Several small snowstorms in March – much needed moisture!
Seed processing from 2020 continuing.
Eggplant, Thai White Ribbed offtype, distinctive netting coloration of purple, green and yellow.
Pods were still edible until mid-February, seeds extracted March 26th.
Moving on to the 2021 growing season, I’ve planted thousands of seeds of hundreds of varieties of lettuce, onion, pepper, tomatoes, etc. for seed germination tests and for plants to grow this year for seed saving. Seed germination tests for both lettuce and peppers seem to drop off dramatically after about 5 years old, but I need to compile and publish results. Here’s what some of them look like today:
Stokes Purple sweet potato seedlings are more like stunted vines now, with some runners over 3′ long
Of course a “few” early tomato seedlings (many thousands still to come):
Other things up and growing include:
Fig, Black Manzita –
Garlic – first up was the variety Kilarney Red –
Dwarf Pomegranate –
Ginger, Turmeric (neither yet sprouting) and very pricy wasabi, which I will attempt to grow in the cellar, where they temperature never gets above 65° F.
The nasturtium plant is growing rapidly and producing flowers in abundance, now that the weather is getting warmer. I’ve had to move the plant to the kitchen to make room on the wire racks for seedling production. I’m pollinating every open blossom several times a day with a Q-Tip.
I’ve already planted seeds of about 130 varieties for other gardeners. More about this seedling project is available here:
At the moment I’m in the middle of planting seeds of 234 new (to Delectation of Tomatoes) tomato varieties. This will be followed over the next few days by plantings of seeds of an estimated 350 additional tomato varieties to replenish supplies and replace seeds of varieties that are more than 8 years old.
This year I’ve purchased three additional light stands (2′ X 4′, 4-shelf wire racks), each of which can hold 20 trays, which brings my capacity to 80 trays simultaneously. And the lights: LED, 4′ long, two lamps per fixture, “Utility Shop Light Fixture, 4400lm, 42W [250W Equivalent], 5000K Daylight White Shop Lights”. And three more 2′ X 4′ heat mats, along with a thermostat temperature controller.
Some germinating seeds got too hot today where they were exposed to direct sunlight next to the south-facing window.
I closed the curtain, completely removed the humidomes, and turned on the box fan. Within two hours, temperatures were back in the 78-80° range, much more to the liking of tomatoes and peppers. Constant vigilance appears to be mandatory!
New light stands at various, with an abundant use of Mylar fabric –
And now, the BIG project – the most expensive thing I’ve ever purchased, aside from three houses and one new car 18 years ago.
A 200 square-foot greenhouse with a framework made of treated lumber, to be covered with Solexx – distinctly NOT the cheap stuff. Here is the 225′ roll of 4′ wide, 3.5 mm Solexx:
Now that the huge Siberian Elm tree is down, it makes sense to construct a greenhouse, which will also serve as a solarium, providing heat for the house during the cold months of winter.
Here is some progress made over the past few days –
There is a good chance that all posts will be set in concrete tomorrow, trusses placed, and some cross-bracing installed. Construction is behind schedule, but progress is significant, with some good help, of course. I can hardly keep up with filling seed orders and planting thousands of seeds for the 2021 growing season. Designing and construction a customized greenhouse like this is something I just could not do on my own, even if I could somehow manage zero sleep every night for a month!
I will still need to setup the low tunnel like I did last year, since I will have about twice as many seedlings.
Then there is the issue of leveling and plowing the garden spot that has never been cultivated. And building high tunnels. And putting a tall fence around the property. And – not a moment of boredom!