Developments March 1, 2009

This weekend was the final (sort of) harvest from last year’s garden. I pulled some leeks from the mulch so that Marilyn could make a leek pie for St. David’s Day on the 2nd. I also pulled the last of the carrots and wound up with about 7-8 lbs. of really nice big ones.

Giants of the Earth

Giants of the Earth

Finally I pulled the last of the parsnips. I only had six but the smallest was big enough to provide a side dish for dinner for four. I said “sort of” for final harvest because I do have a few leeks left and, more importantly and for the sake of continual gardening, I have spinach wintering over under mulch that, if it survived, will be ready to eat in late April.

At the same time I did a lot of basement work. I put seeds in flats for my peppers, tomatoes and eggplants.

Seedling flat

Seedling flat

I also transplanted radicchio, endive, lettuce, broccoli and mustards from their seeding flat into plastic cells. As usual, I have too many tiny seedlings left over. I’d pot them up but then I would have no room for them under my grow lights. When I checked the next day, all of the transplants are doing well … even the mustard which has a tendency to get leggy. The trick now is to keep the moisture level just right so they don’t damp off. I grow them in a 55 degree basement with the minimal heat from the fluorescent lights and a plastic sheet to keep the heat in. Once I get the peppers and tomatoes up and transplanted I’ll have to add an incandescent light bulb for additional heat. They are currently in my baking proof box at about 77-80 degrees.

We are having a very cold snap here in NE Ohio right now but as soon as it breaks, I’ll put plastic over the hoops in one big bed (4′ X 16′) and start planting outdoors. I’ll switch to floating row cover when the evening temps are reliably above the teens.

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