I find this time of year to be both exciting and nerve-wracking. The seeds that I started last week are poking their way through the soil but each looks so delicate and fragile. This is my first year starting some of these seeds indoors and I'm in awe that when planted outside, they manage to survive the elements and mature into full-grown veggie goodness!
These are are a handful of leftover 2010 mixed heirloom beets that I broadcast in a medium-sized tray. The colours are already so rich and vibrant! I also have some 2011 seeds that I'll be direct seeding in the garden.
I wasn't going to grow eggplant this year but then I went to a Seedy Saturday event and caved when I found this Pingtung variety. This is the first year I'm growing it from seed (I purchased one Black Beauty last year and it only set one large fruit and one or two small ones, but that was without any supplemental heat by means of a cloche or low tunnel). I used my new heat mat (yes, I bought one; the store didn't have the coil lights and the tray was on sale!) and within a few days, three out of four cells had germinated. I'd only planned on growing about six or so plants this year, so I'm a bit short, but that means more room in the kitchen garden for something else!
I decided to try out a new sweet pepper variety this year; meet Bull Nose, one of the oldest peppers available. It's an early variety, sweet, mild and glossy red. I'd planted 2 seeds per cell, and these sprouted within the last three days.
These are my 2010 Jimmy Nardello pepper seeds. As you can see, they're quite a bit behind the Bull Nose. I also planted some Early Calwonder green pepper, but it's yet to make an appearance.
This is my first season starting onions inside (the front are 2010 Green Banner) and the first time growing leeks at all (the Scotland variety is struggling away at the back.) I'll also be starting some 2011 seeds outside in the cold frame this weekend (the kids asked me to wait to plant the first crop so they could help -- how could I say no?) so it'll be interesting to see how the indoor starts compare once I transplant them outside.
This weekend is going to be busy as I'll be starting all our tomato seeds, some more leeks, and some greens for the cold frames (I'm thinking lettuce, parsley, spinach and onions, oh my!) as well as our basil (I've got three varieties this year -- Italian large leaf, lime and cinnamon), and our marigolds and zinnias.
If the rain holds off (please, please, please wait until Monday!) and if I can get my trellises set up, I'd love to start some Sugar Snap peas, maybe a few carrots and radishes, too. I'm sure I'll find something else to start. So many vegetables, so little time!
What's growing in your early spring garden?