1 week past last frost

It’s been a cold winter and spring and the cold has continued past our last frost date. We’re holding back on getting the tomatoes transplanted for a few more days since this weekend we have a few cold nights. That said, it’s clear that everything is starting to thrive with the longer days and slightly warmer weather.

In their 1 gallon pots, the tomatoes are getting big and even starting to show development of their first set of flowers.

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The peppers and eggplant seem to be waiting for >20 degree days.

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Spinach is starting to emerge in between broccoli, loving the cooler weather.

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Peas, also loving the cooler weather are reaching for their first level of the horizontal pea trellis.

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Beets are starting to join the party.

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And finally, the cucumbers seem to be surprisingly happy in their small blocks with the cooler weather.

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Except for this guy. Not sure what his deal is.

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Re-potting Tomatoes

Tomatoes are getting big so we’re repotting them into 1 gallon pots. They’ve developed some great roots in their blocks but now it’s time to plant them deeper for root development up their stems.

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Veggie Fried Quinoa

It’s been awhile. Although impressed with yesterday’s Blue Goose organic chicken wings- they left us feeling the need for some veg. Looking in our fridge, had more than enough produce to pull off the perfect dish.

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The quinoa was a perfect substitute for rice. The veggies were sliced a little larger than our liking, but we had to please the kids. Although good with most vegetables, hidden onions really do put them over the edge. So these suspect veggies have to be big enough to pick out!

Seasoned with a little soya sauce and sriracha our veggie fried quinoa was flavorful and moist. Counting down the days/months when we can head to the veggie garden for all this produce instead of the fridge.

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Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant Seedlings are Up

These seedlings struggled to germinate. We questioned pretty much every aspect of seed starting as germination was pretty low. Maybe the starting mix was too acidic so we added lime. Maybe the temperature in the basement was too cold, so we brought them upstairs. Maybe we were giving them too much water. Maybe we just lacked patience. Whatever it was they’ve started to come up.

Lots of tomato. We’ll be using 16 of these and giving the rest away:

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Lots of Pepper. We’ll use maybe 14 of these and give the rest away:

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And plenty of Eggplant. Only need two of these but may end up keeping a few extra:

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Kale at 3 weeks

Kale is looking great a 3 weeks. They’ve been moved from mini blocks to larger blocks and are really developing their true leaves. You can see the different varieties. Redbor, a curly kale with a red hue, red Russian a red veined kale, and Toscano, our favorite dark green Dino kale.

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Starting Kale

The leeks are only starting to germinate out of the mini blocks. We started a small experiment to cover half of the leeks with vermiculite and the other half without. At this point the score is 2-1 in favour of no vermiculite.

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Now for the kale we’ve amped up our game a bit. We’ve made a mini block mix with 4 parts peat and 1 part compost and built a sifter to take out any big pieces. The sifter worked beautifully. Just four pieces of wood and some wire mesh.

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The result is a fine mix for mini blocks. We added in some vegetable fertilizer from black lake organics to give seedlings a bit of a boost.

The mix was wet and blocked to make 80 blocks, 40 or which are for kale. We have 20 Toscano kale (or Dino kale) our favorite, 10 Red Russian, 5 Ripbor and 5 Redbor. The remaining blocks have space spinach with some left over for cabbage. In a few weeks these will be transplanted into regular sized blocks.

Next up, in two weeks, we’ll be starting eggplant and cauliflower.

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