Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thinning seedlings strategies and creating another dog-fenced veggie bed

Thinning the carrot (left) and red beet (right) seedlings was a little scary and tedious and painful—did I pull out the “right” ones? But later, I potted a few of the extra seedlings (not knowing if and or when I’ll actually transplant them) into temporary plastic pots until I figure out where those seedlings should eventually reside. I also transplanted a few lettuces that seemed crowded, but I think now I should have left those alone because they seem really wilted.

I felt better about the thinning when we just plain ate the extra beet sprouts—yum! Caveat: I know that beets and their greens are healthy and edible, so I felt comfortable eating the seedlings. I would not be so bold with just anything!

Husband-Kurt took a couple of days off work this week and decided today to dive into dog-fencing the previous tomato bed into a new, bigger veggie bed.

He also dug up a bunch of dirt and divided it into two more (unfenced) raised beds for future use, as well as adding this cool four-way hose-splitter.

Rock! For starters, I can now set one hose onto a little sprinkler in one bed while using the mist setting of the hose-end sprayer on some potted herbs at the other side of the yard. (See edge of hose-splitter at far left of photo below.)

I also transplanted some flowers (native perennials) within the old tomato bed to make room for more veggies. I added a few thinned carrot seedlings into some bare spots of the broccoli area. I'll sew sorrel and cauliflower seeds into this newly gated and reconfigured bed this weekend. (Photos to come.)

This ladybug seems to have approved.


texasdeb said...

What a lot of hard work you are doing. You will certainly deserve the great harvests waiting in months to come.

We are hoping to get some good work done outside also this weekend. Thanks for the photos and the inspiration.

Iris said...

Thanks, texasdeb--I hope it is inspiring. We have been working hard and aren't yet done. Back to work now!

vertie said...

Wow, Iris, I may need you to come over and sow my seeds! I've never gotten such a germination rate from carrots. How often did you water them?

Iris said...

Hey vertie,

Watered them lightly with the hose end sprayer on the mist setting almost everyday. I don't think I'm going to be so fortunate with the transplanting...

Lancashire rose said...

An incredible germination rate and good for you doing all the thinning. I have a hard time with that task. I feel sorry for the ones I pull out!

Flapjacks said...

yeah. thinning is very sad. yet, in some ways it hits on the buddhist philosophy of impermanence. tasty, tasty impermanence.

Annie in Austin said...

Radish sprouts also taste great in salads, Iris.

You probably know this already, but just in case:
If you have a steady hand and don't need the extra seedlings for some other bed you can let the leaves of the young plants get big enough to use in salads, then use small pointed scissors to snip out every other one at ground level and throw them in salad. Come back a few days or a week later and do it again until you have the right space for the plant to develop.

This is a total "do-as-I-say...not-as-I-do" comment! It's worked in the past but I haven't planted a single vegetable seed yet this autumn.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose