Posts Tagged ‘seedlings’

March Transplants

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

I like to start my first transplants on the first day of spring – it feels like a good way to celebrate the new season.  I start a tray of peppers and tomatoes, far more than I need but I have a few friends that I share with every year.  Also I make a large tray of spinach seedlings and a mixed tray with lettuce, green onions, beets, and endive, about a dozen of each.  Butterhead lettuces have a wonderful taste and buttery texture but really only do well in cooler weather so I like to include them in this planting.   Everything is up and growing under my light table, it really does feel nice to watch them grow and to baby them along.

Seedlings are quite hardy but they should not be overwatered and they should have sufficient air circulation to do well.  If either of these are a problem, you can get a fungus that erodes the stem of the seedling – this is called damping off.  It is a good idea to check your flats on a regular basis and make sure they are thriving.

It has been such a warm and early spring here in Southern Ontario that I think I will plant my first section of salad greens today.  I am thinking of trying a double layer of floating row cover for the first week or two to warm up the soil.  I also pulled the straw off the garlic  that I planted last fall and there are plenty of little green shoots making their way above the ground.  These I will harvest in April and May as young shoots that I call green garlic, which I use like a green onion.  They are great in soups, bean salads, pastas, and stir fries throughout the spring and I do several more plantings of green garlic in April and May so I have a continuous supply.  You can plant them anytime now – to plant simply break several bulbs of garlic into individual cloves and push them into the soil, about 1 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart.  The root side of the clove should go into the ground first.  I would recommend planting 30-40 cloves in each planting as  I use 5 or 6 at a time in my cooking.