Sprout Up

Success! Somewhat. First of all, let me say how satisfying to see tiny seedlings full of life emerging from the expensive soil housed in the very expensive planter. This is the first time I've ever grown from seed and I'm impressed with how easy it's turning out to be. I felt really nervous just scattering seeds over some dirt and massaging them in. Compared to transplanting seedlings it felt lazy. That's not to say it doesn't require technique, however. I'm still not exactly sure how to properly sow deeper than an eighth of an inch — I've just been sprinkling dirt over it to the recommended depth and crossing my fingers.

The plants in the grow pot are not faring well. Temperatures were holding between 65 and 80 all week long, then they started dropping, with lows below 35. That means that we're still not officially past last frost, which is projected to be April 4. Unfortunately, the soil in the grow pots is totally frozen — I can't even get a finger into the dirt to check the moisture level. As I understand, cucumber can tolerate a mild freeze and kale is winter hardy so I'm sure they're fine. I'm less certain about the parsley and dill, however. I guess if the seeds are no longer viable, the timing wasn't right to begin with and they probably wouldn't have germinated anyway. Thankfully, the greenhouse cover on the planter is doing its job. The soil there is cool but not frozen and holding moisture very well. Inside the planter, let's look at what's coming up:

Pepper Cress. It sprouted first, just five days after planting. I'm not sure why the sprouts are only in half of the space and so tightly packed. I think I must have forgotten to rake them through the soil. I'm not super worried, I think I will be able to move them around once it's time to thin. And if worse comes to worst, they grow very rapidly so I can re-seed the bare side.

European Mesclun Salad Mix. This was next to sprout, at about six or seven days, and also seems weirdly distributed. Clearly this is something I need to work on. But it's coming in strong and I can see the different varieties of greens already.

Red Wing Lettuce Salad Mix. I must have gotten the hang of sowing by this point because they're more evenly distributed, although concentrated on the left side. These came up maybe a day after the mesclun blend seedlings.

Romanesco Italia Broccoli. I was very surprised this starting sprouting as soon as it did, a good week after sowing. 

Green Macerata Cauliflower. They look nearly identical to the broccoli sprouts, except a touch more yellow. They came up at the same time, but are a little more sparse. I've had my doubts about this varietal from the very beginning...I think it's just romanesco broccoli by a different name. We shall see...

Wild Rocket Arugula. These were the last to come in and are very tiny — they're just barely visible at ten days. I sure hope that's normal.