of another (and hopefully better!) garden!