Thursday, March 5, 2009

Chilly Progress

We're making progress indoors, even if the weather outside is not cooperating, what with this week's March nor'easter and all. The broccoli sprouts have second leaves on them already. The germination rate of our leeks could have been better, but there are still new slowpokes coming up every day, and the first sprouts are already getting all gangly. The other alliums--Spanish and red torpedo onions, shallots, and scallions--are already sprouting, and we just planted pepper and tomato seeds last weekend. Since we're always on a mission to speed and improve germination, for the fussier tomatoes and pepper seeds we filled trays with potting mix only halfway, planted the seeds, and then put them on heating mats so there would be less distance for the heat to travel and less dirt to be warmed up. Those mats aren't very strong; in fact, a friend of ours uses more powerful reptile heating mats instead for his copious pepper plants. Right now our seeds are getting all steamy under a layer of plastic wrap; we should see some heads poking up any day now.


Gretchen said...

Nice! I planted a few things outside yesterday - spring fever go the best of me! I planted peas and then in the coldframe, arugula, spinach, kale, and lettuce - we'll see how it goes.

Kate said...

You're so lucky to have the coldframe! We planted lettuce this weekend, but we're starting the seeds inside to transplant in a few weeks. Peas are up next for us, too.

We were wondering if you have a mechanism in your coldframe to let air in if it gets too hot in there. Has that ever been a problem for you?

Gretchen said...

Yeah, I planted lettuce inside as well just in case!

Josh drilled some dowel-sized holes in the frame and the lid so that we can prop it open to help ventilate it, which works pretty well if we keep on top of it. It can get quite dry, so we have to remember to water it as well if it doesn't rain during warmer temps when we can open up the lid.