Saturday, March 24, 2012

Separating baby lettuce to plant

Left-baby lettuces planted, spring flowers blooming, chard, dill, kale, French sorrel up.
Right-Earthbox uncovered with greens and celery winter survivors.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I scattered lettuce seed in my Earthboxes last month.  Sprouting had been slow up until the record breaking warm weather we have had recently.  Now they are growing like crazy.  There were way too many in my Earthboxes and they were clumped together.  They would not have grown well like that.

I separated them out and replanted them in the Earthboxes and in the garden.  It is easy to do.  I took my trowel and just cut about 3 inches of soil under the tiny plants.  For the romaine that survived the winter and were already 5 inches high, I went about 4 inches deep.
Then, you gently “tease” the roots apart of the individual plants.  I replanted the lettuce and spinach about 4-6” apart in the Earthbox.  We will use these greens by taking individual leaves off the outside of the plant.  We’ll be able to cut leaves from them up until they bolt this way.  It is a gentler version of “cut and some again.”  You can cut them close to the ground and they will resprout, but the taste changes and you can only do this 2-3 times.
I also took several and planted them in the garden.  I don’t usually grow full heads of lettuce, but decided to try this year.  I planted these about a foot apart in the garden.
In each hole I dug, I added a handful of worm castings and dusted the roots with mycorrhizal life support.  It contains mycorrhizal, vitamins and minerals.  This blend improves soil fertility and the plants ability to take in the nutrition it needs.  It is not all about just the big 3-nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.  They are important but vitamins, minerals, and particularly living soil makes a huge difference in how healthy and lush the plants become.
I plant my veggies amongst our flowers.  The flowers attract pollinators which help yields of fruiting plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, squash, etc.), attracts beneficial insects, and being in mulch takes weeding down significantly and keeps moisture in the soil.

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