Wednesday, January 14, 2015

First Plantings of 2015

The start of the new year means it is time to start thinking about the spring garden in Central Texas.  Our long growing season means that cool weather transplants can start going in the ground in the ground in late February and early March.  So that means, it is time to start sowing some seeds indoors!

Ten days ago, on January 4th, I sowed my first seeds of the new year indoors.

Seeds sown included:
  • Burpee Kale - Dwarf Blue Curled Vates (3 cells)
  • Burpee Kale - Lacinato (3 cells)
  • Burpee Spinach - Bloomsdale Long-Standing (6 cells)
  • Burpee Collards - Georgia (6 cells)
  • Burpee Broccoli - Sun King Hybrid (6 cells)
  • Botanical Interests Lettuce Leaf - Black Seeded Simpson (6 cells)
  • Botanical Interests Lettuce Butterhead - Buttercrunch (6 cells)
  • Botanical Interests Lettuce Romaine - Parris Island Cos (6 cells)
  • Botanical Interests Lettuce Leaf - Salad Bowl Blend (6 cells)
  • Botanical Interests Leek - King Richard (12 cells)
  • Botanical Interests Marjoram (9 pots)
  • Burpee Alyssum - Royal Carpet (12 cells)
  • Ferry-Morse Butterfly Flower (9 pots)
That's a lot of plants, and if all the seedlings make it, I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit all the plants in the garden, much less consume the harvests.  Oh well, I'm sure my gardening friends and neighbors wouldn't mind helping take on my surplus plants.

While I've grown lettuce, spinach, collards, and kale from seed before, I've always done it by sowing the seeds directly in the garden bed during fall planting.  This is my first go at trying out planing these seeds for the spring crop by starting indoors.  We'll see how it goes!

The leeks, marjoram, butterfly week and alyssum are all new plants and seeds for me.  Well, that is not entirely true.  I've planted several tropical butterfly weed store-bought transplants in my garden before, but after learning how the tropical variety is not the greatest for my beloved monarchs, I'm trying to plant more native varieties.  I've read that the alyssum is a great necter plant for pollinators, though it is an annual, so it will only be in the garden for one season.  Marjoram is similar to oregano and frequently used in an herbes de Provence spice mixture.

I placed my newly planted seedlings under my grow lights on my grow shelves.  After 10 days, all of the seeds have started to sprout.  In a couple of days, I'll need to start thinning the plants (I'm still terrible at planting too many seeds per cell...I always seem to underestimate how many of the seeds will sprout).  It is a heart-wrenching exercise (ok, that's a little dramatic), but it must be done in order for the remaining plants to thrive.

I'm already looking forward to the ground warming up a bit so I can get these new plants growing out in the garden!


  1. Exciting! That's a lot! I've only spread some flower seeds earlier in the month. I can't wait to see how all your veggies grow!

  2. I always plant seeds too densely and then have to force myself to thin the ranks. It feels wrong on some level, like a betrayal of sorts, though it happens naturally outside all the time without any emotional context overlaid. Some days I wonder if I'm really tough enough to garden!

    The controversy over the tropical milkweed plants continues. I'm trying to get native milkweed started but the more I read about how picky they are to establish, the more I'm steeling myself for another emotional gardening challenge!