They Grow Up So Fast!

Only a week after our last (hopefully!) dump of snow the harvest has begun! The first jar of chives has hit the freezer. I simply cut off a fistful of stalks and then snip the stems into a jar and pop them in the freezer. I try to do it before they bloom for best nutrients and flavour – though I like to include a few tight lavender buds if there are any. They look pretty in the jar and taste good too : ) Two big jars are usually enough to get us through the winter…

We often get our last spring frost at the full moon so I usually wait until after the last full moon at the end of May to transplant…especially the tender stuff. However, this year it doesn’t fall until June 04th so I’ve started putting things out starting with the tougher stuff. Still, I never put out my tomato transplants until after June 10th…too many experiences with nurturing tomatoes along for weeks only to have them turn to a puddle of brown mush. Then I’m left with frantically scouring the bare shelves of the local nurseries and not getting the kinds I like. The Brassicas seem to tolerate a bit of frost but tomatoes are complete wimps. Darcy and I love Brussel sprouts so much I always start twice what we need; that way if they get taken out by frost I have back up I can put in. I don’t have enough room to do that with the tomatoes.

Here are some of my transplants being hardened off on our north facing deck. Ignore the cabbage in the forefront that looks a little stressed and brown. I think it missed a couple of waterings. From front to back I have cabbage, coleus, more cabbage, Swiss chard, Brussel sprouts and a bunch of yellow and red yarrow. Starting the coleus from a packet of mixed seed was easy and fun – so much cheaper than buying them from a nursery and what a variety you get!

I like seeding Bright Lights Swiss chard because that way I know what colour they are and I can use them in my flower beds for ornamental purposes too.  I usually get a good balance but this year I have almost all red and only a few yellow…

Every year I choose a couple of perennials to start from seed. This year it was yarrow. It takes a little longer than buying big ones from the nursery but time goes fast and it’s kind of  cool to know you started it yourself from seed. And it’s crazy how much money you save!

Transplants on Deck!