Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seedlings and transplants

I've started more transplants from seed this year than ever before. This will be my biggest garden and I plan on filling it up completely, so I have had transplants all over the place!

5/1: Brassicas and lots of tomatoes hardening off outside and in my little cold frame. The brassicas were transplanted a week later.

5/15: Tomatoes were transplanted after about 2 weeks outside. I had to wait until the ground was ready for rototilling. These are by far the best looking transplants I've grown! This year I wanted to grow my early tomatoes and peppers/eggplant under low tunnels. I bought a "Quick Hoops" tube bender (from Johnny's) to make heavy duty 1/2" EMT hoops to cover with greenhouse plastic.

On a cloudy day where we don't even get to 60 degrees (we've had a lot of those lately) it will be a balmy 85 in the tunnel. On sunny days, I lift up one entire side of the plastic for ventilation and it stays around 90 inside. So far the tomatoes are loving it.

5/25: Pepper seedlings will go under a low tunnel as well. I'll cover the soil with black plastic before transplanting in order to trap even more heat. In our mild summers, keeping the soil warm is the most important controllable condition in order to keep hot weather peppers and eggplant growing well.

Eggplant, above, and melons and cukes. This is my first try with melons. Really, they won't grow well up here without a lot of special attention. They'll need black plastic mulch and a low tunnel, plus a good summer, in order to produce much. However, I've heard from many sources that a freshly picked, homegrown melon is just about the sweetest, best tasting this that can come out of the garden, so I have to give it a shot. These will be ready to transplant out (weather permitting) in a week or two.


Gevan said...

One time, when you were just a whipper-smapper, I was able to get muskmelons / canteloupes to ripen here in Puyallup. About the size of softballs, warm from the sun, they were THE BEST.
Once or twice gotten edible watermelons (small, but good).

The MOB said...

Your starts look great. Mine are a little leggy this year. Oh well. Maybe next year I will finally invest in a growing light.

- Bethany