Saturday, February 28, 2009

Transplant Day

It's been two weeks since I sowed seeds indoors for the lettuces, broccoli and cabbage. They've been growing really well under the lights and have their first true leaves, so today I transplanted them into larger pots. The cabbages and broccoli went into 4-packs that were 2x2 inches, and the lettuces went into a 72-cell flat. They also got their first dose of half strength fish fertilizer.

I was a bit surprised at the broccoli. I was expecting that the hybrid broccoli would be off to a faster start due to all that "hybrid vigor", but it was the open-pollinated Umpquah that had the biggest root systems and sturdiest plants.

I'm a little worried that the full flat of lettuces won't get enough light, being that the flat is so wide, but I find that lettuces can do with less light than other plants.

Why did I plant a full flat of lettuce? I figure that I'll harvest the babies for salad a couple weeks to a month before they're fully mature. It's not that much more work to do a flat than it is to do a dozen.

I plan to set these outdoors in a couple of weeks, depending on the weather, to let them harden before planting them around the first of April. We're due to get more snow this week, so we'll see how this late winter/early spring progresses.

In the meantime, I'm starting my tomatoes a little early since the lights seem to be such a success. Usually I start them around the 15th of March, but they've been so pale and wimpy I have to set them outside during the day so they get enough light. Even then, they sunburn a bit even under the protection of Kozy-Koats.

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