Signs of Life

My garden is a off to a bit of a slow start this spring. Im blaming the weather. Its nearly May and the soil thermometer still registers below 50 degrees, but signs of life are beginning to appear. My Watermelon and Easter Egg II radishes germinated. As did the Bordeaux spinach and my Golden Ball turnips. Im actually quite pleased the turnips turned up.

I accidentally left their seed packet outside in the rain for over a week. When I peeled apart the soggy packet, the seeds inside were beginning to sprout. I decided to try and plant them, which proved difficult because the wet seeds stuck together. I felt that the situation was dubious at best, but the seeds have sprouted, albeit it in very tight clumps!  Ive also got Dakota and Super Sugar Snap peas, mustard greens, Chioggia beets, Chantenay carrots, Santo cilantro, Walla Walla and Red Long of Tropea onions, Tom Thumb, Forellenschluss, Red Sails and a green romaine lettuce going, as well as some a spicy baby greens mix.

Im curious what you all are planting and what is up in your gardens, so do tell. Happy Spring!


15 Responses to Signs of Life

  1. 1

    Lynn Levinson Says:
    Wow, the Seattle weather has been such a joke this year! We are on a our third round of peas (aka round #1 was lost to the snow in late February, round #2 was lost to the birds, and round #3 consists of starts from Sky nursery), we have slow growing radishes, tiny carrots, bitty spinach, sprouting lettuce, and some awesome gifts from friends that included starts of shallots, green cabbage, raspberry canes, and asparagus crowns. I am really looking forward to what will become of these plants! We are busy looking forward to planting our beans!

    I know you are a blogging celebrity and all, but you may consider joining the Seattle Urban Honesteading group! You can find out more here: I have been reading your blog faithfully for wuite a while, and have learned so much from you, i am sure that there are many others out there that could learn a lot as well!Joining the group is free! We can always use more knowledge in the group! Check it out yeh? Next month I am hosting a casual potluck meetup at my house for like-minded folk!

  2. 2

    Gardener on Sherlock Street Says:
    Wow. You can grow plants anywhere. Even inside the seed packet.
    I have radishes, lettuce, kohlrabis and brocdoli rabe all going well so far. The broccoli rabe is totally new to me. Im hoping to plant more later this week if our weather cooperates although Im not complaining about finally getting some moisture. Weve been dry.

  3. 3

    Jenny Says:
    I have watermelon radishes growing too. Im so excited to see them! Last year my radish greens grew really well but I planted them too early (I think) for the radishes to really produce until I planted a new crop. The nice surprise in that is our discovery that radish greens are super tasty, so it was win/win.

  4. 4

    smallgreenfeet Says:
    I have 7 pea shoots coming up outside out of 24 seeds that I planted. I live in Abbotsford, BC (north of Seattle) and our spring has been cold and rainy and not spring-like in the least. I planted some kale seeds out in my planters on April 3rd, and they are coming up finally. Interesting to note: the kale that I put little clear plastic bottle end cloches over are almost triple the size of the kale that was in planters I just covered in one sheet of plastic. Quite a difference!! My buttercrunch lettuce has survived outside since early April too, but I have heard murmurings that it is ready to pull up roots and head south

  5. 5

    Grace Says:
    In my sea-level Seattle garden:

    Lettuce (Winter Density, sowing 1): doing well started in greenhouse 1/15/11, and into hoop house in ground about 3/24. Most are small but one looked tempting enough for dinner the other day

    Radish (easter egg, misato rose, french breakfast) started 3/24 in ground when lettuces were transplanted. Just getting cotyledons.

    Onions (cortland, walla walla, leeks) started in greenhouse 1/15 and just transplanted 50 onions into the ground last weekend. About 50% success from seeds through transplants into ground. Have to restart leeks and hope for a winter crop; we wont get a spring crop.

    Potatoes (Makah Ozette) just planted in ground 4/23 feeling very late, but perhaps late cool weather will work out in their favor.

    Peas (Cascadia, Alderman) lost two plantings of bush-peas to crows and cold. Planted and covered Alderman with remay 4/24 (LATE LATE LATE!)

    The rest in the greenhouse look tiny and not ready, even for hoops and frames: Tomatoes (many varieties), spinach, beets, cucumbers, pickles, squash, pumpkin, flowers and herbs, second and third sowings of lettuce. TODO: carrots into ground, beans, turnips. I AM SO LATE! At least there is next year to actually execute to plan!

  6. 6

    Anne Says:
    Hi Willi! That is so funny about the turnip seeds, sounds like something I would do. We have red and golden beets, carrots, arugala, romaine, bibb, spinach and chard coming up as little seedlings. I planted peas that I pre-sprouted like you suggested last week and hopefully those will come up too. Ive never had a ton of luck with peas but keep trying them. :)

  7. 7

    Robin Says:
    Im there with yasllllloooowHoop houses are helping bring along lettuces, kale and rabe. Peas are coming, but slowly. Slugs are tasting the few asparagus sprouts. I wish us all some dry warmth soon!

  8. 8

    Beam Says:
    Hey there I just started reading your blog I dont have a garden exactly I am trying myself with container gardening on my balcony! I am starting a little make it an edible jungle-project for this main growing season! I am trying to grow tomatoes, potatoes, miniature bell peppers, cucumbers (the kind for pickles), yellow zucchini(summer aquash?), swiss chard, spinach, radishes, cow peas, garlic, strawberries and sunflowers. Besides those plants I am also having a variety of herbs: sage, tarragon, basil, cilantro, parsley, borage and dill. My biggest project will be my two pumpkin plants! I just wanna see if they grow and if yes, how large and if they will grow pumpkins for me to harvest. Very curious about that and I just want to see what happens. I had loads of seeds and they all germinated. Will give plants to both my parents and my parents in law and maybe some friends, because I dont want to kill them. Might go and plant them somewhere into a forest or somewhere illegal like in a park (lol!) yeah, well, well see what they do! Oh and I forgot that I also ordered some more plants to arrive in May: Fuchsia flower, edible miniature pumpkins(that dont grow tendrils), rosemary, lavender and mint, eggplant, yellow tomatoes and bell pepper that you can grow in pots partly as back up for the plants that I sowed (almost everything germinated except for the bell pepper so far!). So I will have quite a lot of plants on a rather tiny balcony (I think it is something around 60squarefeet(?) (6-7 squaremeters -I am from Germany sorry!)

    So yeah. I was looking around the internet for blogs that share their experiences with gardening, so that I might learn a few more things to help me with my project! Cheers for sharing!

  9. 9

    courtney Says:
    I tried planting seeds indoors for the first time this year vs. direct planting. It was a good thing and a bad thing. I planted so early that the squash and zucchini had to go out in the garden before it was warm enough for them. So, with the advise of a friend I built hoop houses over my raised beds. I was able to get the broccoli starts out, the onion starts, the zucchini and squash. I am amazed by how cold it still is. It is a daily call as to open or keep them closed up tight. I had to plant the cucumber starts last week and the tomatoes need to go in too, they are all getting too tall indoors. I have been very sucessful with the hoop house which is new to me. The broccoli are doing great. I was able to direct sow the beans which havent sprouted yet. The kale, chard, arugula, spinach, peas, zucchini, squash, purple potatoes, sweet onions are all happy as clams and safe from the rats we so hate near Lake Washington.

    Thank you Willie for all the beautiful pictures and help along the way, it has been a scientific year with the seeds indoors but I am hopeful it will be a bountiful year. Good luck to all you other PNW garderners out there!!!

  10. 10

    Deb Says:
    I am in Everett, WA. I think what I grow best are slugs. They ate my early peas but they left the Golden Sweet Snow peas (a lemon colored flat pot with pretty purple-blue blossoms) alone. They were unable to finish off my overwintered leeks or spring planted fava beans. But they ravished all my early lettuce and bok choi. Of the beets I planted, they completely ignored my Bulls Blood, but chowed down on swiss chard and golden beets. Their 2nd choice was chioggia beets but most of those survived. I have been having regular beer parties since March.

    Birds got my 2nd planting of Super Sugarsnaps, Dakota and Canoe peas. I tried garbanzo beans and the birds like those as much as they like peas.

    After putting up plastic tents in early April, I now have Rosy Fingerling and peanut potatoes coming up, as well as a yellow flesh and red skin potato. Of the three kinds of broccoli I started, the one that I have kept under a custom made cloche is probably 5 times as large as the others. Ive gotta get more cloches (milk jugs and wide mouth jars are not giving the same results)

    French Breakfast radishes, red troplini (sp? Red torpedo) and little cipollini onions, shallots, and red cabbage round out the early survivors. The purple asparagus made a comeback (just when I thought it had all drowned) as well as the artichoke (it was a race and a fight to stay ahead of the slugs). One purple peacock broccoli-kale mix is struggling along.

    Tomatoes are getting too big for the plastic closet-like green house that sits on the deck (they come in at night), peppers and egg plant are babied on the kitchen window (and the closet when it is over 50), basils also travel from windowsill to plastic closet. For my March birthday I was given a soil blocker and have restarted all the kales, arugula, lettuces, cilantro and so much more that I lost this cold, wet, sluggy spring.

  11. 11

    Kristina Says:
    Our weather has been very rainy and cool, but still my Pacific NW garden is doing pretty well. I have two types of peas, lettuce, spinach, onions, beets, collards, potatoes, all coming up, along with many herbs. I also have some squash and cucumber seedlings ready to plant, but Im waiting for things to dry out a bit before I do so.

  12. 12

    myla Says:
    The snow and Alaskan peas are coming up. Some are in cloche and some arent. I followed your instructions on pre-sprouting them. They sprouted in the soil much faster. Thanks for the tip.

  13. 13

    Bonny Cushman Says:
    The cool, wet weather has been a factor for our garden in Portland as well. So far we have 5 types of peas coming up (one you mentioned at the YGP, btw), french breakfast radishes, 2 types of carrots, several types of onions, 2 types of favas, and several varieties of lettuce. Most are still very tiny, though some are starting to grow. We are supposed to have some sun and higher temps this week so I hope that will give them the boost they need!

  14. 14

    Pose83 Says:
    Im growing loads of stuff and my radishes are doing really well.

    I live in the UK and the weather is unseasonable warm at the moment with no rain. Im watering everything else (courgettes, baby corn, climber beans and more) every day and while theyre not dying, theyre not growing either.

    Any advice?

  15. 15

    kristy Says:
    Things are growing like crazy out here in NC. I planted things probably a little too close for the rate at which everything is exploding into bloom.

    I planted a few commercial plants, but mostly a lot of seed-grown heritage plants include, radishes, carrots (first time trying those, cucumbers (lemon, marketmore, etc.), zucchini, holy basil, borage, lettuce (cimmaron?), spinach, lots of cherry tomatoes (black cherry, matts wild, etc.) lacinato kale, and my first time trying sugar baby watermelon and Minnesota midget melons.

    Love your blog!