Growing in the Greenhouse; Waiting in the Field

Despite this week’s warmer temperatures, I’m still waiting to get seeds in the ground outside. After the heavy snow two weeks ago, combined with it’s unusually rapid melting, the ground is still far too wet to prepare the beds for planting. Even with the gentle hand-powered techniques we use on the Home Farm, working wet soil can cause clumping and compaction that can negatively impact soil health and quality over the long term. I’ve cleared the winter leaf mulch off the beds that will be planted with spring peas, onions, and potatoes and am hoping they dry enough to get them tilled before the snow forecast for Friday!

At this time of year, when work in the field can be more a matter of waiting than doing, it’s nice to step into the greenhouse and see things already beginning to grow. The spring kale, collard, broccoli, and lettuce seeds have already germinated and sprouted their first set of leaves (called cotyledons). The pepper, eggplant, and tomato seeds have been planted in trays and are currently housed on heat mats to keep their soil warm, something these hot-weather crops need in order to germinate at this time of year, even in the warm greenhouse.

Sprouting seedlings, March 2015
Sprouting seedlings, March 2015