By Lynea Petty, food production manager
We are itching to begin plant starts this month! Here is what we will do each week, and remember to start about 15-20% more seed than you want. Reminder – all of the seeds this month will be seeded in soil (trays, pots, etc.) and live in a heated greenhouse. At home, you can start seeds any location that is at least 50 degrees (some are happier slightly warmer). Once the seeds have popped, move to an indoor location with as much sun as possible, like a windowsill. Our timeline recommendations are directly relevant to when we can move these baby plants outside to Quigley Canyon, which is routinely at least 5 degrees colder than downtown Hailey.
Week of March 2: Organize a box, alphabetically, with all seeds we will need in greenhouse. Pull out seeding trays, and make sure we have the supplies we need. Continue twiddling thumbs one more week . . .
Week of March 9 – seed bulb onions . We are using Patterson variety this year. Onions are day-length latitude specific – be careful in your selection.
Week of March 16 – hold steady! If we can get to the farm (if snow is largely gone), we will begin clean-up: cleaning up any winter rodent habitation, etc.
Week of March 23 – seed spinach (Flamingo), parsley (Darki), kohlrabi (Terek and Kolibri) and green onions (White Spear).
Week of March 30 – seed broccoli (Gypsy), Beets (Red Ace), Cabbage (Tiara, Red Express, Storage #4, Omero), more green onions, Salanova (mix of types), head lettuce (Monte Carlo, Rouxai), cilantro (Calypso), peppers (Jalafuego, Hot Rod, Ace, Gilboa, Nardello, Highlander, King Arthur).
Notes: We are trying spinach and beets as ‘starts’ this year to try to get a jump start. We’ll report back on how this goes when we transplant in mid-April. It is delicate! Also, notice how we seed green onions twice – we will continue this repetitious pattern with several crops in order to have them available at all times.
Looking ahead to April: have these seeds ready to start: tomatoes, bok choy, kale, chard, fennel, basil, eggplant, tomatillos, artichoke, cabbages, kohlrabi, cilantro, spinach, beets. Have these seeds ready to plant directly into soil: radish, sweet peas, carrots, turnips, arugula.