Off and Running: Seed Starting and Inventory

Yesterday Punxsutawny Phil did not see his shadow. While I have no love for groundhogs, I'm certainly a fan of the early spring forecast. Whether warmer weather is six weeks out or not, this weekend — the halfway point between solstice and equinox — is the time to start our first seeds indoors:

And here they are, all lined up on the new shelves in the window. We have one full flat of leeks (144), one full flat of red onions, and one full flat of yellow onions (also 144 each). There's also a half flat of 24 additional leeks and 48 additional red onions. That's a lot, but we are just about out of onions from last season, so we need a good deal more to get through a winter until onions are available again in early summer. We have enough leeks to get us through until early spring, but we planned for more next season because they do so well in the extreme cold. Also, it's important to remember that not every seed planted will develop into a mature plant — there are always losses along the way.

Our labeling here is enough to tell the varieties apart for transplanting, but isn't super-detailed. So here's a list of the specific varieties we are planting this year — the result of all the decision-making that came after the catalogue-browsing and garden-planning sessions:

Pumpkins: New England Pie and Long Pie
Winter Squash: Butternut JWS6823
Pole Beans: Cherokee Trail of Tears, Kentucky Wonder, Romano
Nasturtium: Cherry Rose
Cantaloupe: Sweet and Early
Bush Beans: Blue Lake
Parsnips: Javelin
Garden Peas: Premium Nat, Penelope 
Snap Peas: Dwarf Gray Sugar

Celery (from plants)
Calendula (Pacific Beauty Blend)
Cucumbers: Northern Pickling, Straight Eight
Zucchini: seeds TBD
Sweet Potatoes: Georgia Jet
Okra: Clemson Spineless
Dill: Russian
Cilantro: Long Standing
Basil: Italian Genovese
Flat-leaf Parsley (from plants)
Chamomile: German

Corn: Sugar and Gold
Eggplant: Back Beauty, from plants
Peppers: Joe's Long Cayenne, El Jefe Jalapeño, Ace Bell
Leeks: King Richard
Onions: Copra Yellow, Ruby Ring
Determinate Tomatoes: Bellstar, Paisano
Indeterminate Tomatoes: Moskvich, Rose, Ukrainian Yellow

Cabbage: Green Storage, Red Express, Savoy Perfection
Broccoli: DiCicco, Waltham 29
Brussels Sprouts: Long Island Improved
Popcorn: Strawberry
Cherry Tomatoes (from plants)
Beets: Chioggia Guardsmark
Swiss Card: Bright Lights
Lettuce: Romaine, Bibb, Mesclun
Carrots: Danvers Half-long, Rainbow, Nantes
Bok Choy
Potatoes: Kennebec, Red Pontiac
Watermelon: Sweet Favorite


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