Saturday, February 20, 2010

Green Grows Again!

It's been beautiful here for a few days now and I decided it was time to allow the seedlings to stop bathing periodically in the sun and get moved outside for good. We're supposed to have a week or more of beautiful weather, so I'm hopeful they'll get acclimated enough and not be too shocked when cold weather comes again, which it undoubtedly will.

Here are the lettuce seedlings. They look really nice, but their roots were awful shallow and made them difficult to get out of the cell packs.

Below are the cauliflower and cabbage seedlings. This will be my third attempt at cauliflower. I'm so hopeful that they'll work. If not, I think I'll just concede defeat.

Stringing the grid with one piece of yarn is one of the best things I learned last year. Last year, the first time I strung the grid, I cut it into sections and stapled it down every foot. That didn't last and just made things difficult since I was so worried about dislodging the string.

This is so much better. I drive in a small nail every foot and anchor a piece of yarn to one corner nail. Then I wrap it around the nails to make the grid.
It's super easy and it stays all season. Now, the nails are a bit hairy at times. You can't prop your tuchus on the edge of the bed, but they work so well that I've just learned to be careful around them. Not the safest thing, I know, but terribly effective.

I took the cabbage and planted it in every space. I learned last fall that this was too close of a spacing, but this is supposed to be a tiny, dwarf cabbage, so I'm helpful it will work. I then checker boarded all of the broccoli and cauliflower.
I can't speak much for the cauliflower, but I've tried the broccoli checker boarded and then planted every square. The checkerboard was certainly the way to go. They all grew large and had beautiful heads. When I got greedy and planted them every space this fall, some didn't even grow heads since they were so shadowed by the others. I think SFG spacing is good for many things, but not broccoli for me.
I'm not happy with that compost I tilled in earlier this month. Now that it's dried out, it's just tough and chalky. Certainly not the quality I picked up from this place last year. I'm worried that it doesn't seem to hold moisture very much, but it may just possibly be that the top layer dries out quickly since when I was digging holes for the broccoli, it seemed to at least be somewhat damp down in there.
Now, if I can just keep the dog from eating the seedlings, I'll be doing pretty darn good.
Woohoo! It's gonna get green out there, my friends!


  1. Them's mighty purty greens, Miz Ribbit!

    My cabbages/cauliflower/broccoli seedlings were puny and leggy last year, so I hope they fare better this time. I gave up on the cauliflower, which is too bad. It's one of Mr. H's favorite veggies. I end up with ugly yellow curds, even though I tie it shut to blanch, then it goes to seed on me overnight.

  2. I think it's pretty cool how you string the grids. Maybe i'll do the same. I just saw the 7 days forecast for my area, and it's gonna get down into the high teens for about 3 nights in a row. Hope you're not gonna get the same weather!

  3. Granny, I'm getting convinced that some people just aren't meant to grow cauliflower.

    EG, the forecast looked so good and tonight when I checked, they changed their numbers. Wednesday we're supposed to get back down to the high 20's. We'll see how it goes. If it works, yea! If not, May's just around the corner.

  4. wow, outside "for good"! I'm jealous! I can't grow cauliflower either, but it's because of the worms, I had them so bad last year I'm skipping it this year.

  5. I live just north of Atlanta - Isn't this weather wonderful? I put out my lettuce transplants yesterday as well. I have to admit, I'm dreading Wednesday. I feel like nature is toying with me! Your SQG looks great and your broccoli plans are making me envious. I guess it's never too late to add a few more containers!

  6. It is beautiful! I'm on my way to get some potting soil to transplant some things into larger pots and start those potatoes!

  7. Oh how exciting! I will have to live vicariously though my blogging friends for now as it will be a few more months before I can plant outside. I am going to try to push it a bit by setting up growing tunnels this year though.

    Enjoy your nice weather!

  8. I'm willing to buy the few veggies that just won't do for me. We don't eat much cauliflower, so I buy it.

  9. Looking good! I'll have to try the yarn trick this year. I was going to space my broccoli and cauliflower a foot apart, but I think I'll follow your advice and do the checkboard. It's tempting to get greedy when you have a limited about of bed space.