Harvest Monday, April 4, 2016 – Seedlings Update

We had snow Saturday night, I am guessing there was 2+ inches on the roof of my shed, yes snow on April 3. Woke up to a completely snow covered lawn, the sun came out during the day and melted away most of the snow but it was blustery, cold and more like winter than spring.

Looked out my window this morning and saw a repeat of the same. It is pretty out but this is a scene for January/February, not the scene I want to see in April. Can you believe it is still snowing as I write.

This past week’s harvests were more tender walking onion and radicchio. The new item was spring onion. Did not take photo as it would look the same as previous photo.

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I am trying 2 new varieties of Burpee peas that my sister, Joyce, sent me. One is Golden Sweet Peas, a yellow snow peas, the other is Little Snap Crunch Peas, compact plant bred for “container-friendliness” (so says Burpee’s write-up).

Previous years I experimented with starting peas in container and was happy with the results and am doing the same this year.

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Peas sown on 3/21/16 in 4-inch containers

Sowed 9 seeds (1-inch deep then covered with vermiculite) in each 4-inch container, watered well then covered with a clear dome cover and kept indoor in a warm location. Germinated in 4 days.

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Back row: Golden Sweet Peas. Bottom row: Little Snap Crunch Peas.

The above peas seedlings are ready to go into the grounds. Need to harden them off and get them in the ground later in the week. That’s the plan unless mother nature dictates otherwise.

The Golden Sweet vines grow up to 6 feet and will need trellising, the Little Snap Crunch vines grow to 32 inches and is supposed to be self-supporting but I will give it some support as I think it would make harvesting easier. As you can see in the above photo the Golden Sweet seedlings are already much taller than the Little Snap Crunch.

To test the Little Snap Crunch Peas “container-friendliness” I sow some seeds in a foam ice chest. I also left the ice chest outdoor. Took 9 days to germinate. The ice chest is completely covered with snow now, hope the seedlings survive.

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Little Snap Crunch Peas in foam ice chest

The seeds in the 4-inch containers and the foam ice chest were sown on the same day. The seeds in the 4-inch containers under controlled indoor environment germinated in 4 days and is now about 4 inches tall, the seeds in the foam ice chest under uncontrolled outdoor environment took 9 days to germinate and is less than 1½ inches tall. Quite a difference.

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Transplanted my lettuce seedlings into window boxes, they look happy and are doing well.

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Top: Forellenschluss Lettuce. Bottom: Bronze Mignonette Lettuce.

Am anxiously waiting to feast on my first salad from homegrown lettuce and looking forward to harvesting the outer leaves from the above soon. What a treat that would be!

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Seedlings in the photo below need to be transplanted into containers or window boxes, hoping to find time to do so this week.

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Napa Minuet, Pac Choi Win-Win, Kohlrabi Kolibri & Broccoli Gypsy

Tempted to harvest the Bok Choy seedlings in the above photo and use as Baby Bok Choy but there is not enough for a meal.

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Happy with the progress of my container garlic experiment, click here to learn about.

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German Red Garlic planted on 2/29

All 11 German Red Garlic cloves planted on 2/29 sprouted, are healthy and growing well and though completely snow covered this morning will be OK.

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German Red Garlic planted on 2/29 sprouted on 3/12

Now I must wait for each plant to send out a scape which I will harvest to allow the plants to form larger heads. If successful, I should be harvesting mature garlic around mid-July. Will keep you posted on progress.

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

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

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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40 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 4, 2016 – Seedlings Update

  1. And to think I have never seen snow before! Our autumn has been kind to us so far. The garden has been slightly neglected on my part – been so busy with police forum and neighbourhood watch things of late. Need to change that asap.
    Have a beautiful week Norma.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mandy,
      Would love to send you some of our snow. It is a beautiful winter wonderland for January and February, but not for April. A beautiful week to you too.

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Those pea seedlings are doing really GREAT! Happy Spring, Happy Gardening, Norma.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Angie,
      Mother nature dumped quite a few inches of snow on us today and my great pea seedlings will not look so great if I can’t get them into the ground soon.

  3. Eva Taylor says:

    The garlic gooks promising. We had between 4-5 inches last night, and even though our winter was relatively mild, I’m sick of it.

  4. Those seedlings are sure looking good Norma! I need to try your trick of starting peas indoors next spring. I have gotten very poor germination sowing them outside this year, even though the ground was warm enough they should have done ok. We had a freeze here over the weekend but thankfully no snow like you did.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Dave,
      I always have problem with direct sowing peas and beans in the garden reason I experimented with starting indoors and am really pleased with results. You could still start now.

  5. cheri says:

    Hi Norma, your seedlings are looking very healthy, interesting that the controlled ones came out so much heartier. Also your red garlic looks great, look forward to a post on there progress.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cheri,
      Our night time temps have been very low, I think that’s the reason the seeds under uncontrolled environment is not doing as well. I will continue to post my garlic experiment progress.

  6. Bill says:

    Your seedlings look great. I’d be tempted to eat them too. 🙂
    But instead I’m patiently waiting to be able to start thinning the greens I direct seeded in the garden. The thinnings will make a delicious salad!

  7. Susie says:

    I’m usually the one complaining about the snow (Eastern Ontario) and miraculously have none! Although it is nasty cold right now. I don’t know why, but I thought peas would be hard to transplant so I always sow them direct (although that also just works for me). But what a lovely bunch of peas you have to plant!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Susie,
      We have more snow yesterday and today than we had the entire winter (the big ones missed us). I do not have success with direct sown peas reason I experimented with starting indoors.

  8. Margaret says:

    Those salad greens (and everything else!) look so tempting! I can’t wait to get mine going – won’t be much longer now. I love the pea experiment – I was thinking of doing the same (starting them indoors) with my fava beans, but simply have no room under the grow lights for them right now. I may try in the summer for a fall harvest, though.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      Know what you mean by not having room under grow lights, with the weather staying cold I am having that issue at the moment as seedlings I had planned to transplant into window boxes and container have to remain under lights until weather stabilizes.

  9. Balvinder says:

    Your seedlings looks great even after the freezing temperature. Where do you live, by the way?
    I planted some garlic (just 4 of them) in a small planter after reading your post and they did well. thank you for tips. I may sow more.

  10. The difference in pea germination times is probably mostly due to soil temperature. I have a variety that takes 2-3 weeks when sown April 1, but only 4-5 days sown Aug.1 in the garden. I wonder why you have poor germination in the garden. Squirrels sometimes dig for buried nuts in my planting so I throw the wire fencing I use for trellis flat on the ground to prevent the digging. I planted outside 3/27 and sprouts are still below ground – safe I hope from the freeze and snow.

    This is crazy weather – the most snow we’ve had this winter. At least it will melt slowly and soak in; it was quite dry outside.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      I am sure the difference was due to soil temperature. I have lots of birds and chipmunks visiting my garden not sure who is guilty. I did try netting but not flat on the ground, will try that next year.

  11. w.p.lai@juno.com says:

    Good Morning Norma, Plants in photos look yummy already. Wish I had your motivation to plant my own veggies. Keep going…Good Job. Joyce

    Please note: message attached

  12. hotlyspiced says:

    Unbelievable that it is still snowing in April! I hope your garlic goes well. And may it warm up soon! We had our hottest April day on record yesterday – 34C (93F). It was wonderful xx

  13. I just planted my potatoes. Cant wait to get out in the garden in a few weeks and sort out my vegetable boxes. So exciting. Great post. Thank you for sharing. Emma.

  14. Everything looks like it is coming along nicely in your boxes. I do hope the snow didn’t kill your seedlings, though. Cannot believe you had so much snow in April. This weather is wacky!

  15. Cecilia says:

    You are an amazing gardener!Congratulations. And thanks for sharing.

  16. Kaman says:

    Norma, I am a novice gardener following your harvest Monday blog. I noticed you grow a lot of vegetables in containers. I bought a lot of earth boxes last year trying out vegetable gardening. May I ask do you reuse the potting mix each time or start with new mixes?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kaman,
      I do reuse the potting mix but amend with granular fertilizer (lime if needed) and composted cow manure. I also practice crop rotation. Strictly speaking one should use new mixes but that can be very costly.

  17. ChgoJohn says:

    That snow hit us before it came your way, Norma. That was a very unpleasant shock, to be sure. Sorry to see it affected your lettuce but If anyone can nurse them back, you can. We’re in a warming trend now. Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of the snow until December.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      I hope that was the last snow until next year, sure was a shocker. We could still get a killer frost so need to keep my eye on the weather until May.

  18. Spring has sprung indeed and your little seedlings are doing very well under your green thumb. You know how it goes you could have snow until mid-may… crazy us weather. So protect your little plants. Wishing you super weekend.

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