Celery and Parsley Update
Back in February I started some celery and parsley from seed. This is new for us--in the past, we've always just picked up a six-pack of each from a local nursery to transplant. They've been getting harder to find each year, though, so we decided to give it a go from seed.
These two plants are notoriously difficult to start from seed, so I was very pleased when the seeds germinated well on our seed starting shelves. These were planted almost six weeks ago, and today the reminder to start hardening them off popped up on my phone. Let's see how they're doing, shall we?
That's the parsley. So far each seedling has just one true leaf, in addition to the oblong cotyledon leaves. Looks good so far, but that leaf isn't even as big as my pinky fingernail yet.
Also, you need at least two, and preferably four true leaves before you start hardening these off outside in the cold and wind and (some day) blazing sun to get them ready to transplant.
Hmm. Six weeks and just one leaf. Now I'm starting to see why these are such a pain to start yourself.
And the celery?
Um, yeah. They're even tinier. These don't even have any true leaves yet (although you can see them just barely trying to pop out of the center if you really look closely). These are really, really small. It's hard to tell in the extreme closeup, but here you can get a bit more scale:
I haven't even bothered to thin these out yet--they're so small that I'm still not sure which one can be judged Most Likely to Survive. They're certainly nowhere near ready to move outdoors yet.
So the lesson here is that we need to start these seeds much, much earlier next winter. Probably a good six weeks earlier, which would be January 15.
That change of timing will make these the very first seeds to be planted each year. That's really early, but they are just so, so slow to grow.