Sunday, April 7, 2013

Brussels Sprouts

Well it seems I can't grow Brussels Sprouts. Granted, my seeds were one and two years old, but 100% of them germinated, and they all got more than two leaves. And then they all just wilted and died. Damping off, I believe. The second year in a row that this has happened. The first year I tried to grow Brussels Sprouts, I actually got them large enough to transplant them into the ground, where they were killed by cutworms. But at this point, I feel that these are a variety of plant that it is just impossible to grow.

These types of setbacks I am becoming used to the more I farm.

That said, my 2013 farm is doing alright so far. Last week when I planted out in my raised beds, I had been under the impression that we would be getting a few days of rain over the course of the week. None of that rain fell. But, knowing those seeds had just been planted and hopefully uneaten by birds, rabbits, cats, or dogs, would chill out, waiting for the rain. It is now predicted that up to 3" of rain will fall this week, in warm weather thunderstorms... if that comes to pass, those seeds should be pushing out of the ground by this time next week.

Life in the seed room, Brussels Sprouts not withstanding, is going well. I kept the heat off while I was out of town, and our friend kept the seedlings and the soil blocks watered. But not too much grew. A few of the eggplants have now pushed out. Some of the tomatoes and peppers have grown third and fourth leaves. The cabbages are starting to look like cabbages, and the lettuce and mesclun are looking fantastic. And today I started four more flats of seeds... peppers, tomatoes, ground cherries, hollyhocks, lovage, salad burnet, and more tomatillos. Over 264 plants started in the seed room today, along with about 64 giant parsley plants I direct-seeded in a new plot next to the herb garden. I am expanding the size of the garden once more this year. If all goes well, you all will be able to enjoy this garden this year.

As I write, the window in the living room is open, and the southerly breeze has just turned cool... we are supposed to get several days of periodic thunderstorms. Today was over 70 degrees, and after a morning and afternoon doing garden work, Rich & I went to our friends, Sam & Kate's, for the season's first BBQ and bags... it was heavenly.

Below, pictures of a few of the seedlings (cabbages, lettuce) taken on Tuesday... Happy Spring, and it looks like I will be buying my Brussels Sprouts once more.

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