Growing Vegetables #4: Planting Greenhouse & Veg Prep
Spring has finally arrived here in Lithuania. At least, it’s spring today. The weather has been very temperamental so who knows what it will be like tomorrow, but for the past few days it has been warm and sunny and there has been a corresponding explosion in growth. All of a sudden fruit trees have burst into bloom, the grass has become lush and green and the dandelions have finally started to appear.
On advice from the lovely ladies in my local seed shop I had planted my pepper seeds way back in mid February. All grew well, though some grew bigger than others. They’re not a bad size – about 30 cm (12 inches) but I will probably start them earlier next year so that they’re bigger by the time I plant them out.
I planted my tomatoes and cucumbers at the end of February. I repotted them at the end of March and by mid April they were already getting very big. I started hardening off the tomatoes by leaving the plants out in the polytunnel for a few hours each day and waited patiently for our last frost date. I finally planted them out, along with my cucumbers, peppers and chillies, on April 30th. I had deliberately planted more seeds than I needed so that I could choose the strongest plants to plant out. I have now planted out the following:
- Tomatoes x 21 plants (5 each of Monika, Fantasio & Cetia and 6 of Pink Rise)
- Cucumbers x 6 plants (3 each of Mirabelle and Melody)
- Sweet Peppers x 12 plants (4 x Stanley (red), 3 x Rodrigo (red) and 5 x Turbine (yellow))
- Chilli Peppers x 7 (all Cayenne)
Now that the days are bright and warm we have also started work on our outside vegetable beds. Arūnas had recently rotavated an extended area for our vegetables this year. Yesterday he dug 12 raised beds. With my long-term back problems I find it easier to work with raised beds. I have now prepped two of these beds and planted one with onion seeds and sets. I didn’t try onions from seed last year so they are a new venture for me. I have planted a particularly large variety called Exhibition that are expected to grow to a 1 kg (2 pound) size. We shall see!
Already my arms and legs ache, but I must admit to loving working in the garden and watching my babies grow from seed to plant. Here’s to a good season!