Sunday, March 1, 2009

Winter Sown and Other Sowings

These are the broccoli and snap peas in the cold-frame. Man, those snap peas grow fast. Broccoli a little slower, but they have their first set of true leaves. In the back you can see my "winter-sown" experiment, also known as starting seeds in the cold-frame.

A closer look shows a sprout just pushing out of the mix. It took two weeks longer out here. The question? Will it be a better broccoli plant or will it be too late to resist bolting later in the season? Who knows, but I will identify it with a tag so that I know which one is which and take note of any differences.

On the other end of the broccoli experiment stick are these seedlings I planted last fall and covered with a plastic tent. My biggest problem here has been keeping them watered. The soil dries out much faster than I anticipated. This taxed the seedlings and killed off most of them while I was away for a couple of stints out of town. Two plants remain in fair health and another two or three are weak looking, but alive. If I had kept them watered I think I would be looking at good-sized starts. It seems that the new seedlings will catch up to the fall-planted broccoli pretty fast once March weather arrives.

The winter protection afforded by the apartment building makes a good case for foundation vegetable plantings. South facing, wind blocking, heat holding and radiating add up to an ideal location for some winter vegetables.

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