Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Success & Second Guessing

I know it's really early in the gardening season to be freaking out about possible mistakes I've made, but I am. With so many variables to weigh about when to plant (which zone I'm in vs. actual weather, FA advice vs. actual weather, etc.) it makes my head spin sometimes. It's a little like parenting, because I feel like if I haven't done things 100% right from the get-go, I'm going to scar my little plants for life, if they even make it past infancy.

Three things are currently bothering me about the garden:

1. I planted my garlic last fall with zero consideration for how the rest of the plot would be planted in the spring. In fact, the row of garlic (A single row? Why didn't I plant them in clusters or widely spread in a few different rows?) is currently running perpendicular to the rows I've planted in Quad 1. I mean, I guess there's no law saying that all of the rows in each quad have to run in the same direction, but I feel like this is something I should have figured out in October instead of randomly planting bulbs (or not randomly enough). The nagging question of the moment is can I move the garlic bulbs now that they've started sending out shoots, or will that kill them?

2. Even though the Farmer's Almanac says that Jan. 15-Feb. 7 is the optimal time for planting peas in our region, I think the peas I planted on 1/20 are going to freeze to death. If they haven't been traumatized enough by the dogs, the weather is expected to be below freezing temps several days this week (Wednesday: 63 degrees, Thursday: 31 degrees and snowing). Surely this can't be good for them if they (miraculously) start to germinate early in the week, right? Should I cover them up with a blanket? I think I will. Granted, I am following the FA this year because last year I planted the cool-weather crops much too late and they died a sunny death, but now I'm afraid they'll never make it past January. Does anyone want to adopt 3 pea-loving mutts?

3. Just after direct-sowing these doomed peas, I did a lot of reading on inoculating peas and legumes to increase yields. I, of course, did not do that and I didn't purchase pre-inoculated seeds. My yield last year was laughably small, so in addition to purchasing A LOT more seeds this year, I'm thinking that I should have inoculated. This is probably the least of my current concerns because while I've already planted 2.5 rows, I still have another several rows to plant, and I can inoculate those. D'oh!

In other news, however, I AM finding early success in the seeds that I started last week. In fact, the cauliflower seeds started germinating an amazing THREE DAYS after I planted them.

Out of 4 cauli planters, 3 germinated and the 4th I'm not sure actually had a seed in it. At least, I can't see one, so I threw in another seed for good measure. I can't wait to get a couple more of these going, but I will probably need to go dumpster diving to get more soda bottles since we don't drink it here.

I have also had action in the broccoli planters outside, but they are moving very slowly (normal for this cultivar, according to the seed packet) so I'll try to get pictures up when there is green. 

There is also 1 sprout each in the petunia and yarrow flats I started last week, so that's all very encouraging. I'll probably still be a wreck until the "wintry mix" has passed us by and I know the peas will make it. I know I'm obsessing, but I can't be the only one, right?

1 comment:

  1. I get my gardening information from Okla State University. They have extension offices in each county and they publish fact sheets. I thought I would give you a link in case you didn't know this information was available.
    http://osufacts.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-389 I bet your peas will be fine.