Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cabbage Babies and Speaking Trees

I overseeded a bed because the seed stock for cabbages I had was about 2 years old. Looks like almost all of them sprouted too. I'm going to have to do some serious thinning.

They sprouted early too. Normally it's about 12-14 days, but this time it was only 6. Could be the weather, but could it also be the rich humanure compost they are growing in? I wish now that I'd planted some in one of the other beds at the same time so I could know for sure. Violating my number one rule about gardening: being scientific! Always have a control for every new experiment.

So far I've got onions up, some garlic up that survived the winter, cabbages, chard, and the asparagus. And the obligatory potatoes are starting to come up through the ground. Only about half of them have made it though. I bought those seed potatoes as I don't have any of the old stock from our previous homestead, but I should have had a better yield than 50%. I may have cut the pieces too small. I was trying to get the most number of plants out of it. I wonder if I check my notes from previous years if I'll find that for the number of pounds of seed potatoes if I didn't average the same number of plants, even with cutting them smaller.

Of the trees I planted last year, the peach tree has survived the winter. My wife says "Trees don't speak to you." Normally I can tell how smaller plants are doing, or whether or not the seeds are sprouting, or what's going on even if I don't have any visual clues. But I have to admit she's right. I always think trees have died over the winter and then they surprise me by putting out buds. I guess trees don't speak to me after all.

The cabbages have been whispering to me though. They say, "We want to live!" And I hear them going NOM NOM NOM through the compost like a Sumo team hitting an all-you-can-eat buffet.

I'm watching the weather closely but we've still got too many nights in the thirties to plant the hardier summer crops. This year I'm trying to (primarily) start everything from seed as I believe it results in hardier plants. The early start you get with transplants is lost due to transplant shock. And you never can recover the loss of a long taproot that you would get if you'd planted from seed. Undoubtedly though I'll see some new variety of something in a garden store and bring home a tray or two of transplants over the year.

Happy gardening to you as well!


Ima Wurdibitsch said...

I hear you!

I started my garden a week and a half ago. My radishes are sprouting, as are the spinach plants. I followed instructions and waited until the ground was "workable" or it was 3-4 weeks prior to the last frost.

We're getting a hard freeze tonight with sleet and snow expected Friday. Tonight, I went out and put jars over the sprouts (you can never have too many jars). As a fairly inexperienced gardener (only 3 years growing my own veggies), I'm of two minds: excellent, it's like mini greenhouses or drat, it's like a magnifying glass for the sun.

Fortunately, for now, if I'm wrong, I can still go to the grocery store.

Any thoughts?

Ernest said...

If it's only dropping below freezing at night then you can just take the jar off during the day. If it stays below all day then you might have problems. I would suspect the jar might work for a day or two though, especially for smallish sprouts.

The temperature is going to be your biggest issue, I would think.