Harvest Monday, April 14, 2014 – Windowbox Planting + Seeds starting

I cheated. Due to the problems I had and still having, did not start any seeds indoor until this past weekend. Needed to see something growing so went to the nursery and bought 3 packs of seedlings. At $1.49/pack, check out (below) what I ended up with. Sure got my money’s worth.

Will need to cheat some more and purchase leeks and some other seedlings. One place I will be visiting is the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Dutchess County Master Gardeners plant sale, May 16 & 17. Click here for information and plant lists.

Lettuce, broccoli & swiss chard seedlings (06319)

Seedlings from the nursery
Left to right: Red & Green Leaf Lettuce, Broccoli & Bright Light Swiss Chard

lettuce in wndowbox (06330)

Transplanted the lettuces into window boxes

The seedlings in the cell pack were not thinned, and I was able to get a total of 16 seedlings (had to be very careful separating the seedlings as the roots were quite tangled). Not the varieties I grow, but that’s OK for now. All are doing well and I should be harvesting soon.

Swiss chard (06331)

Transplanted the Swiss chard into window box and 3-inch pots

Again the seedlings in the cell pack were not thinned so I was able to get 12 plants. The ones in the window box will be pulled (whole plant) when they reach a good size or as needed. The ones in the 3-inch pot will be transplanted into the garden and (only) outer leaves harvested as needed so the plants will continue to produce throughout the growing season.

broccoli seedlings (06332)

Transplanted the Broccoli into 3-inch pots
These will be transplanted into the garden when the beds are ready (hope I’m up to the task soon)

Two of the cells had one seedling each. Two of the cells had 2 seedlings each that I was able to separate and got a total of 6 plants.

These 6 plants will mature at different rate and this will work out perfect for me.

All the seedlings are enjoying the outdoor during the day but indoor (the garage) at night until the weather settles down (not trusting the weather this year).

∞ ∞ ∞

For the past few years, my spring pea planting had been problematic. The birds, slugs and other critters get to the seedlings as soon as they emerge. Last fall I experimented with starting in cell packs then transplanting the seedlings into the garden, it was a success.

Building on last fall success, decided over the weekend to start my peas in both 4-inch pots and cell packs to see which performs better and which I prefer.

snow peas (06322)

Peas in 4-inch pots, 8 seeds to a pot (may be too many)

peas in cell packs (06325)

Peas in cell packs, 2 seeds to a cell

Experimenting with soaking seeds. The seeds in the cell packs were soaked for 12 hours while the ones in the 4-inch pots were not soaked. Should be interesting to see what the differences are in germination.

∞ ∞ ∞

Spring is here to stay! Finally! I hope!

daffodils (06334)

Daffodils in Bloom
These are the daffodils showcased in last Monday’s post.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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71 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 14, 2014 – Windowbox Planting + Seeds starting

  1. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Yay, congrats on the arrival of Spring! You must be so looking forward to putting on those gardening gloves again Norma. Intrigued by Light Bright Swiss chard – guessing it’s light in colour, but possibly with a milder less-bitter flavor too?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Saskia,
      Bright Light Swiss Chard, I believe, refers to the mixed colors, yes they are mostly light colors. I never found Swiss chard to be bitter, so cannot answer your question, sorry. Try harvesting sooner to see if that takes care of the bitterness.

      • Saskia (1=2) says:

        You are absolutely right! It’s not bitter at all! I’m super tired and was thinking of kale. We call swiss chard silverbeet, and I did the conversion/substitution wrong in my sleep-addled brain!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Saskia,
        Glad to see you showing your “human side”. I have frequently wondered how you managed to do so much with 2 young children.

  2. Why not, Norma – once in a while :). I never ever had luck with seeds, always needed to buy seedlings or plants. And my purse groaned!! Carina

  3. Yay for you for Spring. I am not looking forward to our Autumn or Winter. I don’t think you are cheating at all.
    I wish I had green fingers like you.
    Have a wonderful day Norma.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  4. Just got our peas planted, looking forward to the results of your experiment with them!

  5. daphnegould says:

    Our daffodils are coming up, but they aren’t in bloom yet. Yesterday the crocuses by the front steps weren’t even blooming yet. Though the ones by the foundation have been for a while. Spring is indeed here. It is going to be such a beautiful day.

  6. Welcome to Spring! With all that’s gone on at your place this year, I don’t think buying seedlings is cheating. I hope you’re all sorted with the contractor and the adjuster.

  7. Jody says:

    Boy you’re not the only one behind on plants this spring. I’m just planting my tomato seeds today!

  8. There is nothing wrong with getting a jump on spring by buying transplants. You got some very nice seedlings at a bargain. Congrats.

  9. Happy Spring, Norma! Those salad leaves are ready for the dinner!
    Angie

  10. Kristy says:

    Welcome spring! It sure feels good doesn’t it. Our daffodils are in full bloom as well. Our magnolia tree is almost in bloom. The buds are beginning to pop. Have a great time with all your seedlings Norma. I’m looking forward to your spring/summer gardens. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      Spring sure took a long time to arrive but it is finally here. In my mind, I am picturing your magnolia tree in full bloom and how gorgeous it must be.

  11. My seedlings got sunburned! So I may cheat, too. Sad, since they’re mostly heirloom tomatoes and such. Hopefully they’ll recover. Btw, my Okinawan purple sweet potatoes have shot up new stems/leaves, yay! I’m trying stem cuttings to propagate more plants for you, Norma! 🙂

  12. Spring is really so much appreciated after the harsh winter we’ve had. It’s so nice to see the fresh leaves and flowers. 🙂

  13. Eva Taylor says:

    Hi Norma, You really did well with the seedlings from the nursery! It’s always such a bonus and makes you feel great! Although it’s been reasonably warm in our parts, tonight the temperatures will plummet to -7°C (19.4°F) and we are expecting about 5cm or 2″ of snow even! I didn’t bother removing the mulch from the new growth, hoping it will give it some insulation from the snow. Compared to last year, this has been a brutal winter and I really can’t blame you for not trusting it!

  14. Sophie33 says:

    I also started my home gron peas indoors & when they are growing igger, I planted them well-spaced apart, in larger containers! they are doing well now! 🙂 Good luck with the rest! x

  15. Thats a good type of cheating! At least you get a little peek of what is to come! I love spring!

  16. Dave says:

    I had to ‘cheat’ and buy some plants last year after germination problems. I does look like you got your money’s worth. Lovely photo of the daffodils – they do look like spring to me!

  17. Kim says:

    I just planted a bunch of seeds and we’ll see what I get :0)
    I might have buy the cell packs if I don’t get the results that I want.
    Your little plants look very happy :0) so far. Yes you are still weeks away
    from frost free! We just passed ours 2 weeks ago and have a full 6 month growing period
    down here if you don’t count the many plants that can’t take the heat.

    Happy Gardening and Happy Spring

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      I am so jealous, 6 months of growing period, that’s so wonderful.
      I assume you got your garden plot in the community garden. What are you planting?

  18. mac says:

    Welcome back to gardening, sometimes it’s easier to buy seedlings than to start from seeds especially herbs.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      Thanks, I am so happy to be back. Yes, it is a lot easier to buy seedlings and I would wonder why am I going to the trouble of starting my own then I remember it has to do with variety choices.

  19. Stoney Acres says:

    Oh come on, it’s not cheating to by seedlings, we all get busy!! Everything is looking great!

  20. Lynda says:

    I usually end up buying a few seedlings myself…Not all seeds want to germinate!

  21. Norma,
    You’re really inspiring me to go out and plant some seeds!

  22. I am glad these seedlings are working out, they look gorgeous 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  23. Fingers crossed that spring is here to stay!

  24. ChgoJohn says:

    So good to see you again, Norma. I know you’ve plenty going on right now and I hope that seeing your Harvest Monday posts are a sign of progress.
    Last year, after having problems with planting, I went to the farmer’s market and found all of the heirloom plants that I had unsuccessfully tried to germinate. That was it for me. I don’t plant nearly the amount that you do, so, buying the seedlings really is the easiest and cheapest way to go — for me, at least. You’ve such a nice assortment of plants again this year. I cannot wait to watch your garden progress — and to learn whether it is best to soak the seeds before planting. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Came across San Marzano tomato seeds at the nursery, I remember you mentioning this tomato variety in your blog decided to buy the seeds and started them indoor over the weekend. Looking forward to harvest.

  25. hotlyspiced says:

    The daffodils are gorgeous and it sure does look like Spring has arrived. What a long and drawn-out and cold winter it was! I love how you have so much growing from those seeds xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      Would you believe we had snow last night? Was not much just a coating, but it was totally unexpected after all it is the middle of April, there is freeze warning for tonight.

  26. Sometimes we just need to cheat and get the seedlings! I purchased a few herb seedlings last week and put them in the ground along with direct seeding greens, beans and zucchini on Sunday when it was 80 degrees…and then last night it went below freezing! Looks like I may be out for seedlings again in the near future. Happy Spring and I’m glad there are some signs of it in your part of the states. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Betsy,
      Would you believe I woke up to a snow covered ground this morning? Not a lot of snow, but still the ground was all white. Glad my window boxes overnight in the garage. Temp dropping to the low 20’s tonight, I believe there is a freeze warning.

  27. Karen says:

    Just when we thought it was safe to talk about spring…we got sleet, snow and temps in the 20’s as well. Us gardeners have to do whatever we need to do to get our vegetables so I don’t think transplants are cheating. You won’t think so either when you start harvesting. 😀

  28. Juliana says:

    Yay! Spring is here…love your harvest Norma…and I look forward to see the fruition.
    Hope you are enjoying your week 😀

  29. Even my dad who grew up on a farm starts out with seedlings. Sometimes it is nice every once in a while to cut a few corners and I am sure your harvest will be bountiful this year. Are you feeling better? Take care,BAM

  30. Pingback: Harvest Monday, April 21, 2014 – Peas Seedlings Update | Garden to Wok

  31. We’re in a new house (we bought it last summer), so this is my first spring here. I’ve been watching the sun exposure and plan my garden and am getting antsy to get going. Thanks for the motivation, Norma. I love stopping by here to see what you and your garden are up to 🙂

  32. Pingback: Harvet Monday, May 19, 2014 – Comparing Windowbox & Garden + Ramps | Garden to Wok

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