Sowed Chard, Cabbage, Mustard, Spinach, and Beets


8/25/2020 – The post covers the pre-soaking, pre-sprouting, and sowing. As pre-sprouting took more than a week, the spinach was not sowed in the garden until September 4. The plan and what was done was as follows.

At 4:00 PM:

Put the seeds cited below into 1/2 pint mason jars and added about 1/2″ water. Let them soak until 7:30 PM and then poured off the water, screwed on lightly a plastic lid and left to sprout. The three seeds were:

  1. Crocodile Spinach – 20′ single row
    1. Pre-sprout 125 seeds or 1/2 of the packet in the refrigerator for one week but it was 9 days before most seeds had a white shoot/root.
    2. Planting Depth: 1/2″, Seed Spacing: 2″
  2. Kestrel Beets – 20′ double row
    1. At 6″ OC would require 80 seeds pre-sprouted at room temperature just until small red shoots are seen. Germination Optimum Temp is 85°.
    2. Planting Depth: 1/2″.
  3. Cheers Cabbage – 30′ row
    1. Pre-sprout 1/3 of the packet at room temperature. Germination Optimum Temp is 60-85°.
    2. Planting Depth: 1/4″
    3. Seed Spacing: 12″
    4. Row Spacing: 2-3′
    5. Days to Maturity: 75
    6. 100 seeds per packet at 12″ oc = 100′ row

8/26/2020 – Soaked the following seeds and sowed them the next day.

  1. Green Lucullus Swiss Chard – 30′ row on the west side of the pumpkins/squash row.
    1. Actual soaking was for 30 minutes in initially warm water.
      1. Advice was – Soak seed in bathtub-warm water for an hour before sowing. From here and here says 15 minutes. Pam Dawling says: Soak these seeds just long enough for the seed coats to draw up moisture—about 12 hours or overnight. Germination Optimum Temp is 65-85°.
    2. Planting depth: 1/2″
    3. Recommended seed spacing: 1″. Sowed about 6″ and plan to thin to 8-12″.
    4. Days to germination: 7-14. Probably not anticipating soaking.
    5. Recommended spacing after thinning: 8″-12″
  2. Savanah Mustard – 30′ row on the east side of the pumpkin/squash row.
    1. Packet has 500 seeds and plants 41′ at 1″ OC
    2. Soak 1/2 packet for 4-6 hours at room temperature. Germination Optimum Temp is 60-75°
    3. Planting Depth: 1/4″
    4. Seed Spacing: 1″

8/27/2020 – Sowed the soaked mustard and swiss chard seed in the south end of the rows adjacent to the pumpkin/squash row. The hill row has had 1″ plus of rain so we broke up the top 3″ with the 4-tined hoe.

Mixed some grits into the mustard seed at about 3:1 and it made a positive difference in Mary’s ability to get pinches out of the coffee cup and drop the mix in the funnel of the planting drop tube. As the chard seeds are large, we did not add grits and they were ok to pick up and drop without it.

Used the PVC seed drop tube, dragging it in the loosen soil and dropping the seeds in trying to approximate the spacings cited above. Pulled soil on top of the seeds and rolled the wide back wheel of the Chapin seeder over them to pack them in.

At the north end of the rows of chard and mustard (center of the overall row) we loosened the soil and sowed the following seeds leftover from last year:

  • 2-ft of 3 rows of Cherry Belle Radishes in the Chard row (west of the pumpkins) and
  • 2-ft of 3 rows of Icicle Radishes in the mustard row east of the pumpkins..

At 5 PM sowed the sprouted Cheers Cabbage to the west of the pumpkins and north of the Swiss chard (to the right in the photo above).

9/4/2020, 7:30 AM – About half of the spinach seeds have a 1 mm root and need to be planted. Put them in the center of the fourth row from the fence–second row over from the pumpkins. Loosened the row that was pulled up 3-4 days ago with the 4-tined hoe and raked it smooth with the garden rake. Used the hoe handle to make a half-handle deep groove. Mary carefully got the sprouted seeds out of the mason jar and put them in the groove about every 2″. She pulled loose soil over them and patted them gently.

10:30 AM – Watered them in lightly as the sun is on the row and there is no moisture visible.

The beet seeds we pre-sprouted had too long a root by the time we wanted to plant them. The long red roots were breaking off so Mary dumped them into a spot in her garden several days ago and we’ll see what happens.

Early Fall 2020 Garden Layout as Planted. Row 5 later became 5A, 5B, & 5C
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