Branching Out's Seeds and Sprouts

ducks4you

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I am about to plant garlic indoors. I have a collection of pint sized yogurt containers and I have used potting soil ALL sitting in the basement...waiting.
I think if I get them going by February 1st I should have enough size to put them out end of April, beginning of May, since I missed my fall planting window last year.
 

Branching Out

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I am about to plant garlic indoors. I have a collection of pint sized yogurt containers and I have used potting soil ALL sitting in the basement...waiting.
I think if I get them going by February 1st I should have enough size to put them out end of April, beginning of May, since I missed my fall planting window last year.
Ducks, are you hoping to grow bulbs of garlic? If so, it is my understanding that garlic requires many weeks of vernalization in order to trigger bulbing-- so if they go out in April you might just get greens but no garlic bulb.
 

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I have to take that chance!!
The basement is pretty cold, especially with the snap that we are going to get this weekend.
ALSO, I could put them out in my windowells in March, after they have developed roots.
Can't go back and put them in the ground last Fall, so I march forward with great hope.
 

Branching Out

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Last spring I was smitten by the dream of growing stunning radicchio after reading 'Radicchiology', from Uprising Seeds: https://uprisingorganics.com/pages/radicchiology

I ordered seeds of radicchio Goriziana 'Voglia' not because I love to eat radicchio, but because the image of the pink heads was so compelling. The seeds were pre-sprouted indoors during the first week of July, and then I grew them out in 1 1/2" soil blocks in our cool basement during the summer. They were planted out in September, and I kind of forgot about them. Yesterday I cleaned up the small heads in advance of freezing cold weather that will hit later today. I removed any of the old lower leaves that were contacting the soil; the radicchio looked especially beautiful after their makeover. For now I have covered the heads up with pots for extra insulation, and I hope they make it through.
 

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Branching Out

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When I shuffled things around in the high tunnel I found several little slugs lurking under the pots, and a couple of European Chafer Beetle grubs too. This little cashew-shaped pests are responsible for major lawn destruction in our area. :confused:
 

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digitS'

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The Yellow Hammer Flicker might appreciate having that grub frozen to a fence post, BranchingOut.

Escarole is a favorite and 2023 is one of the few years that I had very few plants of it. What I like the very best is its hot weather hardiness. Now, I may learn something about its response to cold.

Oh, and it is in the chicory family with the radicchio – milder flavor than the rest of them. So, I will be extrapolating from your experience ;).

Steve
 

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The Yellow Hammer Flicker might appreciate having that grub frozen to a fence post, BranchingOut.

Escarole is a favorite and 2023 is one of the few years that I had very few plants of it. What I like the very best is its hot weather hardiness. Now, I may learn something about its response to cold.

Oh, and it is in the chicory family with the radicchio – milder flavor than the rest of them. So, I will be extrapolating from your experience ;).

Steve
Not sure why, but I don't believe I have ever grown or even tasted escarole before-- and very interesting to hear that it is one of your favourite greens. I will have to give it a try. Is there a particular cultivar that you can recommend perhaps?
 

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a particular cultivar
I suppose that it would be Eliance escarole.

However, it is not that I have done any side by side tests. And, it is entirely possible that this is the only (or one of 2 or 3) varieties that I have grown. It is offered by Johnny's and it was the last one purchased. I don't believe that there was a year that I haven't ordered from Johnny's during the most recent century ;).

Steve
 

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That garlic that I set to sprout in water on January 9th has produced a LOT of top growth, and quickly! The roots are huge too.
 

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Last year I had some issues with poor germination. I think a lot of my seeds just rotted when I placed them in the moist seed starting soil, so this year I am trying pre-sprouting most of them. So far getting the seeds hydrated under a moist paper towel set inside a clear plastic container is working pretty good. I am able to open the lid to moisten the paper towel once a day or so, and I can check on the seed's germination progress by looking at them from below (since it's a transparent container). The seeds get lots of air this way as well. In the photo below the flat rectangular container holds scallion seeds; they showed signs of sprouting after just two days. I'll probably wait a couple of more days, and then plant them in small 6-cells. Today I put some pansies,lettuce, and peppers to pre-sprout. Last week I figured out that there are a few seeds such as mustard that sprout so quickly that this method isn't beneficial; mustard pops in just a day or two, and is best poked directly in to the soil (after three days I had a tangled container full of microgreens that tasted like spicy horseradish). So this afternoon I started some Tah Tsai pac choi too-- but in 3/4" soil blocks, without presprouting. Good chance they will be up in a matter of days.
 

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