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Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT


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Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Mar 12, 2011

Seedlings and progress

 

Just an update on the multi-planted seedlings since some of you have asked.

The spinach is making a good showing- germinating slowly but they look good. These seeds are organic purchased locally from Nature’s. It will be interesting to see how they do as spinach normally doesn’t like its roots disturbed and so does better sown directly.

The broccoli, on the other hand, is not doing well. I purchased the seed at a local bi-mart, so no surprise there. I wanted to try a short season variety (even though I try not to use hybrids) since I learned from a friend here that she hasn’t been able to grow it as it goes to seed before she can get a decent harvest. My first thought was my new climate’s short season and so I looked and looked for a short season variety. The only one I could find was a non-organic hybrid called ‘Early Dividend hybrid’- so as a test I thought I’d give it a shot. This variety is harvestable in 45 days. However, 2 experiments in one sowing is not a good idea, so the next sowing will not be sown in multi-plant sets for the broccoli. Maybe they’ll look a little better sown that way…we’ll see.

As you can see the broccoli looks pale, leggy, and germination is spotty. The spinach looks very nice. Live and learn-sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Since this is an experiment, I’ll not be using as much space in the garden as I had planned. And I’ll be off to some seed companies to find an organic, short season, broccoli variety for fall. If anyone has any suggestions for a variety I’d love to hear all about it.

The beets always germinate well. And they should since one seed is actually a few plants- and so with these, I did thin since we only want 4 or 5 in the multi-plant block. ‘Bulls Blood’ is one of my favorites- and the leaves look so nice in a salad. The other variety ‘Ruby Queen’ I received free from Laura over at Modern Victory Gardens- thanks Laura, they’re doing great so far!

Sorry it’s a little blurry. ‘Bulls Blood’ is on the left, I believe. I am considering putting these blocks onto a flat that has holes in the bottom so the roots stop better when the hit the air (air pruning).

Now on to the chitting…

Not sure what I did wrong. I followed some directions online putting them in a bright, but cool location and now the little sprouted thingies are black. It’s been my experience that that is not a good sign, so I moved them out from under the lights and put them where they’ll get natural (not much) light. They did better in my potato drawer in the kitchen! My guess is that they’re compost. I think I’ll go back to the accidental potato way :). If anyone has chitted (sounds funny) and has any advice, I’d love to hear it!

Patrick  and I (mostly Pat, I directed!) managed to get 2 30” beds tilled. I used 3 5gal. buckets of 1/2 composted manure and 1/2 peat for 2 30” beds, 5lbs each powdered phos. and greensand and tilled it in- not too deep. This will be the only time we’ll roto these beds as I really believe that disturbing the soil is not a good idea- it disrupts the soil layers killing microbial life. After this i’ll be using a strong garden fork until I can have a broadfork made or can afford one.

At planting time, I’ll sprinkle on the crustacean meal and some compost that I’ve been working on over the winter. The only other amendment I wish I had was vermiculite, which for this dryer climate, would be a good addition to give this soil good moisture holding capabilities. So now we have 2 small beds ready to receive the plants I’ve started-

 

I also managed to get some crops started: I sowed these in a 200 cell plug flat (need to purchase more of these or the 288 cell plug flats as this is the only one that survived the move!)

Lettuce: Organic ‘Speckles’
Chives
Red Orach
Lettuce: Marvel of Four Seasons- organic
Lettuce: ‘Focea’
Lettuce: ‘Salad Bowl’

 

 

 

And the spring bulb bed is growing beautifully- I just hope the cold temps don’t hurt them…we’ll see.

Happy gardening,

Tessa

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