Wednesday, March 25, 2009

First seeds

I imagined (hoped) that I would be greeted today at the Post Office with several packages from various seed companies. There was one: a small order of Kamo eggplant and Sweet Mama Kabocha winter squash seeds. At least I had something to work with.

Sweet Mama Kabocha photo courtesy of Kitazawa Seed Co.

It is still too early to start the Kabochas. They, like other squash (and cucumbers) grow at a fast rate, which makes for plant sprawl in a limited space. The plants also intertwine and they are easily damaged when trying to separate them. I will wait a couple weeks to start the squash, as they transplant well even as a small plant. With that said, I am excited to have this variety of squash. If you haven't eaten Kabocha squash (a Japanese variety), make sure you find some next autumn. They have a delightfully nutty taste and a very creamy texture, which makes for an outstanding squash soup.

The planting schedule for the eggplant is entirely another matter . Folks like to buy these plants with some size to them. The seed needed to get into soil two weeks ago, so I filled sixty-four 4-inch pots and one tray of 6-packs (36 cells) with soil mix, placed the seeds and put them out in the greenhouse. Despite it being a rainy day, the greenhouse thermometer read 76°F, which is perfect for germination.

Kamo Eggplant photo courtesy of Kitazawa Seed Co.,
the folks who sent us the seeds for both the squash and eggplant.

The Kamo is probably the best eggplant we have ever grown and eaten. It is a Japanese variety, and grows to about the size of a softball (4 inches diameter) and, because of its dense meat, holds up well when cooked.

When we were growing for market, both of these plants were some of our best sellers. Our grocer client for whom we are growing these starts, is looking forward to having them as a choice this year. We will be sure to have both in our home garden as well.

The sun just broke through the clouds. Grow plants, grow!

No comments: