Say that five times fast!
Even though we have had a very mild winter and spring, I am not rushing into planting the garden. With global warming and climate change, the weather that used to be so reliant and predictable has become anything but. I don’t want to rush out and plant a lot of items into the garden to have them fail because of a last minute freeze or some other aberrant weather event so we start slowly.
Tomorrow is Ostara, the vernal equinox, in the agrarian calendar what is known as mid spring (half way between the fire festivals of Imbolc and Beltane). This day brings a balance to the light, where night and day are equal in length. On that day, I will plant my peas directly into the garden, but today I started some hearty seeds in the hope that in a few weeks, I can plant these spring favorites out in the yard.
I chose to plant a couple varieties of cabbage Red Acre, Baby “Pixie” and slow bolting Chinese cabbage. In addition, I planted Radicchio, it is much less expensive to grow it than it is to buy it (nearly $5 per head at the market). I started head lettuce “Valentine” to grow as edible landscaping in the front yard. Finally, I started mixed color Swiss Chard. This variety is a heritage variety grown and propagated at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
I always start out with seed starting mix rather than potting soil. The consistency and low nutrient content are exactly what is required for germination. When they are potted on, I will add some regular soil to increase the nutritional value of the soil. I mix in vermiculite to the soil and dampen before putting it into the seed trays. From there it is planting per package directions and watering. I also like to cover over the seedlings with grit, this helps keep the surface of the soil from caking and alse helps prevent dampening off.
These babies were labeled and put into the greenhouse to begin their life!