Watching seeds sprout into seedlings and grow into plants never ceases to amaze me. The joy and wonder of new life!
The first little brassica seedlings emerged on February 12, and I posted about it on Instagram here. And then two days later, the scallions began germinating, so now I've got broccoli, kale, and scallion babies photosynthesizing by the window. Some of the brassicas (broccoli and kale) seem to be getting a bit leggy, making me wish I had an outdoor greenhouse. The seedlings get a lot of sun in this window, but they still seem to be reaching a bit.
Scallions on the left, kale on the right.
With our strong wind gusts here in Reno, we'd need a sturdy greenhouse that wouldn't blow away. We're dreaming up designs for next season and thinking about where a greenhouse might fit in our little backyard.
One idea is to place it where our hot tub currently sits. This hot tub came with our house and we've never used it. It drained while we were away--a pipe probably froze and burst. It's probably for the best since it was wasting energy and water, but now the question is what to do with it. Green Guy's aunt and uncle filled their old hot tub with soil and grow veggies in it. This morning I was envisioning a sort of cold frame for seedlings, if we were to remove the lid and put some sturdy plastic or a glass lid over the top. What other creative ways could we repurpose it in the short-term? Eventually I think we'll get it hauled away and build a greenhouse in its place.
But back to the seedlings: you'll notice it's getting crowded in some of the cells. I'm planning on thinning the brassicas down to one sprout per cell later today, using hair cutting scissors for precision. I planted multiple seeds in each cell so that I could thin to the strongest one, and for the old seeds I sowed, it helped increase the probability of germination.
I'm sowing more seeds this coming weekend, hoping that all these seedlings make it once I plant them out in March. The soil may still be too cold by that point, so I may be growing them indoors longer than planned.
(Side note: I'm considering getting panda plastic/silage tarp to help warm up the soil and suppress weeds before planting out, but the thought of so much plastic gives me pause--if I'm going to get some for this season, I should order it now to make it worth it. I know many market gardeners & organic farmers use silage tarp--I used it in 2018 and it was amazing--so I'm really torn. I think it would make my life a lot easier in the garden, and it's reusable if I take care of it. What to do!?)
This is all part of the learning process in this new garden, and honestly I'm just having so much fun growing these little plant babies! That alone makes it worth it in my book.