I’m always hesitant to broadcast seeds directly into the garden because of the risk of poor germination rates. Granted, previous experience had me neglect seeds sown directly into the beds, which need the right temperature and moisture to thrive. Daytime highs are in the upper 60s while nighttime lows in the high 40s and low 50s. It’s still too cold for some delicate summer plants to tolerate, as some of the starts are beginning to show.
I hedge my bets wherever I can, sowing indoors those seeds that I trust will germinate successfully and can handle transplant.
Seeds I’ve sown and re-sown both inside and out:
Agastache rugosa, Korean Hyssop
Salvia coccinea, Scarlet Sage
Salvia farinacea, Sirius Blue Sage
Monarda citriodora, Lemon Bee Balm
Gomphrena haagena, Strawberry Fields
Tropaeolum minus Nasturtium Black Velvet (presoaked)
The last vegetable seeds I direct sowed beginning of March were the bok choy Tiny Hedou and Purple Lady, along with bunching onions Tokyo White. They are finally beginning to emerge. Meanwhile I’m giving the Thai Long Green Eggplant another try although I haven’t had any success with the last batch.
It’s well documented that bok choy can bolt at sudden changes in temperature and moisture. The temporary chill weather brought on last week lessened the pest attack on my baby boks. I was also vigilant in washing off any signs of the critters.
However, with daytime temps swinging back into the 70s, the plants decided to bolt early.
I went ahead and cut the plants to the ground, leaving the roots intact. I’m hoping that perhaps I can encourage the plant to develop new top growth.
Two plants hardly makes for a whole meal, but I did flash fry them and served them to the pups, who got to enjoy some cooked veggies for a change.
Something is eating holes in my baby bok choy, but leaving the surrounding veggies like the spinach alone. I spotted a ladybeetle hanging out with these pests (going to assume it’s feeding on them). I washed everything off but they came back the next day. So did the ladybeetle. They kinda look like aphids, but these tiny bugs are dark brown, can’t get a really good pic of them; they are turning my bok choy into swiss cheese. I may have to cut these boks down to the roots and start all over if I can’t get rid of them.
They keep coming back but in smaller numbers. I am checking my bok choy regularly now because I’m growing paranoid. Even when temps dipped down in to the low 30s, the buggers hide out under the leaves and in between the stalks. You’d think planting these in a stock tank garden would keep them off the pest radar, but apparently not. I even spotted another caterpillar looper trudging through the cedar mulch.
I plan on starting a new crop of boks soon, but for now, I will keep monitoring how these 2 specimens do. Sadly, I think I’ve lost my appetite for these.
I planted the 2nd stock tank garden bed about 2 weeks after the first, to stagger my production. I changed up the filler material and soil composition to see if ultimately results will comparable to the first tank.
End of the season watermelons went into building the foundational layer of the bed, along with stem and brush cuttings. I dearly hope that I’m not growing a watermelon patch in this tank.
In this bed, I used Raised Garden Bed soil, organic compost, peat moss, coarse vermiculite and perlite in different ratios compared to the first bed. I still broadcast Espoma Garden-tone fertilizer over the surface once it was filled up and ready for planting
As with the other bed, tank #2 has cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, dill and garlic aplenty. This time, I added bok choy and spinach starts. But of course, there wasn’t enough space to hold all the broccoli and brussel sprout starters I still had waiting in the wings. I’ve been discussing with the DH if we should get 2 more stock tanks to DIY into garden beds, but of course the limiting factor will be patio space.
All planted with the winter garden! I left a 12″ square open for the next batch of bunching onions, spinach and lettuce I’ve started from seed. Meanwhile, I plan on using that bouquet dill shortly.
I’m bound and determined to grow nasturtiums this year. I had some old packets of Alaska Variegated, but turns out they were too old to germinate. So I picked up several packets at Calloway’s and online from Amazon. While seed shopping I also picked up Spinach and Lettuce seeds, along with bunching onions, chives, marigolds and coneflower seeds. I’m also looking forward to my order from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, consisting of baby bok and Chinese broccoli, coming soon!
As it turns out, my last seed starting venture left me with a lot of unsprouted soil blocks: arugula, spinach, bok choy, and various types of basil. Cleaning out the old seeds from my collection turned out to be a simple matter of dumping packets into wet paper towels and storing them in plastic zip lock bags.
No surprise here…well except for a single spinach seed that germinated. It just wasn’t worth the effort to keep it.
I also started another flat of soil blocks. The Parris Cos lettuce germinated within a few days. I’m hoping that the basils germinate. I also broke out the fenugreek seeds and sowed them in a pot. I purchased these seeds from Amazon pantry a few years ago, which sold them as spices. But whole fenugreek can also grown from these spice seeds. Even as sprouts, they are very fragrant.
If this batch of soil blocks fails to produce any basil, I may have to run them all through the paper towel method. I’m still hopeful I’ll get some to germinate. Stay tuned.