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Beginner Vegetables: Carrots, Onions, Radish Seeds

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behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 2, 2014
5:51 PM

Post #9780434

These vegetable seeds need to be planted directly in the ground. They cannot be planted inside the house.. Because they cannot be transplanted. Also, these are considered cool weather plants, so they need to be planted in the fall so that when spring comes around the corner, they have roots & are ready to take off. That is, when the spring warm sun comes around, they are ready to take off. Remember to fertilize as soon as the seed comes up, & keep well watered.
Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 2, 2014
6:06 PM

Post #9780443

Onions seem to transplant quite nicely, can't say the same for carrots and radishes.
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 3, 2014
5:46 PM

Post #9781211

onions should be planted in the ground late aug early sept. Onions are a crop that matures in 270 days. This will give you the biggest onions as long as you take proper care and weed free your onions along with a good watering and feeding. Onions are 88% water so watering schedules must be kept.If you starv them for water they become hot.

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behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 3, 2014
5:53 PM

Post #9781218

So if the onion set is planted in Aug. or Sept., when should the onion seeds be planted?
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 3, 2014
6:57 PM

Post #9781277

Behillman I don't know diddly squat about your seasons in texas. I also don't know how many days your set has grown. But the 270 day mark is for from seed plantings. One thing I do know for sure is I grow way bigger onions from seed than I ever have from sets.

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

March 3, 2014
7:19 PM

Post #9781282

Not saying this is what one should do, but I have had considerable success transplanting radishes this winter. I ran across some really old seed packets (2004 & 2007) this winter & did the seed test by placing some on damp paper towel. I really didn't expect to see germination with such old seeds but was shocked when 9/10 of them sprouted. I took the 'naked' seedlings off the paper towel, potted them up in peat pots, and later planted them outside in January. Every single one of them survived. I ate some just yesterday.

The radishes I planted in the manner described above actually did much better than the 2014 seeds I sowed outside directly in the ground and at the optimum planting time for my area. I suspect many of the 2014 radish seeds which I planted outside directly were probably adversely effected when we had a totally unprecedented ice storm about a week after I sowed the seeds. I covered the young plants in my garden but didn't cover newly seeded areas.
Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 4, 2014
6:00 AM

Post #9781483

behillman,
Here is a video by Dixiondale farms, I believe they are in Texas , they are a huge onion grower. So this information should be relevant for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWFCiStDv4s

This message was edited Mar 4, 2014 9:49 AM
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
7:37 AM

Post #9781576


This message was edited Mar 4, 2014 7:44 AM

This message was edited Mar 4, 2014 7:45 AM
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
7:43 AM

Post #9781581

I have bought many times from Dixondale and always received quality plants and a full count. The only problem is having a high cost for a little order. I try to get a few friends together and split a case. I usually plant 10 bunches so that's a third of a case.

These grow huge onions to because they were plantesd in early fall and grown for about 4 months then dug and sold as onion plants.{not sets}
hillbillyBob
Zavalla, TX

March 4, 2014
10:41 AM

Post #9781714

I start onions from seed indoors then plant the young plants, in the garden early spring around here we call them sets, not blubs
I also plant sets(Blubs) every year, but only plant seeds for young plants if started in the green house.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 4, 2014
11:05 AM

Post #9781732

I'm on my second batch of BEET seeds that I started inside in yogurt cups. They've actually grown wonderfully well. The first set I transplanted out are doing so well! And, everywhere I've read said that BEETS definitely will not transplant out well.

The second batch is just about ready to go out for transplanting, too!

Go figger...LOL!

P.S. Webcajun (The Bayou Gardener) has a WONDERFUL video on onion seeds he started in an old trough, in October. He planted them in pure, sifted, homemade compost. Twelve weeks later (February) he transplanted them into the garden. HUGE onion yield around May/June.

[HYPERLINK@www.google.com]

This message was edited Mar 4, 2014 1:12 PM

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DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

March 4, 2014
11:19 AM

Post #9781742

Where I live, radishes & carrots can be planted in the fall as you indicated AND ALSO in winter (Jan and Feb). Onion seeds can only be planted here in fall; onion sets and bulbs can be planted in Feb. These optimum planting times for my area were established by Clemson University and are available on their website. I am currently eating radishes I planted in Jan.

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

March 4, 2014
11:30 AM

Post #9781748

Gymgirl,

The weather in Charleston, SC is very close to that in the SE quadrant of TX up to Houston. As I mentioned above, Clemson University publishes information on the optimum planting dates for vegetables in my area. They say we can plant beet seeds in fall AND also in winter. The optimum winter planting time for beets in my area is Dec 15 - Jan 30, so I would say you actually planted your beets at the proper time. Very nice looking beets, btw!
hillbillyBob
Zavalla, TX

March 4, 2014
11:55 AM

Post #9781769

Yep, beets grow almost all year around here I'm in Zone 8b almost the same as CharlestonSC ,we grow beets for the leaves mostly not many make it to full size about like radishes they don't make it past the garden shed I eat most of them before I get to the house which isn't but a about 100 yards.again like SC when I was on the island back in the mid 70's it snowed for the first time in a 50 years that's what we were told. it's snowed here three times this year?????? I was trying to plant potatoes in mid January but I'm not going to shovel snow to plant So my taters didn't go in until 17/18 Feb.

This message was edited Mar 4, 2014 2:01 PM

This message was edited Mar 4, 2014 2:03 PM

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 4, 2014
12:22 PM

Post #9781793

Thanks, Dream!

I learned to love the beet greens a few years ago when my husband's Aunt Beatrix first cooked them for me. Now, I grow them for the greens, although the spiced, pickled beets I put up in November were fabulously delicious!

I'd like to try to grow them year round!
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2014
11:15 AM

Post #9785619

I'm eating Brussel Sprout leaves. I pick the lower leaves, cut them up, & cook in oil & tiny bit of water, then add pieces of sausage. Salt & pepper. Humm, they are good. I can see tiny balls forming along the stem where the leaves were removed. These must be the brussel sprouts.

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2014
12:00 PM

Post #9785647

Bob, Gymgirl,

I thought beets were a cool weather crop and thus could not be grown in summer in our warm (hot actually) climates. Is that not true? Do you actually grow them in the heat of summer? June - Sept can be quite brutal here.

I have never tried beet greens before but will most definitely try some from the current crop. For a year or so now I've been challenging myself to taste even those parts of the plant not normally eaten (after googling to be sure it's safe to do so). In so doing, I've learned that I actually like such totally unexpected parts as [raw] cabbage core and the central stalk of the collard plant (sliced thin with tough/woody outer part removed. eaten raw like crudite). I've also been experimenting recently with radish greens, which can be eaten raw or cooked. Yes, I know this is weird, but I'm enjoying it and have found some unexpected favorites.

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2014
12:14 PM

Post #9785656

behillman,

How interesting - and smart - that you are eating the leaves of the brussel sprout plant. As mentioned above, I've been challenging myself to sample those parts of the plant which I usually toss, such as midribs, stalks, leaves, and even cores of cabbage, broccoli, kale, radish, etc. I've also been using slivers of garlic leaves for color and seasoning (used like chives). I would not have thought to try the brussel sprout leaves. Good to know they are tasty. I hope you are allowing the plant to keep a few leaves to feed the plant and keep it healthy while the sprouts are developing.

I've been surprised to find that the plant parts we usually toss are often quite delicious.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2014
1:33 PM

Post #9785701

I harvested a bed of broccolis and cauliflowers yesterday. The only parts that went ojn the trash are the peels from the cored broccoli stalks, and the tough cauliflower stems.

I have five (5) gallon bags of cauliflower & broccoli leaves that will make ~36 green smoothies.

Not a bad day at the backyard farmer's market. I just wish I could grow bananas, LOL!!!

Linda, who payed the A/C guy with a garbage bag full of cauliflower leaves for his own green smoothies, 3 huge grapefruits, and a $20 bill (cause that's how I roll, and because, if I had pushed the thermostat in all the way after I replaced the batteries, I would have had heat this week, and wouldnt be sick, now...)

Thanking GOD I didn't need a new compressor --yet, LOL!!!

This message was edited Mar 9, 2014 4:14 PM

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behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 9, 2014
3:02 PM

Post #9785763

Gymgirl, I'm glad to hear you do juicing. I juice also. I use carrots, oranges, apple. I found out the hard way , not to use onion. I used brussel sprouts leaves this morning with kale, apple, & wow, what a strong,green drink. I had to add oranges to tone it down. Since using the carrots, my eyes seem to do better. I went to the eye place to get new glasses, & she said I did not need any for driving like I used to have to wear per my drivers license. But maybe she meant that the law did not require it any longer.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 10, 2014
10:27 AM

Post #9786560

Behillman,
I don't juice. I have a NutriBullet that pulverizes everything, including the peels. The only thing I peel is a banana. Sure wish I could grow those, LOL! The difference is that I don't lose any of the roughage (fiber) from my produce. And, every leaf in my veggie garden (except the toxic tomato leaves, and any other harmful leaves) is a contributor. I harvested five (5) gallon-size freezer bags of leaves, enough for 36 tall smoothies.

Here's one of my recipes:

Cauliflower Leaf Green Smoothie Recipe

►1 c. cauliflower leaves, washed and torn
►1 large, ripe Banana, peeled & diced
►1/2 medium seedless English cucumber or zucchini, diced
►1 c. Frozen Tropical Fruit blend (mango, pineapple & strawberry) - approx. 5-6 pcs. of fruit
►1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
►1 tsp. Manuka Honey (Australian @ Whole Foods Stores - pricey - $30 - seeking alternate)
►1/2 c. water

I use a NutriBullet (by Magic Bullet) to blend my smoothies.

Pack the leaves into the bottom of the cup, then loose-pack everything else. Ingredients may go slightly over the Max Fill line, but, filling with water only halfway to the Max Fill line will offset the total amount of liquid from the other ingredients, once they're liquefied. This should keep your unit from leaking due to overfilling.

Pulse for 10 seconds. Remove cup from the unit and invert to force the liquefied portion down into the leaves. Return cup to unit and pulse for approx. 20 seconds more, or until the green leaves drop down and the bits are emulsified.

Pour your smoothie into an insulated Hot/Cold cup that can be placed in the freezer for future meals. Simply remove to the refrigerator the night before for a quick and easy breakfast meal the next morning!

Note: The pulpy portion will eventually separate from the liquid portion, if your Smoothie is not consumed right away. Simply thaw your Smoothie, return to the blender cup, and pulse for a quick 15 seconds to re-blend.

Viola!

This message was edited Mar 10, 2014 11:32 AM

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 10, 2014
10:34 AM

Post #9786568

Cauliflower Green Smoothie

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kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 10, 2014
10:46 AM

Post #9786576

Sorry Linda, I'm not THAT much of a garden FANATIC!!!! LOL...

EEEEEWWWWWW...

This message was edited Mar 10, 2014 4:23 PM

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

March 14, 2014
9:21 PM

Post #9789876

I sometimes throw a handful of kale or collard leaves in with my smoothie ingredients, and I can't taste the difference - turns it green and adds lots of nutrients but doesn't effect the flavor, at least not the way I do it.

I like to add Spenda or Stevia to sweeten my smoothies. Sometimes I add some Crystal Lite powder instead, any flavor or mixed flavors. I also puree veggies and freeze them in ice cube tray to toss into smoothies instead of ice. Makes very thick, frozen (milkshake-type) smoothies.

Gymgirl, I try to use everything, too. I like your idea of using the cauliflower leaves in smoothies!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2014
9:53 PM

Post #9789882

I sow radish, beets and carrot seeds in the spring and fall. My spring crop always does much better, if the cold weather comes sooner then normal the fall crop poops out. Radishes take about 4 weeks to mature so that isn't hard to guesestimate. If the seeds don't germinate in the fall they have usually rotted by the time spring rolls around and I have to resow. They are all cool weather crops but I sow all these seeds in the spring or fall.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 15, 2014
1:33 PM

Post #9790244

Dream,
Would you mind sending me a recipe or two in a dmail?

Thx!
cytf
Staten Island, NY

March 18, 2014
11:05 AM

Post #9792320

Hi Gymgirl , can you tell me how you sow the beets seeds in doors.Last fall I sowed some in my garden bed , they sprouted but the did not do well, I want to try with them again this springThank you

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 18, 2014
1:46 PM

Post #9792408

Cytf,

Be glad to help out!

What follows is my process for sowing okra seeds. You can do beets the same, except the part about the white tail applies to the okras. You may not see this when sowing the beets.

Soak the beets overnight, then either direct sow them in your garden, or in the cups for starting them inside under lights.

First, I've saved about a gazillion 6-8 oz. yogurt cups. I use ones with the wide mouths, not Yo-plait or a narrow mouth 'cause they won't slide out of those easily. The less disturbance to the root mass during transplanting, the better they take to the transplanting...

To germinate my seeds, I fill a cup with water and add 1 capful of regular old, over-the-counter Hydrogen Peroxide. Drop in the seeds, label the cup, and set it aside overnight. I usually keep the varieties separate, one per cup.

I have had little tails pop out of the seeds in as few as 24 hours, so pay attention for little white nibs on the ends, LOL! [If for some reason the water starts getting cloudy (I've soaked them as long as 4 days -- forgotten, duh...), carefully pour some off and add some fresh. No need to add more peroxide.]

Once you see a good number of nibs, it's time to plant the seeds! I use either re-purposed MG potting MIX, MIX, MIX in the yogurt cups (link below to my sterilizing process) or fresh Roots Organics Potting soil (in a green camouflage-looking bag...). Whichever one you choose (or whatever else you use), moisten the potting mix first. I use a large pan/tub, and add hot water, just until it's moistened, but not wringing wet. Scoop a handful into the cup, and make a SLIGHT divot in the soil. Your planting hole should be NO DEEPER than HALF the digit of your little finger, LOL!

Make two holes toward the middle of the cup, and drop one seed into each hole. You'll eventually snip off the weaker of the two that comes up.

I set the cups into a seed tray and grow them inside under a side-x-side pair of cheap old fluorescent shop lights, until the leaves grow about 6-8" tall. My lights are on from 7a to 11p daily, and stay 1-2" from the tops of the leaves. I raise them by stacking some cut-off pieces of lumber on each end of the lights. You can also stack the lights on some books.

I just transplanted my last flat of beets this past Saturday. Here's that process:

►First, I sprinkle some Mittleider pre-plant mix over the transplant area in my raised bed.

To make Pre-Plant Mix mix together the following:
5 lbs. lime (more than 20" annual rain) or gypsum (less than 18" annual rain)
1 ounce Boron (20 Mule Team Borax)
4 ounces Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts)

The above converts to the following for a smaller batch:
10 c. lime or gypsum
1/8 c. Boron
1/2 c. Magnesium Sulfate

Sprinkle at a rate of 1 ounce per linear foot in a 4' wide bed (only use when setting new transplants). I used the tip of my trowel to lightly work it into the top 2-3" of my soil.

►Dig a hole ONLY AS DEEP AS THE CROWN OF THE BEET SEEDLING.

►Turn the seedling cup over in your hand and remove the cup from the plant.

►As gingerly as possible, set the entire root ball into the hole at the same level as it grew in the cup. [TIP: Water the seedlings 1-2 days BEFORE you transplant, so the water can drain from the cups, and the soil won't break apart when you set the root ball.]

►Back fill the hole, guiding the soil down the sides then, on top of the root ball (don't disturb it), and GENTLY pat it down.

►Once they're all set, water the transplants in with a gently spray -- I use a rain wand.

►Mulch around the seedlings to keep the ground moist between waterings. (I use broken down leaf mold for my beds).

That's about it, except maybe to sprinkle some Sluggo PLUS on top of the bed to deter slugs and snails and PILLBUGS (roly polies) from nibbling on your babies!

Hope this helps!

Linda

Pic #1 Beets transplanted 2/6/14 in RB #2
Pic #2 Beets on 02/18/14 #2
PIc #3 Beets as of 3/15/14 in RB #2
Pic #4 Beets as of 3/15/14 in RB #2
Pic #5 Beets transplanted on 02/28/14 in RB #1

STERILIZING SEED STARTING MIX http://allthingsplants.com/blogs/entry/136/


This message was edited Mar 19, 2014 10:46 AM

This message was edited Mar 22, 2014 10:28 PM

This message was edited Mar 22, 2014 10:31 PM

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cytf
Staten Island, NY

March 18, 2014
5:40 PM

Post #9792605

Thank you Gymgirl I will try this and let you know my outcome .I love beets a lot I can eat them like candy lol
Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 18, 2014
5:45 PM

Post #9792608

I was using yogurt cups, the Walmart value brand type. But I still had trouble getting the plants out, Lupines I believe. But I had some planted in the little clear plastic cups(really cheap at the dollar store) and they sled right out. No more saving yogurt cups next year.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 18, 2014
6:19 PM

Post #9792625

Thanks for the cup tip, Seedfork!
cytf
Staten Island, NY

March 22, 2014
8:10 AM

Post #9795310

Hi Gymgirl, since beets seeds are in a clump do I separate them when I take the sprouted seeds out of the water or i planted it in the clump?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 22, 2014
4:46 PM

Post #9795622

Cytf,
Plant the clump. You'll eventually thin down to the strongest one in the cup.

I realize I confused starting my OKRA seeds with starting the beet seeds. Process is still the same with soaking in H2O2, only you'll see white tails from the OKRA seeds quickly.

Soak the beet seeds overnight then plant two spaced out seeds in each cup. When they come up you actually can move one seed cluster to another cup. Just don't plant or transplant them too deep.
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 22, 2014
7:23 PM

Post #9795735

Gymgirl. Do you use a Floresentant light that plugs into an electrical socket? The only ones I have are up in the ceiling, & thats too high for my plants.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 22, 2014
8:51 PM

Post #9795793

I just want to add my 2 cents, feel free to take it or leave it. I have been gardening for 20+ years and while I soak my beet and Swiss Chard capsules and Okra seeds before sowing them I ALWAYS direct seed them. They are so easy to start from seed I don't see any advantage to potting and repotting them or having to harden them off. Sometimes I will put them a damp coffee filter to germinate them before sowing them (after soaking them) but usually I just stick them in the dirt.

Behillman-you can always use a sunny window, but all of us that start pepper, tomato and eggplant seeds have a light set up so the "shop lights" are about 1-2" from the tops of our plants.

GG, I realize this is a lot of work, but you might want to edit your prevoius post so it says Okra and not beets. If somebody reads that but not this other one they mite be really confused. Just a suggestion. : )
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

March 22, 2014
9:31 PM

Post #9795804

Gymgirl, boy! you have come a long was a gardner since we first met in July 09 and started working on the e-bucket. You have just answered a string of questions for me on whether certain items can be transplanted. Thanks.
Lane

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 22, 2014
9:55 PM

Post #9795807

Hey, Lane!

So happy to bump into you again. Much too long not hearing from you.

Someday before I die, I'm gonna walk outside and toss a handful of seeds in my veggie garden, LOl! Maybe a couple of hours before I croak, if I can crawl off my deathbed.

There are some seeds that just aren't worth the trouble I go through, but, truth be told, there are several very good reasons I do it:
1. I love the challenge
2. I love observing what seedlings do, and I'm constantly learning more and more. Sort of like the Birdman of Alcatraz
3. Seeds outside need constant moisture for germination. I'm not able to provide that level of care throughout the day. Tucking them under lights inside works for me.
4. I have a relentless pill bug population that doesn't give a tiny seedling a chance.
5. Finally, I just plain LIKE starting seeds indoors- almost any seeds I have a shot at transplanting successfully. I am so proud of my beet crop this season. I hope to have transplants ready to plug into any spots that open up!

Carrots may be the only seeds I throw out -- until I figure them out, too, LOL!

Hugs!

This message was edited Mar 22, 2014 10:58 PM
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 22, 2014
10:02 PM

Post #9795811

I've also been told that carrots can't be transplanted, but when I pull them too early I simply stick them back in the soil to let them grow more. When I pull them again, they look the same as all the rest. I just haven't found any advantage to starting any of these indoors when they can be direct seeded. I try to do as little extra work as possible...but everybody's schedule and climate are different.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2014
6:15 AM

Post #9795916

"They are so easy to start from seed I don't see any advantage to potting and repotting them or having to harden them off."

Lise,
I don't pot and repot. They grow in the yogurt cups under lights only until they're big enough to survive a pillbug attack, or transplanting space comes available, LOL!

I held my last flat inside longer cuz the winter broccolis were still going. The beet leaves were about 6-8" long when I sat them out under the patio cover for two days to harden off. We were having a several cloudy days last week, so it took less time to harden them off before transplanting out on yet another cloudy day.

I agree that, for some, this is work--and, extra work at that.

I consider what I do to be my therapuetic, working hobby.



This message was edited Mar 23, 2014 1:26 PM
cytf
Staten Island, NY

March 23, 2014
11:49 AM

Post #9796148

Hi 1lisac, I had trouble growing carrots before and I came across the method of making my own seed tape and I got nice big carrots . I just googled making seed tape and I followed the instructions.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 23, 2014
11:52 AM

Post #9796150

That's why I said everybody's schedule is different...it's something you love to do so go for it! I just don't want people to think it's a MUST, to start them inside like peppers, tomatoes, eggplant etc. Everybody has a way that is easier for them. For carrot seeds I just put a board over them to keep them from drying out. For you it's therapeutic, for many it would be unnessasary work...I toss them, thin, then harvest. Whatever works...

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2014
12:45 PM

Post #9796174

I planted my beets, radishes, etc indoors this past winter only because my seeds were extremely old (2003-7). I used a wet paper towel for sprouting much like the coffee filter method mentioned above (by 1lisac, I think). With such old seeds, I wanted to 'baby' them and also see if they sprouted or not before planting them outside.

I don't have a light setup at this time but have managed to get seeds started in a sunny window. The seedlings are a bit leggy when done that way but grow properly once set outside. Lights would be better, but the sunny window works in a pinch.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 23, 2014
2:33 PM

Post #9796251

cytf, thanks but so far I haven't had any trouble starting carrots just trouble knowing when to pull them...lol. I have made and used seed tape many times and I do like it but sometimes it's just easier to toss the seeds and thin them as they grow...I eat the rejects...no waste there.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2014
2:42 PM

Post #9796262

I hear yah, Lise!

You reminded me of yet another reason I start indoors--I absolutely HATE wasting seedlings to thinning!

I get far better control over the numbers of seedlings I get to keep, by carefully spacing them in the cups after the soaking.

That way I usually have just the numbers I need for transplanting outside, without sacrificing too many to thinning.

This message was edited Mar 23, 2014 3:43 PM
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 23, 2014
2:52 PM

Post #9796272

I have to admit if I don't eat it I just move it over. But the beets have to be thinned one way or the other bc the "seeds" are actually capsules. By using the coffee filter method I know which seeds are viable. I've managed to get the pill bugs under control, after I was told for years they didn't do that much damage, ya right.
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

March 23, 2014
2:59 PM

Post #9796281

Linda,
i bet you dream doing gardening. Do you ever go to bed?? LOL!!!
I am sooo impress with your organization!!!

Your veggie looks good. i need to try your smoothies. I need to lose 10 lbs.

Belle

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2014
8:30 PM

Post #9796501

Thank you, Belle!

I only WISH I was as organized as I sound. If I manage to get my garage in order this summer, then I'll REALLY start cooking with grease!

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 3, 2014
6:13 PM

Post #9858103

Gymgirl & hillbillyBob,

I think it was the 2 of you who said you LOVE beet greens - and maybe even plant beets for the greens only. I was wondering if you have ever tried chard (sometimes called Swiss Chard)? Last month I gathered and cooked my 1st bunch of beet greens (ever). As soon as I tasted the 1st mouthful, I though, "chard, definitely, chard!" They taste exactly the same.

Then I started to notice the similarity in appearance between fresh (uncooked) beet leaves and chard, especially ruby chard, as the latter has red stems and veins just like beet leaves. Curious by this time, I did some research and learned that chard and beet are practically the same plant Beta vulgaris, except that chard is Beta vulgaris subspecies cicla. Even the seeds are the same, 2 or more smaller seeds in that hard, wrinkly looking seed case.

I brought all of this up because those of you who are growing beets primarily or entirely for the leaves/greens may want to check out chard, if you haven't done so already. The leaves taste the same (to me, at least). The main difference is that, whereas the beet plant puts a lot of its energy into the formation of the root (beet), the chard plant puts all its energy into the leaves and stems. Chard grows much larger and produces a lot more 'greens'. I think this may explain why beet greens have never really gone mainstream. For those interested in the greens only, chard it the better, more productive option.

Give chard a try, if you haven't already. i would love to hear your thoughts on this.

After tasting my 1st 'mess' of beet greens and rethinking Bob's comment about growing beets here in Chas all year long, I quickly headed out to the patio to reseed the 2 large containers in which I had grown beets last winter. I also planted several large tubs of chard. It's an experiment. Some of my research seemed to indicate that Bob may have been right; that beets (and thus also chard) may be able to take the heat here in summer. I'm told the actual beets (roots) will grow tough, gnarly, and inedible in the summer heat but the greens should still be fine. I sure hope that is true; it's great to imagine I might be able to eat greens year round, summer included.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 4, 2014
6:42 AM

Post #9858595

I absolutely agree with you and I love Swiss Chard so much more.
Swiss Chard grows all summer here in Dallas, even with our extreme heat.
Happy gardening

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 5, 2014
4:06 AM

Post #9859487

drthor,

How excellent to hear that chard does well in your area. That gives credence my assumption that chard will be able to stand up to the heat here. Glad I planted a bunch of chard (and some beets) for summer. Thanks for letting me know.

It may seem quite contrary to expectations, but the climate here in Charleston is very similar to that in the SE quadrant of TX up to around Houston. There is one very detailed climate zone map (not the one we usually use) that places Charleston in the same zone as the extreme gulf coast including the SE quadrant of TX and the northern 1/2 of FL. I've since learned that it is the Gulf Stream which is largely responsible for bringing the warmth of the gulf coast to our shore, such that Charleston weather is totally distinct from that of the rest of SC.

Thanks again!
cytf
Staten Island, NY

June 10, 2014
7:41 AM

Post #9864311

Hi Gymgirl, I have good results with Beets , thanks to you.They are growing very healthy so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get nice produce.

Thumbnail by cytf
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 10, 2014
8:50 AM

Post #9864362

Cytf,
Did you start those indoors or direct seed them into the garden? Either way, they look FANTASTICALLY HEALTHY!!!

You are going to have a wonderful harvest. Just remember to keep your soil evenly moist for them, and maybe put some mulch down to keep the soil moist and cool.

You did a great job! I am so proud of you!!

P.S. Which varieties are you growing?

Do you know how to pickle them? LMK. I have a killer recipe!

This weekend, the press will be on to get my seedling rooms ready for sowing. I'm employing the two neighbor boys (7 and 9) next door to wash up ALL my seedling trays, cups and vessels for the sowing to begin next month.

It is absolutely amazing how the time flies from season to season!

If I start some broccoli and cabbage seeds next month, they'll be 10 weeks old and approximately 8-10" by transplant time in mid-September. They'll have a good head start on the pill bugs. Once they're established (about 2 weeks in the ground), they'll take off just as the weather begins to cool down.

I reviewed an old post of mine, which said it took 120 days from seed to harvesting an Arcadia broccoli, in MY veggie garden, LOL.

Let the countdown begin!

Linda
cytf
Staten Island, NY

June 10, 2014
4:38 PM

Post #9864736

The package says Seeds of Change 100% certified organic colorful beet mix, I will put down some mulch tomorrow, I started them indoors as you advised me .Hey I have a good Mentor ,lol

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 10, 2014
5:34 PM

Post #9864783

>> the central stalk of the collard plant (sliced thin with tough/woody outer part removed. eaten raw like crudite).

Try the Asian Brassica "Gai Lan" or "kailaan" (stems).

Or any of the flowering Bok Choy (Yu Choy Sum) - eat the flowering stalks and baby blooms / buds.

But both of those are typical cool-weather Brassicas. At least, with Yu Choy Sum, you don't mind it bolting ... that IS the edible part!

Or maybe Celtuce "celery lettuce" - the celery-shaped stem is eaten raw or cooked:
Lactuca sativa var. asparagina, augustana, or angustata
Also called stem lettuce or asparagus lettuce,

How about "leaf broccoli"? It tastes like broccoli, but you eat the leaves and tender tips:
Spigariello Liscia = Broccolo Spigariello = Brassica oleracea var. 'Spigariello'
If you let it overwinter (no problem where I live, Zone 8), it will bolt next spring and then you'll see the resemblance to brocoli.


Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA   Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA   Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 10, 2014
8:02 PM

Post #9864917

Wow, cytf. You did VERY well! Glad I could share some knowledge.

Now, since you've obviously got the hang of this, be on the lookout for the next newbie and "pass it forward!"

And, please, continue to post your progress here so we can share your experience.

Hugs!

Linda

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 11, 2014
8:26 AM

Post #9865226

RickyCorey_WA,

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions! (I'm the one who eats the central stalk of the collard plant and am on a mission to try to find a way to eat all edible/non-toxic parts of the plants I buy and grow.)

This year I planted a veggie garden again for the 1st time since my car accident some 5 or so years ago, so I kept it pretty simple. I hope to expand my garden slowly over time, as I see that I am able to manage it. I will most definitely try your suggestions. I had already begun looking at some Asian vegetables.

Thanks again!

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 11, 2014
8:32 AM

Post #9865231

Gymgirl,

I'm so glad you said that about starting your broccoli and such now. This year, in addition to planting a garden again for the 1st time in years, I'm starting everything from seeds. As I've always used transplants in the past (for those items which would need to be started indoors), I have no idea when to start such items. I greatly misjudged my tomatoes and peppers for the spring planting, and had you not mentioned starting your broccoli now, I suspect I would have been late with that as well.

I do realize that you are starting yours a little earlier than absolutely necessary, but I figure by the time I get things in gear, I will probably be right on target thanks to your comment. Thanks!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 11, 2014
9:37 AM

Post #9865283

DreamofSpring,

You're right about getting my seeds started early. Our mild winters here allow for earlier and later plantings. Houston has ~285 growing days, and I'd like to use as many of them as I can, LOL! I've also passed enough community gardens in our area that had almost-full heads of cabbages growing by mid-September. That tipped me off as to how early their seeds were sown!

After I reviewed my post that said, "... it took 120 days from seed to harvesting an Arcadia broccoli, in MY veggie garden..." I pulled out the calendar and began targeting dates I wanted to harvest my broccs, cauliflowers, & cabbages. Then I began counting backward 120 days to help me determine when to sow my seeds indoors. This is what I came up with as a schedule:

Sow Date ►Harvest Date
6/14/14 ►10/18/14
7/12/14 ►11/15/14
8/9/14 ►12/13/14
9/13/14 ► 01/17/14
10/4/14 ► 02/08/14**

**As long as my last harvest is done by this date, I'll have one week to clear out and prepare the beds to receive my long season tomato transplants the next week, on February 14, 2015.

I'll start tomato seeds at the Winter Solstice, the weekend of December 20-21, 2014...the seedlings will be 8 weeks old by transplant time...

I know I push the winter envelope by starting tomatoes outside so early, but, I hedge my bets by having all my frost protection contingencies in place ahead of time. We really only get between 3-8 days below 30 in our winters here. And, they're usually not back to back days, nor or they entire 24 hour days -- more like a couple hours before dawn, each time...I can protect the tomatoes for brief periods of frost...

I need between 80-120 days for my long-season tomatoes...

Hugs!

Linda

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 11, 2014
10:23 AM

Post #9865333

Thanks, Linda!

Wow, you sure are incredibly organized. Appreciate all the info. The climate here in Charleston is very much like that of TX - not true of the rest of SC, just Charleston. We can garden year round here. I have flowers in bloom here at all times year round. Likewise, there is no month during which one cannot plant or grow vegetables here, as well. I think your planting dates will probably work quite well for me, too. Thanks again.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

June 11, 2014
11:47 AM

Post #9865387

>> I had already begun looking at some Asian vegetables.

Consider looking at these sites for Asian seeds:
http://www.tainongseeds.com/ and
http://www.kitazawaseed.com/

Kitazawa has GREAT variety and detailed descriptions including traditional recipes. Their paper catalog is almost a research resource. I think their prices are good because the packets are large.

With Tainong seeds, you get a picture and a very short description, but you almost have to know what you want.

They are oriented towards market growers, so they list a lot of hybrid varieties, and they don't post prices. You "just have to know" that they will sell hobbyists "little" $2 sample packets that are usually two grams, but I-Lung just calls it "a scoop". Two grams for two dollars is a GREAT deal!

I make up a list of requests and email them to see what's in stock. If you tell I-Lung ("Sandy") your climate, he'll suggest alternatives. I love the fact that they usually answer the phone in Mandarin and switch to English if that's what you speak!

When I learned that Daikon radishes are much too hot for me, someone on DG suggested eating the seed pods raw. Those are much milder and delicious.
cytf
Staten Island, NY

July 8, 2014
9:18 AM

Post #9888666

hi Gymgirl, I reap 2 of my beets and they were very sweet when I cooked them .This is the first time I ever cooked the beet greens, and my hubby and I enjoyed it.Seeing yellow beets was something new to me,since I was only used to eating red beets.Here is a picture of them .

Thumbnail by cytf
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 8, 2014
10:20 AM

Post #9888710

OMGoodness, CYTF!

You did great! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 8, 2014
7:07 PM

Post #9889117

They look great, tops AND bottoms!
cytf
Staten Island, NY

July 9, 2014
9:34 AM

Post #9889475

Thank you GymGirl and Corey. I am planning to do a fall crop.
LV426
Kent, WA
(Zone 7b)

August 11, 2014
11:50 AM

Post #9915498

I'm new here but I thought I'd share my tip for planting beets, carrots, and radishes.

I took the seeds and spaced them out sandwiched between two wet paper towels. I then placed those in a warm dark place inside a plastic sandwich bag until they started sprouting. The roots actually will go through the paper towels. Once they had started sprouting I just moved them out into the raised bed I was planting them in and put the papertowel squares down where I wanted to plant and then lightly covered them with dirt. No need for thinning because I had each seed placed where I wanted it to grow and the papertowels kept them in place while I spread the dirt lightly on each papertowel. When I couldn't see the papertowel then I knew that was enough dirt on top. Watering lightly and regularly kept the dirt in place and the papertowels kept the seedlings in place. None were traumatized and I had almost 99% success rate with the seedlings and none lost to thinning.

I did this with carrots, beets, and radishes in spring and I just started a new batch this past weekend for the fall crop.
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

August 11, 2014
12:01 PM

Post #9915504

Excellent idea, i have to try it.

Belle

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2014
1:12 PM

Post #9915556

Great tip, LV426!

I've seen recommendations for 1" spacing, or 144 carrots per square foot. That seems awfully close together for them to develop into nice size carrots.

What's your successful spacing on the carrots, and the beets, too?
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 12, 2014
12:20 AM

Post #9915958

Wow, great idea. I have started them in paper towels in plastic bags but when I removed them from the paper towels many times I broke the roots off. Never thought of skipping that step and just putting the paper towel in the garden too. I will do it that way from now on, it will be great for carrots since they like a very moist dark area to sprout ( they can take forever) but your method solves that issue too. Thank!
cytf
Staten Island, NY

August 14, 2014
7:45 PM

Post #9918335

Hi LV426, that is such a nice idea . I will try it for the fall and spring.
tx_flower_child
Dallas, TX

August 18, 2014
11:08 AM

Post #9920983

Question: Someone somewhere in this thread mentioned soaking seeds. Do all veg. seeds need to be soaked or just some types? Should I just rely on what the packet says?

Seedfork: You mentioned the difficulty of getting little starts out of some (I think) yoghurt cups. Sometimes carefully and gently using a spoon underneath and maybe around the little babies will help get them out of the cups. I got this tip from another Texas gardener and it worked for me. Just saying.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

August 18, 2014
11:30 AM

Post #9921011

TFC,
Not all veggie seeds need to be soaked. I soak the hard shelled seeds like beets and okra. I believe the H202 (Hydrogen peroxide) forces oxygen into the seed coat and activates some growth -- or not, LOL! I don't know the scientific principal for why it works -- it just does get them to germinate really fast -- sometimes, too fast.

I only use the wide-mouth yogurt cups, so I can pour the whole root ball out into my hand and set it to transplant it. Much less chance of transplant shock when you keep the root ball manipulation to a minimum...

Just saying...

DreamOfSpring

DreamOfSpring
Charleston, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 18, 2014
1:39 PM

Post #9921105

Even if you don't use the H202, some seeds need to be soaked overnight in warm water to speed up the germination process. Sometimes the seed packet instructions will mention this but not always. This summer I had several different packets/brands of beet seeds, some of which listed soaking in the instructions while others did not. The good news is that even if you fail to soak them, the seeds will still germinate eventually if you keep them moist. It will just take longer, sometimes a lot longer. Some other vegetable & herb seeds that need to be soaked overnight include spinach & parsley.

When planting a variety of seed I haven't planted before, I usually google "How to plant [insert vegetable type] seeds" and skim a few of the resultant web pages to get more information and tips on planting that specific type of seed. If soaking is required, this information will usually be found on such web pages.

Soaking seeds in H202 has been shown to speed germination. If you are going to try this, you should look up directions on how much to use as it should be diluted with water.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

August 18, 2014
6:29 PM

Post #9921282

Try a 1:16 or 1:32 dilution. That's really safe. I think some people use stronger, but it doesn't seem necessary.

1-2 ounces per quart or
1.5 to 3 tsp per cup

Drug store peroxide is around 3%, so this recipe gives 0.1% or 0.2% final strength.

http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/gardening-with-hydrogen-peroxide.html

Also consider what germination temperatures will give the fastest results:

http://tomclothier.hort.net/page11.html Germination Temperature

Really, anything Tom Clothier has to say is worth reading for a gardener:
http://tomclothier.hort.net/page12.html soilless mixes & Seed sowing technique
http://tomclothier.hort.net/page13.html Damping-off

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Other Beginner Vegetables Threads you might be interested in:

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