Salad Garden Update

Last month I wrote about the seedlings I started for our March salads. I thought I would give a little update on how they are doing.

The seeds were started in this 200-cell plug flat. After one week, they were up and growing and ready for transplanting.

seedlings one week from germination

seedlings one week after germination

I transplanted most of the seedlings into cell paks a few days ago. I will grow them on this way in the fluorescent light garden until they get a bit bigger and the weather outside moderates a bit.

seedlings 5 days after transplanting (12 days old)

seedlings 5 days after transplanting (12 days old)

Last year I was able to get some planted on March 7th. Below is a photo I took right after planting the cold frame bed.

coldframe garden after planting

cold frame garden after planting in 2009

I covered the lid with a spunbonded polyester material (like Reemay), and by early April we were eating the first salads from the greens in the bed. From left to right in the photo below, we have Merlot and New Red Fire lettuces, Oriental Giant spinach, and Sunset, Winter Density and Simpson Elite lettuces.

same bed about 3 weeks later

same bed about 5 weeks later, April 2009

I’d like to get an earlier start this year on planting the bed, if the weather will cooperate. Right now winter still has its death grip on us, and the cold frame is covered in snow.

cold frame in February, covered with snow

cold frame in February 2010

Still, hope springs eternal, and the snow will melt eventually, and the temperature outside will slowly increase. And when that happens, these new little plants will be ready to go in the ground. Until then, it’s time to start broccoli and cabbage seeds for the April plantings.

There’s always something “growing on” at Happy Acres!

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6 Responses to Salad Garden Update

  1. Meredith says:

    I want a cold frame! I bet in this climate, one could grow right through the winter and have salad in January, with a cold frame. Did you make or buy yours, I wonder? It’s lovely, very stylish, and especially attractive with all those lettuces growing in it. 🙂

    • Villager says:

      I made that one. It’s 4×4 foot square, which is a bit big to reach across but it fits my beds. It was easy to make, really just a box with a lid on it. The bottom is a 2×8 in front and a 2×12 in back, with 2×12’s cut on the diagonal for sloping sides. The top is 2×3’s with some metal hardware to reinforce it. I added 2×2’s to brace the corners of the bottom. I need to make another one, they are so handy.
      I would guess you could have quite a little salad garden in your climate with a cold frame! There’s lettuce in mine under that snow. It’s surviving, just not growing much at the moment.

  2. liza says:

    Wow, you are going to eat well this spring and summer. Good for you. I wish I was growing fresh greens! Maybe you’ll inspire me to try.

  3. Nell Jean says:

    My mother used to plant lettuces and other little tasty veggies in old zinc washtubs, using the chimney and bannistered cement steps that formed a SW corner as a heat sink on the south side of the house. She was very good at finding little microclimates to get a head start on good things to eat, late winter.

  4. Wow, I can’t wait to see all these seedlings growing in your garden. It will be beautiful and very tasty!

  5. LynnS says:

    Very inspiring and such nice photos. I am really missing bright green these days!! Your lettuces look wonderfully healthy. Love the 200-count cell pack, too. I’ve not used those before but they would be ideal for spring greens and even onions. Next time I order trays, I’m going to add some to my list. Seems so much more practical to have that size, using less potting medium!

    Nicely built cold frame. Amazing what can fit in a size like that, isn’t it?!

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