Thursday, February 20, 2014

2014 Seed Starting

The weather here as alternated between snowstorm, and warm spring.  Warm enough that I want to start planting.  I'm holding off a bit longer, but I did get my seed starting trays out, washed them, and got them planted.  Somewhere in the moves of the last several years, I lost all but the top cover of my third seed starting tray.  Since I'm holding off starting perennial flowers and ground cover for the yard until next year (or maybe just later in the summer) when the sprinkler system is finished and the yard is leveled the way we want it with rocks in the right spots, I don't really need the third tray, but it was still a bummer to find it missing.  It's probably in a random box out in the garage.

Here are the two planted trays.

I have 48 Opalka tomatoes.  We've grown this variety for three or four years now and really like how solid they are.  They're perfect for making salsa and canning.  Thin skin that comes off easily and thick meaty flesh.  Shaped like a large hot pepper.

4 California Wonder, bell peppers that I picked up a couple of years ago at a local store.  I think they were Martha Stewart brand.

4 Sweet Banana Peppers.  These are a first-try seed for me.  The plan is to pickle them.

4 Isis Candy Cherry Tomatoes.

16 Scarlet Kale.  These are also a first-try. If we can't eat all of it, we'll share it with the chickens.

4 Jalapeño pepper plants.  Hopefully these seeds germinate, since they're several years old.  I use jalapeños in our salsa, and also for pickling.

4 Quadrato Asti Giallo Peppers.  This was the new variety of bell pepper seeds I decided to try out this year.

12 Mortgage Lifter.  This is my second year with this variety.  They are big juicy slicing tomatoes.  Great for eating with a little salt and pepper.

12 Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry.  These are an experiment for this year.  I remember a neighbor when I was a kid growing these, picking the fruit off the ground, covered in little paper husks.  My grandmother made choke cherry jam, so when I saw these, I was hit with nostalgia and decided to try them out.  The seeds are tiny!

Finally, I have 12 Emerald Globe Artichoke plants.  These have been in my freezer for two years now, since I forgot to take them out to plant last year, with the house building.  Hopefully the seeds think they're well over-wintered and produce this year.  Last time I did artichokes, I planted the whole packet of seeds (which was only 8 or something).  5 plants survived, and only one of those survived the next winter.  We'll see if I can find a more protected location this year to try to get more to survive.  These are perennials in areas that don't get so cold.  Here we have to baby them to make it through the winter.