Garden Log 1/29/21

Most of the seeds, it’s too early to start yet, but there are some you can do right now, in the dead of winter. Three I started a few weeks ago: micro beet greens, Jazzy Mix mesclun salad greens, Micro Tom tomatoes. I have questions, though!

The beet greens I LOVE for how decorative they are on food, terrific to have on hand when you’re doing food photography for a new cookbook. Their flavor is faint, but I figure they’re also adding good vitamins and fiber to my diet, so I’d love to get in the habit of using them regularly.

Similarly with the mesclun greens — but this is where it gets tricky. My seed starting set-up is in the basement, with grow lights, and they thrive down there. But for eating, I’d like to have them happily growing in the kitchen. I tried transplanting some into that rectangular pot — but I didn’t actually transplant, I just popped the little plugs in there, because it seemed like they’d be used pretty quickly and then done, so it didn’t seem worth the trouble of transplanting.

But on the negative side, the ones I bought up pretty much stopped growing, whereas the ones I left in the basement under the lights were taller and healthier two days later. Is there a better solution for this than going down a flight of stairs every time I want to add some micro greens to a dish? (Even if I’m willing to go down the stairs, I’m pretty sure Kevin and the kids won’t bother.)

As for the tomatoes, I can never remember when I’m supposed to start transplanting them into bigger pots. There’s something about pinching them, but also waiting for true leaves, and um, help? (These should be able to grow all winter under lights, and gives us little cherry tomatoes — if I’d realized that, I would have started some in November! Next year, assuming I can figure out how to do this right.)

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