Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Done (for now)

The greenhouse is pretty much filled to capacity. I imagine I could squeeze a few more trays in somewhere, yet the important thing is that all of the seeds that I have to plant (for now) are in dirt. Today pretty much did the job.

The big question I currently face is will we have plants of a size that will make for a good product. With the big plant sale just three weeks from now, it’s going to be close. If I were growing these plants for our own use, I wouldn’t sweat it, and I would transplant them no matter how small they appeared to be, as long as they had a good root system. But consumer gardeners are different. They want plants that are well along in their growth, much in the same way that people buy flowering plants for their yards when the plants are in bloom, which makes no sense to me whatsoever. I want to buy a plant that has yet to bloom, so I can enjoy the flowers longer. (Of course, with a greenhouse, I have very little need to buy plants when I can grow them myself. A bit smug, I know, but so what!)

Today’s planting were of plants that grow fast and look ready early on, namely squash and cucumbers. I planted all of them in trays of 6-packs, not because I wanted to package them that way, but because there is limited room in the greenhouse. I will have to transplant all of them into 4-inch pots the week before the sale, and after I build the temporary hoop house that will eventually house the more cold-tolerant plants like mustard, kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

The last of them:
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Caserta Zucchini – A tasty, striped zucchini.
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Golden Scallopini Squash – Best when eaten small, or grow them large and hollow them out to make a bowl for dip.
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Bush Delicata – perhaps the sweetest of all winter squash. Baked them in the oven and eat skin and all!
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Early Summer Crookneck Squash – Great cut up into a salad or grilled.
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Lemon Cucumbers – Everyone’s favorite. Pick them early, before the brown stripes appear.
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Armenian Cucumber – Not actually a cucumber. Related to the honeydew melon. We grew these for market a couple years ago and were disappointed, not with the fruit, but with the seed we received. From the array of bizarre fruits on many of the plants, the folks who provided the seed had allowed cross-pollination, a big no-no.
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Blue Lake Bush Beans – I prefer pole beans but trellising beans can be a pain for some folks. If you grow beans or peas from seed, be sure to use inoculant to help with germination.

Sweet Mama Kabocha – I’ve written about this Japanese winter squash in the past. Outstanding.

So, that’s it. Now we’ll just keep them watered and wait. Thanks for reading.

(Photos from Seeds of Change, except for the Sweet mama, which is borrowed from Kitazawa Seeds.)


Crash said...

Man, I could live on that stuff. Hey! I DO live on that stuff.

Memphis MOJO said...

"be sure to use inoculant to help with germination"

How do you do that?

bastinptc said...

When you buy seeds, the same catalogs will often have the inoculant for sale as well. Sometimes the seeds come pre-inoculated. The inoculant contains a fungal rhizome that somehow makes the magic beans grow (Giant not included).

bastinptc said...

Oh, and how to do it... wet the seeds, drain them and coat with the inoculant.