More on Starting by seeds

The seeds I’ve started indoors this year are coming along. I planted onion and leeks on March 1, and they are growing well. I planted shallots, a variety called Prisma, but had low germination rate and re-planted. Once again I got just 10-25% germination. Not sure what the problem is, but I will buy shallot sets and plant them in May outdoors. Sets are those little “bulbs” available at garden centers.

I planted 3 artichokes on March 15, and all 3 are up and looking good. Two leaves each. I planted peppers then, and they are still just getting going. I keep them on a heating pad, 2 seeds per cell. I will cut off one seedling in a week or two once I see which plants are doing the best. The heat mat is great for any heat-loving plant such as peppers, tomatoes or eggplants.

I also planted 18 beets indoors, something I’ve never done before. I’ll transplant them outdoors as good-size seedlings in May. I planted a variety called Moneta (from Johnnys seeds), which doesn’t require thinning if spaced appropriately. Beet “seeds” are not seeds at all, but seed capsules containing 1-4 seeds. So beets generally need to be thinned almost right away, which is tedious work.

I will plant Moneta an inch and a half apart, and then eat every other one once they start to get big enough to enjoy as greens. That will leave the plants 3 inches apart to reach maturity, which is good spacing.

My new book is out and selling like hotcakes! Here is a quote from Paul Tukey, formerly the publisher of People, Places and Plants Magazine, and the author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual,” He says, “Henry Homeyer’s writing and advice have become an indispensable fabric of the Northeast landscape, as comfortable as your crusted leather boots and gloves, and as reliable as your grandfather’s spade with the old ash handle. This book won’t stay on the shelf; it will reside in the potting shed or on the garden bench. The advice, like the gloves, will be well worn, but it will never wear out.”

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