This time of year I usually find myself babysitting hundreds of little seedlings waiting to go out into the garden. This year is no different, and since the wet spring weather has slowed down planting I probably have more babies than usual waiting in line. About half of them are indoors in the basement under fluorescent lights, while the rest have been moved out into the greenhouse.
I’ve kept the heat loving plants indoors, with the exception of a few tomato plants I started extra early hoping to beat the season a bit. Last year I had a terrible outbreak of aphids indoors, and they really did a number on the peppers and brassicas. This year I am happy to say I haven’t had any insect problems so far, other than a few fungus gnats which always show up. I put up yellow sticky traps and that seems to keep them under control. The peppers in the below photo were started on March 2nd, and I am happy with how they are growing. I’ll pot them up into individual containers in a couple of weeks.
I have about 80% of the seedlings started now. I got basil going yesterday, and that leaves squash and cucumbers, which I plan to start near the end of April. I have decided this is not going to be an early spring, so there’s no point in getting the cucurbits started too soon. I started the main crop of tomatoes on March 15th, so they are just shy of 3 weeks old. They too will go into individual pots in a couple of weeks, at which time the greenhouse will likely be full of flats! I aim to have the plant 6-8 weeks old before setting out, and they are right on schedule for an early to mid-May planting.
In the greenhouse I have the spring brassicas, petunias and some cold hardy herbs like parsley and fennel. We have freezing temperatures forecast for several night this week, so I will move the early tomatoes inside because I don’t want to risk them freezing. I may need to pot the brassicas up into individual pots if I have to delay planting much longer. There’s always plenty of gardening chores to do this time of year, even if it’s too wet to actually get out IN the garden!
The petunias are about 6 weeks old and I suspect some will be showing flower buds soon. The flat in the below photo is full of Wave types including Purple Classic Wave, Tidal Wave Red Velour, Tidal Wave Cherry, Tidal Wave Silver, and Easy Wave Pink Passion. I’m also growing the 2017 AAS Winner Evening Scentsation plus Easy Wave Plum Vein, which are in another flat.
I’m working on a greenhouse tour, since it’s been a while since I’ve shared what’s going on out there. I hope to get that together soon. Until then I hope you have enjoyed this update on my seed starting activities!