Sunday, February 20, 2011

Movin on Out

Bellevue Plot #84, 2-20-11
     Yesterday was one of the windiest days I have ever witnessed.  Sustained winds of 30 - 40 mph, gusting to the high of 56 mph.  I was afraid that glass would be littered everywhere as it is not strapped down, yet was greatly relieved to find all intact.  A bit chilled, with frost on the panes, but that was to be expected.

From Porch Starters 2/20/11
      Well, it's time to live dangerously and start moving flats into the cold frames in a big way.  I need the extra space in the porch for newer seedlings.  Movin on out time.  The bottom flat was started from seed on 1/25/11. From left to right, are Florida Broadleaf Mustard, Redbor Kale, Giant Winter Spinach, and Chinese Thick Stem Mustard.  The Florida Mustard and Redbor Kale were started from my own seeds saved from last year!  The Chinese Thick Stem was new to me last year, and was one very delicious and attractive addition. 
     The top flat has garlic started in December from my own runt garlic cloves from last year's harvest that were too small to eat.  The little tray in the uppermost left corner has garlic started from the little tiny seed bulblets from last year.  The leafy plants next to the garlic are Ice Bred Arugula from Fedco, started in December of last year, and grown till now on the porch.  I snitched a leaf this morning, oh so delicious.  It pains me, but I am going to be a nice Pop and give a six pack of arugula to each of my daughters this morning.  Now that that proclamation is public, I will have to honor it.  The Black Seeded Simpson plants that over wintered on the porch are also movin out this morning.  Finally, the last row of plants are Rainbow Lacinto Kale, started only on 2/4/11.  It was another newcomer to my garden last year that was quite productive, but underutilized as food.  There are many times in the summer when things are growing well, and you just can't eat it quickly enough!  Such a problem to have.  Senposai grew abundantly last year, but alas, was never harvested.

Bellevue Cold Frame 2/20/11  
     Into their new home they go, just as flats.  This is to grow them out some more.  They will get far more light than on the porch.  The skinny little things in the bottom left corner are Red Burgundy and Walla Walla onions started from seed.  Somewhat disappointing on germination rates, but an interesting experiment to try something new in the onion category.
     You probably noticed that all of the cells have around four baby plants. That would be because I plant four seeds to a pack expecting some failure of germination.  Whoops.  Anyone local who would like to come over and divide out some babies is welcome to give me a holler.  I might divide them on my own, but I think that is probably just a fantasy. 
     It would be unusually cold now to dip below 20 at night.  Predictions into the mid teens would cause me to add a plastic layer inside the frames.  I actually had to use the watering can this morning, as a couple of flats were drying out.  So with some things movin out, there will be space for me to start tomato and peppers seeds in flats later this week.  Gardening in earnest has begun!


  1. What a good father you are, giving all that arugula away! I don't garden on anywhere near the scale you do, but tomorrow is seed planting day for the cold-weather lovers. Radishes, carrots, and cress heading outdoors...

  2. Hi George!
    I love, love your cold frames and can see I could learn a lot from you! I built myself a cold frame two years ago and my husband has given me one more season to make it work or I have to get rid of it. (It's too big to store in the garage, I get it) I've only used it once and fried everything in a matter of days. :-( I am determined to make it work this year! I need to figure out how to vent it or put it in a different spot in part shade(?). Any cold frame 101 tips you could give a newbie?


  3. Amy, After the cold season, you can use the bottom of the cold frame as a highly tended seed starting area. As the young plants grow on, you can transplant them. I had a seed starting bed for the first time last year, a great success. Many of those young plants became the transplant stock for my other cold frames. Store only the top of the frame in the garage. Or put lattice on it and use the frame in the summer for shaded lettuce or spinach.

  4. Thanks for the tips George. I plan to try it out again this year.