Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I planted lettuce yesterday with my friend Susan, who's garden blog "Digging In" is wonderful. You can click on the link to read her blog. Go ahead, I'll wait.

See, she's amazing. Anyway, she took the great pictures of the process which is wonderful as I couldn't have done it, my hands being full and all.

I've tried the fine sand and seed mixture before. It worked very badly last year. We got dense clumps of lettuce, then nothing, then a lettuce, then another clump. The seeds, while too small to seed comfortably with bare fingers, are too big to mix well with the sand.

So this year, I tried soaking the seed over night. Then I clipped the tip off a pipette and here I am using it to plant the seed.

The tip needed to be clipped off to be able to draw the seeds up. Then I squirted the seeds and a couple of mls of water onto the prepared soil. Where the water and seeds landed turned a bit darker so it was pretty easy to see where I had already seeded.

This is some old seed, so I'm taking a gamble. But I figured soaking it was a good way to hedge my bet.

I should know fairly soon if I have a fail.

A close up of the seeds in the tip of the pipette.

I planted buttercrisp and a mescalun mix lettuces. The buttercrisp worked better with this method as the seeds are more uniform. I ended up taking a bit of wet seed and flicking it over the soil with the mescalun seeds as they are very uneven in sizes.

I need to get my clones to put some row cover on the lettuce beds. It rained last night and got VERY COLD for April so I'm not too worried about it getting dried. But the best thing you can do for your seeds is to keep then uniformly moist. And row cover is the best way to do that that I know.

Something fun we are going to try this year is using poor quality sheep fleece as path mulch. Our garden (which you can see a lot of on my Facebook page: Fox Ryde Gardens) has a lot of paths as it's a big garden. Keeping the paths weed free really was a struggle last year. Actually keeping the garden weed free was a struggle. The stupid bind weed was unbelievable. I'd pull it and 3 days later, it was back for most of the summer. Anyway, we decided to try using the wool on the paths. Now I just have to get more, lots more.

And keep from getting a hoard on as I am a fiber monkey.

Here I am watering the lettuce bed. To my left (where you can't see) is the prepared sugar snap pea (Sugar Ann) bed, but the pea seeds, while well soaked, have not yet sprouted.

My husband built the stone wall from stone off our land, isn't it so beautiful? It's right outside my kitchen door so I look into the bed from the kitchen window.
What you can't see is the watering wand is not working well at all. Ice cold water is shooting everywhere. The smile is sort of a grimace of chill.

But once the weather decides to settle down, I look forward to wonderful fresh lettuce.


Diane said...

I'm still waiting for my sugar snaps to come up as well. Here's hoping! (this is Keridwen)

Spike said...

I love eating the tender tips of the pea vines. They are almost as sweet and yummy as the peas themselves. Grow, little peas!