Friday, February 22, 2013

Peppers, cauliflower, peppers, cabbage, peppers, leeks, and peppers.

Dreary day today, and the snow is falling down, perfect for planting.  I wish.  I would prefer a little sunshine, but you take what you get.  Being that we are at about 11 ish weeks until around our last frost, I had some seeds that needed to get started.  I am going slightly ahead of schedule, just a week or two, but mother nature was ahead of schedule last year, and I would bet she is again this year.  So I am planning accordingly.

Last year we planted some mini peppers, and they were a little too mini, as in the size of a large marble.  And Mike was the only pepper eater in the family.  This year, Jonathan has a new found love for red, orange, and yellow peppers,  as in he eats them almost every day in his lunch.  And I am tolerating them much more than I use to, and even enjoying the every now and then.  So we are planting peppers.  To eat, and to freeze.  They freeze great if you dice them up, and they are great to add on to homemade pizza, in omeletts, hash browns, homemade sloppy joes, and much more.  We will eat what we can, and the rest we will dice and freeze.  W are planting King Of The North, which is a hardy sweet red pepper good for short growing seasons, California Wonder, a sweet yellow pepper, and 2 Jalapeno plants which I saved seeds from a farmers market pepper, and trying again the Burpee organic Carnival Pepper mix.  I was hesitant with the Burpee seeds, even though they were organic, worried that they were owned by Monsanto. They are in fact not owned by Monsanto, however they do get some seeds from a Monsanto subsidiary..  They also pledged not to sell any GMO seeds.  They are not my first choice in seed companies but I did want to try out these peppers. In all, I planted 2 Jalapeno plants, 2 Carnival Pepper, 4 King Of The North, and 4 California Wonder.

I planted the Giant Of Naples from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  4 of these giants.  Let's hope they live up to their name.  After our broccoli fail last year we are trying cauliflower instead.  This we will eat raw, or cook up, or freeze. Everyone but Lilah likes cauliflower, but she will at least take a few bites.

Late Flat Dutch, and this bad boys look huge.  In the seed packed picture a little boy is holding up a giant head of cabbage.  I hope mine look as nice when they are done growing.  I am also planting 4 heads of cabbage. I plan on using most of it to can sauerkraut   And eat some fresh sauteed or as coleslaw.  We bought a few small cabbage plants last year, they did decent despite the fact that they went out late and it was super hot and dry last summer.  Hoping starting these early will give them enough time to mature.

I love leeks.  In scrambled eggs, quiches, soups, you name it.  I bought quite a few from the farmers market last year, they last a while in the fridge, and I even diced and froze quite a few.  These seem to be needy.  I will be taking half the dirt out of the squares in the garden before they are transplanted outside.  Then when planted, you have to pile the dirt up around them as they grow to get more of the white are in the leeks, and that is the best part.  This is our first time planting leeks.  Hopefully we'll have enough time to tend to them.  I am planting 12 of them to start.  Technically you can put 9 in a square foot, but I think I am going to do 2 squares with 6 in each.

All of these seeds are in one of my larger seed trays, covered with a clear lid.  They are watered good and the lid will stay on until the seeds germinate. Until they germinate, they like it warm, so they will be hanging out on top of the dryer for a week or so.  After that they will move to the counter in the kitchen under a grow light.

Let's hope I can keep these all alive for the next 10-12 weeks.  Fingers crossed.  And toes.


Gina said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe you're planting already! Do you start your seeds now and then they're good to transplant by Summer!? I had so many late peppers last year, and red and yellow take forever to turn, so I feel like I should start earlier this year. But I usually buy the plants from Powers Flowers in Highland. Would you suggest seeds? Also, have you ever had luck with watermelon or cantaloupe? I've tried three times and nothing. BUt I'm wondering if I start them inside now, they'll do better. We should get together and have a play date and talk gardens!!

Carrie said...

Yea. Some seeds take a long time to germinate and start growing. I have planted all my seeds that need to be started indoors 9+ weeks before last frost. I don't start them all indoors though. If I remember correctly melons just start indoors for a two weeks or so. My melons did not produce last year, nor did my corn. Trying again. I am hoping to give them more attention this year. It's so much cheaper to plant when you start by seed, I order all organic and heirloom seeds and I don't think I have paid over $3 a packet, and if you order them you normally get more seeds in each pack versus buying seeds at a store. They take a lot of patience and care though.

Gina said...

I've planted corn twice now and mine never lasts. Can't seem to get that one to grow! And I should try the seeds some time. I have no where to put all that in my house though! But it would be fun, and a little taste of summer, to start now with the girls!