Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snowdrops Have Arrived!

For some, the recent warm temperatures have been a signal of spring in the DC area. I have encountered one too many random warm snaps only to be followed by more winter while living here to use that as my litmus test.

Instead, I use snowdrops. This year they are a bit spindly. Not sure if it's due to a drier winter or the weather turning warm very fast. But they are here and spring should follow soon.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Purple Kohlrabi: First Out of the Gate

Or, erm, soil. However you want to say it, I've got spouting!  Hurray!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2011 Seed Starting...Already

I'm starting seeds several months early this year and, yet, I'm already late!  According to my favorite planting calendar, I'm a week or so late in starting my onion seeds. To be fair, I had every intention of starting them last week but USAir cancelled my flight home (oh the joys of being in the airport for 8 hours with an infant!) from Florida and I arrived home too late to start the process.

To revisit how to start your own seeds, here's a concise overview of  the process (more details & photos are in my previous post on the subject):

1. Sanitize pots/yogurt cups/whatever in a 9:1 water/bleach solution. This keeps any nastiness away from your impending babies.
2. Wet potting mix & put it in pot/yogurt cup/whatever. Don't use dirt from your yard.
3.  Plant seed at depth listed on the package.
4. (Optional) Sprinkle milled spaghnum moss over top. This, along with adequate air circulation, prevents damping off. I've also heard that cinnamon has some anti-fungal properties so you could try that.
5.  Keep the soil moist & wait.

I started onions, kale, two types of kohlrabi and some cilantro.  I'm probably early for everything except the onions, but my kale and kohlrabi grew so slowly under the grow lights last year that I decided to give them more of a head start. Overall, I filled an entire flat with just these 4 crops!  And, I plan to start another round of onions in a few weeks.  I've only got 2 grow lights so it will be interesting to see if I can make my ambitious plans happen.