This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

2017 seed sowing

Here's my 2017 planting list that I'll add to as I continue to plant. I'm noting in () the season the seeds were sold for. I'll mark if they germinated for me. I plant a lot of different varieties but the amounts of each are small and I risk no germination for many by planting old seeds until they don't germinate. Everything is at 70 degrees F for germination and growing this year, except the peppers that will go at 78 degrees F for germination.

February 23, Indoors under lights
Onions, Stuttgarter (2017)
Onions, Ailsa Craig (2017)
Onions, Pontiac (2017)
Onions, Red Wethersfield (2017)
Onions, Walla Walla (2013) --failed
Onions, White Wing (2012) --failed
Onions, Purplette (2009) --failed
Bunching Onions, Nabechan (2015)
Bunching Onions, Guardsman (2011) --failed
Leeks, Giant Musselberg (2017)
Leeks, Bandit (2014)
Celeriac, Brilliant (2017)

March 5, Indoors under lights
Arugula, Rucola (2012)
Arugula, Rucola (2008) --failed
Arugula, Selvatica (2013)
Arugula, Myway (2013)
Cabbage, Napa, Mini Kisaku 50 (2011)
Cabbage, Savoy, Alcosa (2009) --poor
Cabbage, Red Express (2017) (died)
Cabbage, Green, Murdoc (2016) (died)
Endive, Dubuisson (2013)
Escarole, Natacha (2012) --poor
Escarole, Natacha (2017) --poor
Escarole, Galia (2013) --failed
Herbs,Parsley, Dark Green Italian Plain (2014)
Herbs, Thyme, Creeping (2016)
Flowers, Hollyhock, Single Mix (2016)
Flowers, Ageratum, Tall Blue Planet (2017)
Flowers, Liatrus (1016)
Mustard Greens, Scarlet Frill (2016)
Radicchio, Perseo (2016) --failed
Radicchio, Chioggia Red Preco #1 (2011) --poor
Shallot, Zebrune (2017)
Spinach, Emperor (2017)

March 13, Indoors under lights
Basil, Superbo (2017)
Basil, Eleonora (2015)
Beets, Red Ace (2016)
Beets, Chioggia Guardsman (2015)
Beets, Merlin (2014)
Endive, Broad-Leaf Batavian (2017) --failed
Eggplant, Hansel (2017)
Eggplant Mitoyo (2017)
Eggplant Barbarella (2017)
Flowers, Marigold, Queen Sophia (2015)
Flowers, Marigold, Cottage Red (2016) --poor
Flowers, Marigold, Judy's Giant (hand collected for 2017) --poor
Flowers, Marigold, Gem Mix (2017)
Herbs, Parsley, Italian Large Flat Leaf (2017)
Herbs, Summer Savory (2017)
Herbs, Creeping Thyme (2015)
Kale, mixed in one pot: Vates (2015), Toscano (2016), Nash's Green (2016)
- Note: I'm starting lettuce a couple weeks early for my winter tunnel.
Lettuce, Bibb Green, Winter Density (2011)
Lettuce, Bibb Red, Rhazes (2017)
Lettuce, Butterhead Green, Buttercrunch (2016)
Lettuce, Butterhead Red, Skyphos (2013) --failed
Lettuce, Butterhead Red, Avicenna (2015) --failed
Lettuce, Butterhead Red, Speckles (2016)
Lettuce, Iceberg, Ice Queen (2016) --failed
Lettuce, Looseleaf Red, Red Sails (2016)
Lettuce, Oakleaf Red, Danyelle (2016)
Lettuce, Romaine Green, Ridgeline (2017)
Lettuce, Romaine Green, Monte Carlo (2017)
Lettuce, Romaine Red, Rouge d'Hiver (2009) --failed
Lettuce, Romaine Red, Truchas (2015)
Greens, Elegance mix (2010)
Onions, Early Yellow Sweet Spanish (2017)
Peppers, Joe's Long Cayenne (2017)
Peppers, Thai Hot (hand collected for 2015)
Peppers, King of the North (2016)
Peppers, Canary Bell (2017)
Peppers, Leutschauer Paprika (2017)
Peppers, Ace (2015)
Peppers, Anaheim (2017)
Peppers, Numex Joe E Parker (2015)
Peppers, Poblano (2017)
Peppers, Ancho 211 (2015)
Peppers, Thai Hot (2009)
Peppers, Jalapeno (2017) --failed
Peppers, Emerald Fire (2016) --failed
- 3-24-2017: My peppers should be up. I dug down in many cells and couldn't find any germinating seeds. I checked temperature and they have been at 74F. I can't find anywhere in the house above 78F. I'm on my way out now to get a heat mat. I hope the seeds haven't rotted. I'll replant everything as I think there's a good chance they have.- 3-26-2017: Peppers have popped up in 2 days! 

March 24, Indoors under lights
Bok Choi, Win-Win (2013)
Broccoli, Red Fire (2017)
Broccoli, Bay Meadows (2016)
Broccoli, Diplomat (2015)
Broccoli, Happy Rich (2015)
Broccoli Raab (2013)
Flowers, Nigella (2016)
Flowers, Bells of Ireland (2016) --failed
Flowers, Tithonia Torch (2015) --failed
Flowers, Cleome Queen Mix (2017)
Flowers, Cleome Pink (hand collected 2015) --failed
Flowers, Cleome, Magenta (hand collected 2015) --failed
Flowers, Cosmos, Sensation Picote (2016)
Flowers, Cosmos, Celebration in Pink (2011) --failed
Flowers, Cosmos, Sulfureous (2009) --failed
Flowers, Cosmos, Sunshine Mix (2016)

March 27, Indoors under lights
 - I decided to plant a few seeds (4) of all of the varieties I have. Some are pretty old.
Tomato, 1884 (2010) -- 0 sprouts
Tomato, Beefsteak (2011) -- 2 sprouts
Tomato, Blue Beech (2017) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, Box Car Willie (2009) -- 2 sprouts
Tomato, Brandywine, Suddoth's strain (2009) -- 0 sprouts
Tomato, Carbon (2017) -- 3 sprouts
Tomato, Cherokee Purple (2008) -- 2 sprouts
Tomato, Cherokee Purple (2009) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, Giant Belgium (2008) -- 1 sprout
Tomato, Heinz 2653 (2015) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, Jersey Devil (2016) -- 3 sprouts
Tomato, Mortgage Lifter (2009) -- 0 sprouts
Tomato, Opalka (2017) -- 2 sprouts
Tomato, Orange Blossom (2015) -- 3 sprouts
Tomato, Oxheart Red (2008) -- 0 sprouts
Tomato, Pink Beauty (2015) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, Polish Linguisa (2017) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, Purple Calabash (2008) -- 1 sprout
Tomato, Raspberry Large Red (2010) -- 3 sprouts
Tomato, Red Siberian (2011) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, San Marzano (2015) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, San Marzano Gigante (2010) -- 3 sprouts
Tomato, Shoshone (2016) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, Starling (2016) -- 3 sprouts
Tomato, Sun Gold (2012) -- 4 sprouts
Tomato, True Black Brandywine (2017) -- 4 sprouts

March 31, Direct seed in garden
Peas, Oregon Giant (2017)
Peas, Super Snap (2017)

April 3, Indoors under lights
Swiss chard, Bright Lights (2017)
Swiss chard, Peppermint (2016)
Cabbage, Savoy Alcosa (2009, replant) --failed
Cabbage, Red Express (2016, replant)
Cabbage, Murdoc (2015, replant)
Bulb Fennel, Orion (2017)
Kale, Toscano (2016)
Flowers, Bachelor Buttons, Blue Boy (2009) --failed
Flowers, Purple Hyacinth Bean (2013)
Flowers, Snapdragons, Tall Deluxe Mix (2017)

April 4, Indoors under lights
-- I should have planted the sweet peas outside, but after soaking them overnight, the weather was so terrible today that I didn't want to go to the garden.  
Flowers, Sweet pea, High Scent (2014) and Perfume Delight (2017)
Flowers, Snapdragon, Tall Deluxe Mix (2017)
Lettuce, Little Gem (2017)

April 5, Indoors under lights
Flowers, Morning Glory, Split Second (2017)

April 11, Indoors under lights
Flowers, Zinnia, Dwarf Profusion Single Mix (2016)
Flowers, Zinnia, Benary's Giant Purple (2016)
Flowers, Bells of Ireland (2016) --failed
Flowers, Cosmos, Sensation Picote (2016)
Flowers, Cosmos, Celebration in Pink (2011) --failed
Flowers, Cardinal Climber (2017)
Flowers, Calendula Triangle Flashback (2016)

April 14, Indoors under lights
Cucumber, Straight Nine (2017)
Cucumber, Miniature White (2013)
Cucumber, Parisian Gherkin (2015)
Cucumber, Little Leaf (2016)
Cucumber, Diva (2017)
Cucumber, Suyo Long (2017)
Summer squash, Early White Bush Scallop (2015)
Summer squash, Zucchini Costata Romanesco (2014)
Summer squash, Yellow Multipik (2014)
Winter squash, Acorn Honey Bear (2012)
Winter squash, Blue Ballet (2013)
Winter squash, Jarrahdale (2013)
Winter squash, Yokohama (2016)
Winter squash, Kabocha Orange Sunshine (2013)
Winter squash, Buttercup Burgess Strain (2012)
Winter squash, Long Island Cheese (2010)
Winter squash, Ute Indian (2016)
Winter squash, Galeux D'Eysines (2010)
Winter squash, Rouge Vif d'Etampes (2011)
Winter squash, Waltham Butternut (2012)
Gourd, Speckled Swan (2017, hand collected)

April 15, Transplant to bigger pots

(last updated: 4-21-17)



Blogger chris said...

so i noticed that you had some of your onion seeds fail and that you then replanted a new set of onion seeds... is it still not too late for that? i was under the impression that it was according to your planting app and so i had not attempted to plant any onion seeds when i discovered i had run late on them. i have approx. the same last frost date as you (i'm in walpole, ma.) this would have been my first year planting onion seed rather then using store bought onion starts. could you explain your thinking on that a little? so curious! and thank you as always for sharing!

March 14, 2017 7:50 PM

Blogger CHRIS said...

i noticed you replanted some onion after having some failed seed... i'm wondering what your thinking on that is since onion seed is new to me and i was was under the impression that it was too late to start onions in our shared planting zone... i'd love to be wrong! i have all these lovely onion seeds yet i thought i had missed my chance and was literally about to order onion starts in the next few days!
(and i need to excuse the possible double of this post... the first time i started typing, my post suddenly disappeared and i wasn't sure if it would get posted or not... sorry!)

March 14, 2017 8:01 PM

Blogger kathy said...

HI Chris, You're probably right. I usually plant onions 11 weeks before the last frost but on March 13, only 7 weeks before last frost, I planted some sweet Spanish onions. I wasn't thinking and I was wishing I had planted a sweet onion. Then I saw the seeds at the store and .... I guess I'll find out what happens. I don't know.

During the early part of an onion's life, it forms new leaves and makes them bigger. Each leaf become a layer of the bulb, so the more leaves and the bigger the leaves the bigger the onion. Then in late May at the latitude Boston is at, the long day length triggers onions to stop working on their leaves and enlarge their bulb. So I have a fairly short window to encourage my late seedlings to grow lots of big leaves.

So I think the answer is, I'll have smaller onions since I planted them late. I'll try to baby them with lots of fertilizer and water before the end of May.

Thanks for pointing this out for me.

March 15, 2017 3:50 PM

Blogger kathy said...

And yes, I think you should go for some sets. Maybe plant a few seeds and see how they do. Otherwise save the seeds for next year.

March 15, 2017 3:53 PM

Blogger CHRIS said...

hi kathy. thanks for all the info! onions are really fascinating! i had no idea about the leaves/layers thing you mentioned! wow. and thanks for the advice... i'm going to do as you said and plant some onion seed and see what happens but also plan to get some sets too... small onions are ok with me since i'm really curious about the types of seeds i bought anyway... especially if the rest end up still having time to become full size by using sets... i just wasn't sure if i even had time to get small onions from seeds at this point since i've never grown onion before! thanks for explaining! and thanks again for getting back to me :)

March 16, 2017 3:08 PM

Blogger Lorraine Barnett said...

Kathy, I am wondering what you use for fertilizer for your onions. I am trying to keep mine side-dressed about every 3 weeks but have never been completely satisfied that I'm using the right fertilizer. Thanks!

April 21, 2017 10:42 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I'm really bad at fertilizing. I use organic fertilizer like Garden Tone or a fish fertilizer usually once, when plants get their first burst of growth. But I know onions especially can benefit from more. Below are some comments I've found. Texas A&M says to side dress onions monthly with a very high nitrogen fertilizer. A high nitrogen organic fertilizer is blood meal (13-1-0.6). This matters most when onions are growing and before they start bulbing. I like your schedule of every three weeks. The time is so short in the Boston area before onions begin to bulb at the end of May.

Sarah commented earlier on this blog:
"Sara wrote: Onions: plant very shallowly, feed, feed, feed and water to put on as much leaf mass as possible before your day length reaches the # of hours that your variety requires to bulb. Used organic fertilizer and compost last year and grew HUGE onions. Comically huge."

Texas A&M Ag Extension says:
"Fertilization of onion plants is vital to success. Texas A&M research findings indicate that onion growth and yield can be greatly enhanced by banding phosphorus 2-3 inches below seed at planting time. This phosphorus acts as a starter solution which invigorates the growth of young seedlings. Banding phosphorus, such as super phosphate (0-20-0), 2-3 inches below the seed involves making a trench 3 inches deep, distributing one-half cup of super phosphate per 10 row feet, covering the phosphate with soil, sowing seed and covering lightly with one-half inch or less of soil. Once established, onion plants should receive additional amounts of fertilizer (21-0-0 - Ammonium sulfate or Ammonium nitrate) as a side-dress application every month."

April 21, 2017 12:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been getting great red onions from Dixondale farms online and the people are really nice about responding to my many email questions. I've had a problem with weeds, though. So this year I got a weed and feed fertilizer they make just for the onions that includes corn gluten as a pre-emergent herbicide. I hope for big, weed-free onions but will report back!

April 22, 2017 11:07 AM


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