I love golden beets, there’s just something about that beautiful golden color. Red beets are great too, but the golden ones are my favorites for roasting. Each year I plant seeds for golden beets and end up disappointed. Germination is never as good as it is with the red beets I plant, sometimes none of the seeds germinate.
This year was no different. I planted almost an entire packet of golden beets this spring and only about 15 germinated. The seeds were fresh, or they should have been as they were purchased this spring. My first thought was that I had planted them too early and the soil was too cool. However, I planted more seeds a couple weeks ago and not one seed germinated. I planted red beets last week and they’re already popping out of the soil.
Luckily, I do have a few golden beets in the garden, not as many as I’d like. Next spring I’ll be ordering seed from a different source to see if perhaps the seeds I’ve had in the past were not very fresh (I have tried seed from a few different places). I’ve been very impressed with seeds from Johnny’s and High Mowing, so I’m planning on ordering a packet from each to see how they fare.
If I do find a source of seed that germinates well I might consider trying to save seed from them. Freshness is often a key in good germination.
Is there a vegetable you can’t seem to grow no matter what you try?Filed under Beets, Edible, Seed Sowing | Comments (24)
There’s nothing I love more than starting my own plants from seed. Partly, I do it to save money. When you have a garden as large as I do, you could easily go bankrupt trying to buy plants. Starting from seed is a great way to get a lot of plants for minimal monetary investment. I also like starting from seed because you can find really interesting varieties.
Take this asparagus for example, it’s ‘Precoce D’Argenteuil’, an old French heirloom which is prized for it’s tastiness. I also started ‘Mary Washington’ asparagus seeds this year as well. (source: Baker Creek)
Not only can you find rare and unique varities, it’s so much fun to watch the life cycle of a plant starting from seed. These tiny asparagus spears make me smile. Even though I know it will be 3 years before I can harvest anything from these plants, when I finally do I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what these plants have seen throughout their lifecycle.
What’s your favorite seedling to see in spring?Filed under Around the Garden, Edible, Friday Favorites, Seed Sowing | Comments (16)
It’s official, the 2013 edible gardening season has begun. I have already planted lots of seeds, mostly for onions and herbs, but the season doesn’t officially start for me until I plant seeds in real soil in the garden. On Monday, I spent time planting a large section of spinach.
Of course, I couldn’t just plant spinach seed, curiosity always gets the best of me. It’s a common theory that soaking certain seeds will make them germinate faster. Soaking them in a diluted kelp liquid is supposed to make them germinate even faster yet.
On Monday there were a few different cups of spinach seeds soaking, one in plain water, on in diluted liquid kelp. I planted both 12 rows of each of these and 10 of unsoaked seed. What variety of spinach did I plant? ‘Space’ from Johnny’s Seeds, which is supposed to be a good cold tolerant spinach.
I must admit, I hope that the regular seed germinates just as fast, soaking seeds is a bit of a pain. It’s much more difficult to plant wet seeds with precision. Drying them on a paper towel first helped a lot, the seeds were much easier to handle when they weren’t dripping with water. It is still a little inconvenient to do this, especially if you’re planting a large section of spinach.
After planting, the row was covered with greenhouse plastic over hoops. This is the same bed that was covered last week before the snow to help the soil stay dry and warm for planting. It’s amazing the difference this made, had I not done this, there would be no planting of spinach until most likely 2 weeks from now. The soil in the rest of the garden is still frozen solid and covered with a few inches of snow. It will take a while for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw and dry out enough for planting seeds.
Do you ever soak seeds before planting them? Do you notice quicker germination?Filed under Seed Sowing | Comments (8)
As I was watering my seedlings the other day I thought I’d tell you about my watering techniques. When the seeds haven’t germinated yet, I use a spray bottle to keep the top of the soil moist. Generally this is all that is needed until the seeds germinate.
When the seedlings emerge, I spray them with a spray bottle to moisten the top of the soil, I like that it also gives them a bit of movement (like a fan blowing on them) to make them stronger. Then I water fully with an old dish soap container. I find it perfect for getting just the right amount of water without flooding the tiny plants. I feel like it gives me good control over how much water I use and puts it right where I want it to go. You can get the smallest drip or a decent stream of water exactly where you want it.
When the seedlings are finally get big enough and are outside, I water with my favorite watering can. Be mindful however, don’t overwater your little seedlings. Let the soil dry out in between waterings. Overwatering is one of the main reasons for failure with houseplants and seedlings.
Do you have any good techniques or tools to share?Filed under Seed Sowing | Comments (15)
On Tuesday of this week, my eyes popped open at 4 am. After laying in bed for 15 minutes or so, I knew sleep was a lost cause for that morning.
Cup of coffee in hand, I started sorting through my seeds to get things going. I put off starting my January seeds because of our trip to Colombia, which means I’m a bit behind.
What did I start? Two different kinds of celery (Tendercrisp and Tall Utah) and 4 flats of various onions, including: Copra, Ailsa Craig, Brown Australian, Stuttgarter and a few more.
Waking up early isn’t a rare occasion, I’m a bit of an insomniac at times. Thankfully, I’m used to it so I’m able to accomplish a lot even with little sleep. Soon enough, we’ll be getting up at 5 am every day to make sure we get all of our work finished.
Do you ever wake up really early? What do you usually do?Filed under Seed Sowing | Comments (16)