Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Planning is essential in maintaining a constant supply of veggies, as it takes several weeks from seed to harvest. For instance, today I started three different varieties of lettuce, and I expect it to be about ready for harvest around Christmas.
In defiance of the seed starting recommendations in all my gardening books, I have developed a method that works for me. As shown above, I use moist coffee filters to germinate seeds. The filters are moistened with a quarter strength nutrient solution and the seeds are folded into the filters. The filters are placed in a zip lock bag, which I place in any convenient spot on one of my systems. From that point on I let nature take its course and check the filters every 24 hours.
As my objective is to have six plants each of the three different varieties of lettuce, I will start twice that number of seeds. When the seed coat splits, usually within 24 hours, and the radicle begins to develop, I use tweezers to gently place the tiny seedlings into whatever media I intend to use. As vigor is important, I select the first and largest seedlings for growing, and discard the remainder.
Today's batch of seeds includes: Jerico, a type of romaine, Red Lolo Antago, a red Italian leaf lettuce, and Sanguine Ameliore, a french heirloom also known as Strawberry Cabbage. They should make a colorful addition to Christmas dinner.