Saturday, February 18, 2012

Eggplant and Peppers

The weekend of February 11, I started the Fairy Tale eggplant, Shishito peppers and jalapenos. I'm using plastic egg cartons that cradle the eggs by surrounding them in plastic on both sides and a lid that closes over the top. I took the lid off and placed it on the bottom as a drain pan, and fold over the top to create a mini greenhouse. I then placed the egg carton on my stove top, which I have been keeping the oven set at 200 all winter so my female cat has a warm place to sleep now that her brother has passed (I removed the burners so she won't get hurt accidentally).

I figured out last year with our gas stove (which had a pilot light) that the top of the stove is the perfect temperature to germinate seeds after successfully starting some lemon basil on it. I do have a germination mat, but I'm using it to place the seedlings on underneath the newly installed plant light after they germinate.

The jalapenos germinated in just a couple of days and are growing quickly. The Shishito peppers germinated after 5 days and the eggplant after 7 days.

This weekend I am starting my sweet red bell peppers, tomatillos and tomatoes. The weekend of Jan 28 I started some Red Creole onion seeds which started to germinate within a couple of days and new seeds are still continuing to pop up.

This week I added some of my mother-in-law's horse manure to some freshly potted strawberries and romaine lettuce (I don't know that the lettuce is going to make it, I seem to have horrible luck with it). I also worked manure into some potted mint and lavender and tossed some on the top of the raised garden bed. Once everything that is in the current bed matures, then I'll work more back into the soil properly.

The Parisienne carrots I planted throughout the fall are finally starting to develop more leaves than just the first set, and the kale is finally starting to take off. I still have Swiss chard that is alive, just not really producing; the Brussels sprouts are growing as well but resemble a head of cabbage more than sprouts; and the pea seedlings have made it through a couple freezes and snow we had over the past couple weeks (I kept them covered in a folded towel). Oh, and my onions and garlic are growing like gangbusters!