Sunday, March 13, 2011

PEAS PLEASE! A Winter Garden Update

It’s so exciting to see progress in the winter garden. While I could have started earlier, I managed to get several types of seeds planted on Saturday, February 12 without making any new seed purchases.

Of all the seeds I set out four weeks ago, the sugar snap peas have been most successful. There are many strong sprouts with multiple leaf sets.
Here’s the update on the rest: the Swiss chard, one row over from the peas only has a few tiny sprouts that look rather weak. 
The turnips the next row over have shown good germination with decent size sprouts albeit a small amount of insect damage. I have surrounded each sprout with finely crushed egg shells to discourage snails.
Speaking of eggs, the Easter Egg Rainbow radishes purchased in 2006 appear to have a 100 percent germination rate while the Cherry Belle radishes purchased last year showed a disappointing 0 percent. Curiously surprising as the cherry belle are described on the package as “one of the earliest radishes.” The rainbow radishes were planted in a large pot, the others in the raised bed so perhaps warmer soil in the pot made the difference. In which case, there may be hope for the cherry belles?
Out of a full row of carrots planted, a mere two seeds have germinated within only a millimeter of each other. Disappointing. 
There are a few spindly scallions appearing but I am hopeful. 
A few sweet pea flower seeds have sprouted however there is evidence of animal – most likely cat – damage. It appears something has been digging in the pot. In the past, neighborhood cats have used our raised beds and pots as a litter box. Very disgusting, not to mention dangerous as cat feces often carries toxins.

In the half wine barrel where I scattered various lettuce seeds, many are emerging with the arugula making the strongest showing. Others planted there include butter crunch, iceberg and salad bowl types.

All received a serving of fish emulsion on Saturday. It’s great to be out in the garden again. What follows is a list of seeds planted including the manufacturer and year issued of each.

Container Lettuce: Garden Babies Butterhead/Renee’s Garden 2008
Rainbow Radishes: Easter Egg II/Renee’s Garden 2006
Windowbox Sweet Peas: Color Palette Cupid/Renee’s Garden 2010
Looseleaf Lettuce: Salad Bowl/Burpee 2008
Head Lettuce: Iceberg/Cornucopia 2010
Arugula: Rocket/Burpee 2010
Head Lettuce: Buttercrunch/Cornucopia 2010
Carrot: Variety Unknown/Seeds of Joy 2007/08
Carrot: Red Cored Chantenay/Ferry-Morse 2010
Radish: Cherry Belle/Ferry-Morse 2010
Turnip: Purple Top White Globe/Ferry-Morse 2010
Swiss Chard: Large Ribbed Dark Green/Ferry Morse 2010
Basil: Genovese/Burpee 2009
Cilantro: Slow-Bolt/Renee’s Garden 2008
Chives: Common/Burpee 2009
Pea: Sugar Ann/Cornucopia 2010
Scallion: White Lisbon Bunching 2010

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