Back on February 19th we started the first round of seedlings for our 2010 garden. We are now only 10 weeks from the average last frost date in the Twin Cities and this corresponds to a big day for seed starting! Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Kale all can be started 8 weeks prior to transplanting. Because they can be planted two weeks before the last frost date we start them 10 weeks out. Peppers, Eggplants, Tomatoes and Celery won't go in the ground until a week after the last frost date, but can be started 10-12 weeks before transplanting, making now an optimal time to get them going. In total we started 72 different variates of plants today including 25 different kinds of tomatoes and 22 different kinds of peppers.
All these starts took up 4 flats and completely filled our primary seed starting setup. We moved the plants from the first round of seed starting into the extended setup. Most of the artichokes have come up already but the lavender has been a bit slower to germinate. Lavender is known for taking a long time to germinate and for having spotty germination rates from seed and thats one of the reasons why we started it so early.
With the winter lettuce crop no longer fitting in the main seed starting setup we were originally going to harvest everything and let the chickens eat up the stems and roots. Instead, we decided to keep the lettuce growing in the extended setup. We already had the extended setup up and running with a test of some head lettuce and tomatoes from seeds that we saved last year, so it's now really full of life and quite crowded now.
If everything goes well the seeds we sewed today will grow into plants that will provide us with an abundant harvest all summer long!