It’s the third week of the new year. This 3-day weekend was desperately needed especially considering how stressful work has been lately. It wouldn’t be a time for R&R for me though. We had a truck load of limestone rock and and vegetable planting soil delivered Saturday morning so I knew there would be a lot of sweat and hard work in the days ahead.
As far as what I have growing in my indoor growing station, here’s a rundown:
- Lettuce Mixture
- Nadia Hybrid Eggplant
- California Wonder Pepper
- Goliath Pepper
- Red Cherry Pepper
- Garden Salsa Pepper
- Large Cayenne Pepper
- Chive (did not germinate, restarting)
- Oregano (poor germination, restarting)
- Empress of India Nasturtiums
- Peach Melba Nasturtiums
- Johnny Jump-Ups
Yes, I have A LOT going on right now. In fact, many of them are already well into their first set of true leaves so I need to move them into larger pots. Luckily last week I placed a huge order of various nursery pots and I just bought a bag of perlite so I’m ready to do some transplanting.
Getting seedlings past the cotyledon stage is a little scary as this is the time when the seedling is still in the early stages of development and the most vulnerable to damping-off disease. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent inspecting all of my seedlings each morning and night these past few weeks to make sure each one of them are growing healthy and strong, free of mold and foreign growth.
Now we’re entering the 6th week before the average last frost date. This weekend, along with filling the raised bed, I’m going to start tomatoes and potatoes. The kind of potatoes I bought are actually called “true seed” (Clancy Potatoes) in that they start as actual coated seed and not tubers.
Unlike tuber potatoes, true seed potatoes can be started indoors around the same time as tomatoes. Once they’re established, you can transplant them into the garden and grow them just like regular potatoes.
I’m also going to move my lavender from cold storage onto a germination mat. I’ve learned to do a little bit of research for each seed I start because each one is different, especially lavender. Lavender seeds in particular need to undergo a process called cold wet stratification. This process replicates that of a cold winter and triggers the germination stage in the seed (watch this video for reference).
From what I’ve learned, the stratification time for lavender ranges between 30-40 days, but some have achieved success in just 3 weeks. I’m going to see if I can get to 3 weeks by using grow lights and a germination mat. Maybe I should start a backup batch just in case.
With all this new seed I’m starting, the stuff in progress above is going to need somewhere to go. That’s why I bought this 3′ x 3′ outdoor cold-frame storage. It arrived a few days ago but I haven’t assembled it yet, so I’m hoping to get to it this weekend as well. Daytime temperatures will start getting into the 60s this weekend which means this would be the perfect time to start hardening off some of these little seedlings.