Monday, March 16, 2009

Seedling Update

I was a bit torn today about what to post about, the seedlings or the beginning of the cedar poly tunnel. I chose the seedlings but will follow up in a couple days with the poly tunnel post that is sitting in draft form.

I will start with the outdoor seedlings as the weather has been so nice. This last weekend we had clear blue sky's and highs of 12c(54f) so the seedlings in the coldframe look rather happy. The coldframe ran about 20-30c(68-86f) over the weekend which is a very good result. I am really going to have to monitor the coldframe closely now because it may start cooking everything as the weather starts getting warmer. There is still lots to learn about the coldframe and some kind of system has to be introduced to keep the lid open.

Here we have the Mesclun Mix Lettuce, Romaine, Bok Choy, Radicchio &
Tuscano Kale. The Green Onions are not germinating so I will start some
fresh inside and place them out once they germinate. I also have some
thinning to do as you can see.

Indoor seedling overview.

Broccoli seedlings, looking a little leggy. Not sure if this is normal growth for them?

The Tomato I am try to get producing by June. The other 12
or so tomatoes will be started within a couple weeks.

Brussels Sprouts seedlings looking very nice.

This is the second seeding of the yellow storage onions after dropping
the first batch. I am very happy with their progress and they are
looking much better then the first seeded onions.

After having such good luck with the second seeded onions I started
a second seeding of the shallots. They are doing well and again looking
much better then the first seeding of shallots. I think I had the first
batch to far from the light.

Finally these are the Hot Peppers I started in Feb. They are looking
great, to bad I didn't have the rest of the hot peppers to seed at the
same time as they would all be this big.

This evening I will thin all the seedlings indoors & out. I will also apply a weak solution of Wegener's Liquid Organic fertilizer to everything as well. I used this fertilizer last season and have been using it with every watering on the seedlings. I really like this fertilizer, it is a mix of blood & bone meal from fish as well as a bunch of other stuff. It doesn't cause excess growth like chemical fertilizers can and has the benefit of building your soil as well.

I will end with one more note on the onions. Since I have start new onions I will have much less plant stock so I am going to try some sets as well. I picked up shallots at the grocery store and will pot them up in the coldframe very soon. From what I have read one shallot bulb will multiply into a clump of 5-8 bulbs by fall. Should be an interesting experiment. I will also pick up some yellow storage onion sets from the store once they are available.


  1. I remember you posting about being sick a few days back and funny enough I'm sick now too! Gardener's sickness! hehe

    Anyways glad to see your seedlings growing so wonderfuly! I love them

  2. Would you happen to have any recomendations for a starter raised bed, wouldnt be to big maybe 8 feet long, 1 - 1/2 foot wide and I'm in zone 5b like yourself.

  3. lilegyptiangoddess - For a raised bed I would recommend going with cedar or spruce 2x8 lumber, anything that is not pressure treated as it is poisonous. You can find it at home depot and they will even cut it to size for you if needed. Then just screw it together at the corners and fill it with triple mix. That is all I did for mine and it worked great.

  4. Dan, I wouldn't be concerned about those broccoli looking leggy just yet. Mine were looking leggy (or so I thought), and they turned out just fine. Man, I love that cold frame! You sure did do a good job in constructing it.


  5. cool seedlings. Will be keeping track of that tomato and see if it fruits as early as you hope. Here in the balcony garden we are doing the opposite, hoping that the Siberian tomato can cope with the mild temperatures of autumn winter for a very very late harvest. Love the chilli peppers too!

  6. I second the admiration for the cold frame. It's a thing of beauty!

  7. For the cold frame you should get one of those automatic vent openers. We installed these in my greenhouse. They have cylanders filled with wax and when the temp rises the wax softens, extending the arm to open the vent.

  8. EG - Thanks for the compliment, it sure is nice to be about to use it finally.

    Prue - Our weather has been quite a bit warmer then usual so if it stays this way all spring maybe this early tom might just work.

    DoubleD - Thanks, it was pretty fun to build.

    Sandy - I was thinking about get one of those auto lifts but they only lift 15lbs. The window is double glazed so with the frame it weights almost 40lbs. I will have to look into if they have heavy duty models. I had also seen people use screen door openers on them but then they still need to be manually opened.

  9. You are going to be busy planting all those goodies soon! Get your shovel ready...

  10. Dan the Man.......I love the cold frame. I was thinking I could use the opposite...a cold I could start some of those onions! Unfortunatly, I think I'm running out of cool weather.

    Anyway.....what kind of tomato is that?

  11. *maybe I should have called it a heatframe?

  12. Dan, I just wanted to let you know that you didn't lose your mind. I found a comment from you in my spam folder...

  13. Skeeter - The shovel will be getting a work out very soon. The peas & broad beans go in April 10!

    Dennis - Yes, coldframe is a bit of an oxymoron as it is hotter inside then it is outside. I would love it if you could send some of that heat my way!

    EG - I thought I had submitted it but I wasn't completed sure. Some times I get halfway through a comment, then leave the computer and then total forget about it.

  14. Dennis - forgot to mention that the early tomato is Siletz. It produces in 52 days, pretty fast I must say.