Seed Planting Frenzy

Compared to 2022, this year I got a late started with seed planting (first seeds planted indoors on April 2nd), but a much earlier finish (yesterday, April 29th) compared to last year (June 6th). I’ve planted 51 128-cell plug trays plus some miscellaneous, over 6,550 total. Around 70% are tomatoes, with the rest mostly peppers, then ground cherries, eggplant, and a few more.

It has been yet another adventure in “ultra-marathoning. Long story of sleep deprivation and…

Among tomato varieties, I’ve planted seeds of 181 varieties for other growers, to be delivered via my “Plant Mobile” (see Seedlings Tab at website).

As for planting tomato seeds for this year’s seed saving project, my first cut was over 1,600 varieties. Ugh – I committed to growing only 400 varieties! So I whittled and whittled down to about 390. Once I started going through the actual boxes of seeds, another variety, then another and another screamed at me, “MUST GROW”, so somehow, I ended up planting 532 varieties for seed saving. Among these, based upon past experience, I would bet money that at least 50 varieties will yield zero germination.  In dozens of cases, this is the third or fourth year that I’ve attempted to germinate seeds without success, and I used up my very last seeds for at least 30 varieties.

Today (April 30th) was sunny and warm, and I moved most trays outside for a dip in fish emulsion-enriched water and their first taste of sunshine, behind shade cloth of course.

I’m gearing up to do my best to get 5,000 seedlings potted up in 5 days. That’s my emotional mind speaking. My logical mind, based upon years of experience and imperfect memory, mockingly jeers at me, “500 seedlings per day is your upper limit, even with help: DON’T BE FOOL”. Breath and remember:

“Don’t Panic. It’s the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody’s said to me all day.” ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Alternate title for this blog post:

The Spring of Wild Mustard

All that very welcome snow lead to massive germination of wild mustard seeds, both here and everywhere I’ve driven over the past few days.

Many plants did not survive the winter outdoors, but several survived in the cellar under a metal halide light.

I’ve made some progress with planting peas, broccoli, rutabaga, radishes, etc. from seed over the past couple of weeks. But it’s been so difficult to find the time.

While preparing to plant in grow bags (using augur to mix in nutrients), I encountered a couple of preying mantis egg cases.

Also, purchased some tasty sweet bell peppers that were completely seedlings. More about these and parthenocarpy here.