March is always a busy gardening month here, with lots of seed starting and planting activities going on. This year I am growing edible podded peas for the first time in several years. To make planting easier, I prepped the spot for them last fall. It’s at the end of the bed where I planted garlic back in November. The soil was already worked up, so I went ahead and added a trellis for the peas, and covered the soil with straw to keep down weeds and to keep it from washing out over the winter.
I’m growing Avalanche and Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas and Sugar Ann snap peas (1984 AAS winner). The fall prep made planting the peas a snap, pun intended. The soil under the straw was still loose, so all I had to do was dust the seeds with some inoculant and push them down into the soil at about two inch intervals. Once the seeds are up and growing I’ll spread the straw as a mulch around the base of the vines.
If planting the peas was relatively easy, then starting the petunia seeds was certainly a bit more of a challenge. Petunia seeds are tiny, dust-like little things, and are almost always sold pelleted. But even pelleted, they are still quite small, as you can see in the above photo. You can read about how I grow the petunias with my 2010 post Do The Wave. This year I am growing five varieties: Easy Wave Red, Easy Wave Red Velour, Wave Blue, Wave Purple Improved and Tidal Wave Hot Pink.
Peppers seeds are definitely larger than petunia seeds, and a lot easier to sow. The only complicating factor for me is I grow so many varieties! I used the 200 cell plug flat to accommodate all the seeds. There’s not much room for roots in that size tray, so I’ll pot them up into bigger quarters in about three weeks. I wound up with right at 60 varieties, and it took a while to get everything labeled and then planted. I had a few empty spaces left so I started a couple of eggplants as well. I’ll keep the flat on a heating mat until the seeds are up. Since the cells are so small I have to water every day.
I also moved all the brassicas out to the greenhouse, where they are basking in the relative warmth out there. Next up in the seed starting activities will be tomatoes and the rest of the eggplants. You can see my general timetable in my Seed Starting & Planting Schedule.