How our seedlings are doing

A little under a month ago we prepared and planted our seed blocks – approximately 200 blocks spread over five trays. We left them here, in these windows, to start growing.

Seed planting trays on shelves in window

First out of the gate were several of the turnip seed blocks, but a goodly number of other plants started growing in earnest soon after. As you can see from the next photo, we’ve got some good growing happening, but there are gaps.

Seed block trays after several weeks of growth

The real stars are:
– pretty much all of my greens, of course (lettuces, arugula, chard, kale, spinach)
– most of the varieties of tomatoes that we planted (9 out of 11 varieties, in fact – Amish Paste and Box Car Willie have failed to show)
– two varieties of cucumber
– celery
– one of the pumpkin seedlings is growing like a total champ (taken from a pumpkin my son grew last year; to say he is thrilled is an understatement), while the sugar pumpkins may be coming along
– rutabaga (‘swede’ to my British husband)
– several of the squashes (Fordhook, Long Island and Butternut, the latter from seeds we saved ourselves last year)
– some herbs and bunching onions

The no-shows include the two aforementioned varieties of tomatoes, several varieties of squash (including one with a very low germination rate, so I knew it was risky), sweet peppers and all of the melons – a heritage watermelon variety, citron and charentais. The watermelon seeds are simply too old, I’m quite certain, but the others were all purchased this year or at most the year before.

As these are no longer just looking like slow starters, I planted a sixth tray two days ago covering these same crops, and we’ll see what happens. We’re very keen to grow a lot of squash this year, as it’s so good for storage, and we were excited about finding citron melon, the only melon that must be cooked before you can eat it (which makes it wonderful for preserving), so we have to keep trying.

I’m trying to be careful not to get carried away with our seed trays, as there will be opportunities for succession planting for some of these crops and there are still all of the seeds that should only be directly sown into the ground.

What’s going to be in your garden this year?

2 thoughts on “How our seedlings are doing

  1. If you have time for another batch of peppers try covering them with black plastic until they germinate. Peppers prefer to germinate in the dark. Jason Beam has a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj-M3mj1AA4) about it. I used it on 2 rounds of peppers, first one had okay germination, second one just 2 weeks ago was fabulous. Good luck!

    1. It’s this kind of advice that we are hungry for, being relatively recent gardeners. Thanks so much for taking the time to point this out!

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