8 Weeks Until Last Frost – Lots of Planting

This has been an exceptionally strange winter – never have I remember a winter in Central Illinois being as mild and warm as it has been here.  Heck, just this past week, we had a day where it almost got to 70 degrees.  Unfortunately, with that strange weather, there have been many bad storms hitting the midwest and leveling complete towns.

Therefore, the title of this entry is – ‘8 Weeks Until Last Frost’ – but is it?  Today is is only 34 degrees outside – more typical for this time of year.  But because of the mild winter, will the last frost be pushed back more this year?

Anyways, today most of the other main vegetables were planted.  I planted four Red Cherry Tomatoes, six Roma Tomatoes, six Best Boy Tomatoes, five Premium Crop Broccoli, five Green Goliath Broccoli, five Snown Crown Cauliflower, and 13 California Wonder Peppers.  I also did plant six each of Simpson Elite Lettuce, Red Salad Bowl Lettuce, and New Red Fire Lettuce.

Last year I planted twice as many broccoli and cauliflower as I am this year.  That is because I learned last year that they were planted too close together.  Thinking of planting them closer together, I knew that the product would be smaller – but I expected it would increase overall yields by placing them closer.  Nope – didn’t work that way.  Really could have also been due to the low levels of light in the areas planted as well.

Last week I also planted six each of the Simpson Elite, Red Salad Bowl, and New Red Fire lettuce.  I will be planting as such until they are ready to be put outside.  Last year I planted two other varities – Buttercrunch and Parris Island.  I opted to not use them this year – as I’m not too fond of the storing capabilities of Buttercrunch and Parris Island.  Parris Island is a romaine lettuce – but it seems that you can only store it for four or five days in the fridge before it goes bad.  Buttercrunch seems to last a few more days, but it also starts to go bad.  The other three – those I’m planting this year – seem to stay upwards of two weeks in the fridge.

Now for some photos.  The Copra Onions still are manging to survive – even though the “bulb” is out of the soil and the roots are burrowing down in.  I didn’t do an exact count, but there are about 100 Copra Onions that are remaining out of the 300+ that germinated.  Again, DO NOT put onion seed right on top of the soil – always burry about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch.  Lesson learned.

Copra Onions

I had to move around the ‘germination station’ today in order to add another fluorescent fixture – and get prepared for all of the new containers going in.  So, I decided to take the Ventura Celery out and bottom-water them (allows the water to soak up through the holes at the bottom of the containers).  This helps prevent any kind of diseases or fugus growth on top of the soil.  The celery is doing very well.

Ventura Celery

And lastly, here are the lettuce seedlings that were just planted last week.  Growing pretty good!

Lettuce Seedlings

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