Thursday, May 3, 2018

Mid-spring update, May 3

Yesterday's weather was mid-80's in the afternoon, with little shade because the trees hadn't leafed out.  I think yesterday's warm weather jumped started the leaves, because they are unfurling at a rapid pace now, and things are moving along at a good pace in the vegetable garden too.  The rhubarb, planted last year, is sizing up nicely.  I know that you are supposed to cut off the flowers but I want to see what they look like.

These asparagus shoots, over a foot tall, got away from me.  Still, only a few inches at the bottom was woody.  Four of the six plants are producing now, and I'm waiting on shoots from the other two. Hope they did not die over the winter.

Moved out of the coldframe over a week ago, the Earthbox lettuce is practically popping out of the container.  I plant the lettuce thick, so when one plant is cut a neighbor quickly takes its place.  The lettuce this year is growing in ProMix, so much better than the lettuce that did not even grow last year in a name brand potting mix which shall not be named.  I need to do another picking to make room for some summer lettuce (Pinetree's year-round mix).

With nothing even close to a frost in the forecast, the tomatoes were moved out to the coldframe to join the peppers.  With abundant natural light they are really growing strong, and should be more than ready for planting in about a week. 

Under the LED lights, a few of the tomato plants were starting to show signs of leaf burn as they grew taller and closer to the lights.  As with the lettuce, I think this is a problem with the two UV LED's in each unit.  Since the individual reflectors do not spread the light out very much, a seedling that grows directly under a UV LED could get too much of this high energy light.  It's not that much damage, and the plants have easily outgrown the damage now that they are outdoors, but still, it's a concern and a fundamental flaw in the design.

Under the lights, okra, eggplant, cucumber and one Basil plant remain, as well as some flower seeds that haven't germinated yet.   The Bride eggplant took nearly ten days longer to germinate than the Lavendar Touch eggplant, but it'll get there.  The okra and cucumber look small, but they come on really fast, so they should be ready in less than two weeks.

Oh, the cutworms ravaged the cole crops once again, after I had planted a new set of them to replace the previous plants lost to the cutworms.  They spared most of the cabbage, seeming to prefer broccoli and kohlrabi.  I guess they win this round, but I'd like to think that the leaves sprayed with Bt did a number on them.  There's one more set of cole crops in the coldframe which will be ready for planting in about a week, and I'm still hoping that one or two broccoli plants survive.

Next year will require more drastic measures. 


Phuong said...

Oh my goodness, it makes me sick hearing about the cut worms going again for your cole crops. Ugh, so terrible. Have you tried the toothpick method that Norma does? She sticks two toothpicks, one on each side of the stem, so they can't wrap around the stem without getting a toothpick.

Your peppers seedlings look incredible. I'm a bit jealous because I had to reseed mine and most of them are still tiny.

Margaret said...

That lettuce looks fantastic! Ugh - cutworms. I've heard of the toothpick method as well as foil collars or toilet paper rolls being used to "foil" them.

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