I did another round of seed starting yesterday afternoon. I started the main crop of tomatoes, using a 128 cell plug flat to start them in. I had already started some early tomatoes back in late February, cherry types including Sun Gold, Supersweet 100, Champagne Cherry and Mexico Midget. Those are up and growing and I have transplanted them into 6-cell paks. I hope to get large plants set out behind the greenhouse once the danger of frost is past to give us a taste of tomatoes early before the main crop is ready. I also started seeds last week for Patio Choice Yellow tomato, a 2017 AAS winner that I plan on growing in a couple of containers. Next in line are the eggplants, followed by basil. I also received my onion plants from Dixondale this week and I need to get the bed worked up and get them in the ground ASAP.
It is also time to pot up herbs and petunias I started back in February. Those will go out in the greenhouse to grow on, but a recent cold snap sent temperatures down below 20°F last night and as a result the greenhouse froze up as well. Things are supposed to warm up a bit Friday and I hope to get out there and get those potted up. That will free up space under the lights inside so I can start more seed indoors. I am sure this scene is being played out by countless gardeners all over as they juggle seedlings both inside and outside. The petunias have gotten quite big and definitely need to be potted up into individual pots.
The parsley is also looking good. It’s been six weeks since I sowed those seeds indoors, and the plants are almost ready to set outside. I also grow a few plants year-round in the greenhouse. I hate to pull the overwintered plants in there since they are supplying us with tasty parsley, so I will likely wait until they start flowering before I replant them with the new crop. What I may do is leave one mature plant for a while longer and set out a few seedlings to replace the ones I pull up. That kinda sounds like a plan to me!
It’s also about time to get some snow peas planted. I will pre-sprout them indoors, something I did last year with good results. I have a trellis already in place out in the garden leftover from last fall, so all I need to do is clear any weeds from the ground and dig a little trench to hold the sprouted seeds. I hope you have enjoyed this update on seed starting activities and I’ll be back soon with more news as it happens!
I love reading your posts and comparing where you are with where we are (halfway between Indy and Ft. Wayne) in terms of weather & planting. I planted my main crop tomatoes today. Wish I had your parsley plants! I’ve planted twice using two different packets of old seed and got nothing, so I’m planting another batch today. Sometimes I am too thrifty for my own good! It was 14 degrees here last night. I just insulated my greenhouse with bubble wrap, and hope that helps. Keep growing…and writing about it!
Good to hear from a fellow Hoosier gardener Carolee! I think parsley seeds don’t keep very well. I am lucky to get them to come up a second year, so I try and order new seed more often. I hate to waste seeds though, and seed companies usually give you enough seed to plant the whole garden in parsley!
Getting outdoor beds ready for onions already! It seems as if that’s so far off for me, but in reality, it’s only a few weeks away – hard to believe with several inches of snow on the ground right now!
Hi – I’d like to try pre-sprouting peas, and was interested in the specifics of the method you use. Do you soak the seeds in water first (if so, how long?), and then place in moist paper towels until they start to root? Thank you!
Hi Susan, I did not soak the peas first, I just put them in wet paper towels and placed them in a ziploc bag. This article at Rodale’s Organic Life explains what I did: Pre-Sprout Your Peas.
Other sources like this one from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange have you soaking the seeds overnight before covering with a damp cloth.
So it would appear you could do it either way. I think the key is to plant them out as soon as the rootlets appear, and be careful not to break them off.
Your seedlings look nice and healthy. Mine are looking a little worse for wear after being potted up into individual containers. That’s really nice that you’re able to overwinter herbs in your greenhouse. We bought a little greenhouse years ago from Harbor Freight, and we’ve been talking about putting it together this year. 🙂