Thursday, March 8, 2012

March is time to seed!

Busy yet?

Right now on the farm things are heating up.

Winter harvesting in the hoop houses continues, but will be coming to an end quite soon. 
Most of the plants are taking their cue from Mother Nature. Longer days and warmer temperatures encourage the plants to do what they are designed to do and that is reproduce. 
They are sending up their delicious and tender little seed stalks, flowers are appearing and then in a matter of weeks, it's over for another winter's harvest.

And that can only mean one thing. 


But before winter officially signs off, a good deal of seeding is being done indoors and under lights in preparation for the busiest season of the year.

What have you seeded ?

My onions and leeks went into their pots in February. These ones need a bit of a haircut, so they will refocus their energy into their root system. In the ideal world, they'll go into the gardens in April, as long as my clay soil has died sufficiently. My favourite onion? Has to be Long Red Florence!

Then there are the brassicas, which went in a week ago. 9 different kales, early broccoli varieties, cauliflowers and cabbages. The thrill for me has been seeing fabulous germination from a very cool variety of kale I had tucked away in my freezer. It was ten years old, and germinated particularly well. The tiny seedling leaves are tinged with yellow, this should disappear as they grow. 

 These tangled little plants will be transplanted into cell packs next week. In my ideal world.

Pretty chards went in last week as well. This funky tray is Wild Garden Seeds "Better Beta Mix."
Pretty, n'est ce pas?

All these cool weather crops will hit my gardens as early as possible. There will be lots left over for sales and I'll start selling these plants mid-April.

Early March is also time to get the eggplants and peppers all seeded before the rush that is tomato seeding. Weeks and weeks of tomato seeding.

I always try to get the hot peppers in first. They generally take longer to germinate than the sweet varieties, and the super hots, like Trinidadian Scorpion and Bhut Jolokia, can take weeks. 

 I have an amazing collection of hot peppers this year. I'm pretty excited.

Last year I swore I wouldn't start as many eggplants. But I have. (Or I should say, my friend Holly, who was helping me has!)  But I encouraged it.
If they weren't so unique and beautiful it would be easy. But they are so lovely and it's hard not be to be swayed but the mauves and whites, purples, greens, yellows, oranges, reds and beautiful stripes. And the shapes. You see how it goes.

Then March 15th I begin seeding the tomatoes...hundreds of cool varieties and thousands of plants.
My 884 lbs of soil-less mix arrived today, and I stacked the bales in the driving cool rain. All okay.
I'm thinking about the tomatoes that will grow in it, the taste of them when they ripen. 

                                                       March is when it all begins.

1 comment:

the other Maria said...

Linda, what is your 'soil-less' mix and how do you use it? Is it necessary because of our clay soil...?