Tuesday, March 10, 2015

And We're Off!

The garden is off to a good start!  I think the new seed-starting method, which includes a fluffier potting mix, a heating mat, and a seed incubator/cold frame, is really doing the job.

The paprika peppers were up in about two weeks, which is fairly typical for those peppers; they always scare me into thinking they won't germinate, and then they do.  They seem to have grown faster so far this year than usual, and I think they are really benefiting from the looser soil.

Most impressive is the San Marzano tomatoes, which I planted on March 3 and which showed their little heads last night, March 9.  The single San Marzano plant I "imported" last year from my friend in Tennessee was one of the best producers of the entire bunch, so I'm very hopeful that a row of these will boost my sauce production.  I have a few Cuor di Bue seeds from the same source plants that I put in on March 6, and I expect to see them soon.  Hopefully, the wonderfully warm and bright environment will get those off to a good start.

I have in reserve a strain of volunteer tomatoes from last year from which I saved the seeds.  I'm sort of dragging my feet on those, part to see if I can encourage that strain to develop early garden-readiness, and part because I'm trying to time these plants to a certain level of maturity before I'm going to have to move this cold frame into the sun room, and planting now would make for an awkward sprouting time as far as my own schedule.  Stupid human problems!

It's always so nerve-wracking for me, starting seedlings.  There's so much that can go wrong; as much as you picture every one of these plants going into the garden, some won't make it.  Sometimes, entire varieties don't make it, and you're left with nothing from that batch.  But this is the time of year for hope for the garden!  And think -- in less than three months, some of these will be outside in the soil!

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