Saturday, April 27, 2013

First Spring Harvest

 I have had an itchy garden finger since mid-February.  I recently purchased some grow lights and began some basil starts on my kitchen counter, very low tech. With some tender loving care, I have managed to get some really healthy starts.  I began starting the seeds in Jiffy peat pellets; I added 3 basil seeds to each peat pellet and waited for them to sprout.  Within 3-5 days, all the seeds germinated.  I watched them grow and carefully kept them watered until their little roots began to peek out from the peat pellets. At this time I used little tiny scissors to snip out the weakest seedling of the bunch, leaving only 1-2 plants per peat pellet. It was now time to love the seedlings into 4 inch pots with some good bagged garden soil.  I am keeping them happy with a half strength solution of fish emulsion once a week.  Once they get to a nice size, I will harden them off by leaving out on the patio several hours a day for about a week.  After a week, they can be left out all day and slowly be allowed to 'live' outside when the temperature gets a bit warmer.

Our first spring harvest consisted of baby spinach, lettuce, pea vines, baby arugula, kale, parsley and spring onions.  I did not build a cold frame this year but I bet if I did, I would have been able to get a harvest even earlier.

Our first couples of radishes were spicy and crisp.  I have been experimenting with re-mineralizing my soil and I think it has paid off, look at the size of that radish root.