Urban Homesteading on a Small City Lot: Planted Leafy Greens Today In Perfect Spring Weather

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Planted Leafy Greens Today In Perfect Spring Weather

It is 63 degrees outside right now.  I can't believe I am inside typing this blog instead of sitting outside.  I think I got enough sun on my face earlier, though, while I planted the leafy greens and fava beans.

I have never grown fava beans before, so I tried a little experiment.  Last week I planted four of them in toilet paper roll seed starters.  Today I noticed that they were all growing.  They are so huge when they sprout that I was instantly scared that they would be harmed by being in those small tubes.  I planted them outside in a pot. You can see three of them in this picture if you look very close.

Here is an up close look at one of them.  This sprout is as big as a nickle.  They each had a huge thick root sticking out the bottom. as well.  The seed packet says you can plant them the same time as peas outside so I went ahead and planted the rest of the seeds directly outside.  They should be done in time to pull them out to make room for the warm weather crops.

This bed received a bunch of new seeds today.  On the right, I planted three types of kale.  Since kale grows very huge I planted three to four seeds in three different spots for each variety.  I will thin them to just one plant each. I hope they do well.  I love kale.  The far right corner was planted with two small squares of greens. One square is arugula and the other a mix of romaines.  The far left corner is a mesclun mix that looks really tasty on the package.  I also added a very small rectangle of sparkle radishes right behind the cherry belle radishes that have started sprouting.

Here are those radishes. I planted them a week and a half ago.  You can see the rows now.  They each have their seed leaves out now

This is a close up of one of them.

When they first push their little leaves through they look like this.

The spinach is just starting to poke out.  This is a close up of one of them. You can only see three or four so far.

The garlic is growing very tall and green.  I think it is the prettiest thing in the garden so far.

The peas are getting loads of leaves, but up until today they had kept them folded up pretty tight.  This warm sun must be coaxing them out because they are starting to open up.

Close up.  I love peas.

The onions I planted from bulbs are looking really strong.  After this year I might decide that this is the way to go.  Only the harvest will tell.

I planted my potatoes outside today.  I didn't have room for them all in this one bed, so I didn't plant all of the russets.  You may recall that I wasn't that excited about them to start with, so it isn't that sad.  The potatoes are in the ground in the trench. As they sprout, I will keep taking dirt from the hills and piling it around them so they have to grow higher and higher.  This encourages them to make more tuber producing stems.  I learned this from my good friend, the potato guy.  He had to figure out how to grow potatoes in every season and condition for his master's degree in entomology.  He did his research on a potato pest, the potato psillid.

Here is a look at my rhubarb plant.  I planted it from a sickly looking start I bought at Bimart a few weeks ago.  At first I wasn't even sure it was alive, but then it started growing inside so I planted it outdoors.  It is actually looking pretty good.  I bought a package that said it had two rhubarb starts in it, and it had only one very sickly one.  If this guy makes it through the winter this year to next year I think I will be happy enough, though. I really only wanted one plant.

Here is a look at one of the leafy green patches.  This is the spicy mesclun salad mix.  I put seeding potting soil on top of the seeds to keep it from crusting over them.

I used the pots from the pansies and violas to start some more eggplants and some bell peppers.  I keep saying I won't waste any more space on growing bell peppers, because I never get enough peppers to make it worth it, but I can never resist planting them in the spring.  Here goes.  Hopefully, I will discover the secret to making them productive this year.

Yay! Surprise! The grass we panted in the front yard is finally coming up.  From far off you can't really see it very well yet, but especially in the warmer, sunnier spots it is coming up pretty strong.  Suddenly, all the time we have spent watering it feels a little less wasted.  I am still a bit disappointed that I gave in and agreed to plant any lawn at all, but it is always exciting to see things sprouting and growing when you plant them.  The yard that we planted is very small and won't take too much water, because it is a drought tolerant fescue.

Things are getting exciting out in the garden.  I can't wait to see what is sprouting next week.  I am scheduled to plant another biweekly row of peas on Thursday.  I have also been transplanting some of the seedling I planted indoors, tomatoes, peppers, collards and celery.  They have been a bit disappointing so far.  It seams like I have one strong sprout for each variety.  I planted between six and 18 of each so that is not good odds.  I dug up one of the peat pellets to see what was going on inside there and I found seeds with roots, but no shoots so they will probably come up eventually as long as they don't get sick.  The seedling trays have not been keeping as warm as they should.  I added my reptile heat mat to the bottom of one of the trays.  I will see if that helps.  I think I will build a heated seed starting table for next year.

Happy planting to you all.  Hope you get out and enjoy this weather.

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