Biweekly Garden Update: 3/18/18 to 3/31/18

March 20

I couldn’t get to the lettuces in the clear clamshell that got bumped until today. Half of the seedlings in question were thriving; the other half was dead.

I’m just going to count my blessings that they aren’t all dead.

The lettuce seedlings growing outside of a clamshell are all pretty much doing fine. There are a couple empty spaces, but I’ll have the 6 plants that I planned on for planting.

The spinaches aren’t hardening as well as I was hoping. This is one of the many reasons why you’re supposed to plant more seedlings than you plan on planting.

I’m still not sure how many more that is supposed to be. I fear the 48 seeds I started isn’t enough to grow the 18 plants I planned on growing in our garden.

This is a proof of concept year for both growing our garden from seedlings and growing spinach in our garden. As you can imagine a lot can go wrong with this vegetable.

I really want them to work out but I have to be realistic about my abilities as a gardener. I’ve grown lettuce seedlings in a pot before and I’ve sewn some seeds outside, but that is the sum and total of my experience with growing from seed.

I seriously can’t wait until everything is in the ground and in my comfort zone!

In more positive news, the onions are doing awesome. So there is always that to cheer me up.

Seedlings_1a_2018
What’s the lesson here? Don’t under estimate the power the Green House Effect.

March 23

The clamshells act like terrariums so I try not to disturb them and just let the condensation do its work. They tend to fog over like a car windshield so you can’t see inside them without letting out some of the water. I thought I’d just take a peak at our little tomato plants just to see how they are doing. All but one was dead!

I underestimated the greenhouse effect that the thin plastic would have. If I had waited until it was time to transplant them I would have none at all.

I opened up all the other clamshells. With the exception of the lettuces, they were all either as bad or worse than the tomatoes.

I can’t wait for the last frost. I know what to do with mature plants!

I started 24 additional tomato seeds in an egg carton just in case the last one dies.

 

March 25

The last of my terrarium tomatoes is all but dead.

One terrarium spinach looks like he may or not make it. He does have a little buddy sprout up next to him so I don’t feel like a total black thumb.

The lettuces, terrarium and otherwise, look sort of healthy.

The best news though is that the onions look like miniature versions of their adult selves. This is great for two reasons:

1. Something is actually thriving in my nursery and

2. The leeks just sprouted.

I feel more confident in my abilities to grow the leeks knowing that their closest relative in my care is thriving.

March 27

The onions were leaning toward the window. The spinach looked like it was overheating. I turned around the tray that they were both on so that the spinaches were farther from the window and the onions were leaning toward the center of the room.

March 28

The onions are already leaning back toward the window. The spinaches are looking a lot healthier.

The leeks are growing quickly! I’m super excited.

I’m not completely sure, but a couple of the clamshell victims look like they are sprouting new plants. It’s probably just hopeful thinking.

Seedlings_1b_2018
See that tiny little speck in the closest pod on the right? It’s a tomato sprout!

March 30

One tiny plant has sprouted from one of the clamshell spinaches. I thought we might have a survivor from the clamshell tomatoes but it was not to be.

A couple of the tomatoes from the second round of seed starting have just started sprouting. I’m not sure if they will be ready in time to plant outside but we could always use more indoor plants for the front window.

According to my maticulus researched planting schedule, today is the day I’m supposed to plant the lettuces and spinaches outside. Given the sickly demeanor of the spinach plants and the size of the letucces I don’t think that is going to happen.

This is my first time growing them in egg cartons. I need to transplant the lettuces into something larger than egg crates so they can grow. I probably should have done this a couple weeks ago.

As I have said before this is a proof of concept for the spinaches. I think the concept of starting them indoors has been proven. I will need to do more research next year if they prove viable in the ground.

That said, they are going to have to wait a little bit until they are big enough for the great outdoors.

Seedling_1c_2018
When crisis hits your garden, just keep gardening.

March 31

The leeks are as big as the onions. I’m very excited by this.        

According to Jacques Pépin leeks are the poor man’s asparagus. Given our track record with trying to grow asparagus at home, being able to grow something, however tenuously related, feels like a victory in a way.

The lettuces are getting too big for the little egg cartons. I will have to transplant them tomorrow.

This will be the next to final elimination round for the plants. Some garden layout reworking may be required. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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