Today is the day I decided to make time to sow some seeds for fall vegetables. It is time to start cabbage, broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, collards and a few other things in our part of the world. I did some planning and determined I will need about 250 plants for us and for the Impact Community Garden. Probably 75% of them will go for the Impact garden. Since the gardeners there missed having any of these veggies for spring it will be nice if they have lots of them for fall. Many of these vegetables do better in our area in fall anyway, especially the broccoli and kale.
When I have a lot of seeds to sow, I am a fan of using plug flats. I have several different sizes, but the 200-cell version gets the most use. It seems to have just the right amount of room for starting many of the things I grow. The plants will only spend about two or three weeks there before being transplanted out into larger quarters. And I can get 200 seeds going in the space of a standard flat. I will start these under lights in the basement and then move them out to the greenhouse once they are up and growing.
I like to use a fine soiless mix at this stage, something like Promix BX or Promix All-Purpose Growing Mix. I’m mostly concerned with not introducing diseases or insects to the tiny seedlings, and when I transplant them I will use a soil mix that has some compost in it. I will also start feeding with a dilute fish emulsion solution at that time.
That’s pretty much how I do it here. You can refer to my Seed Starting and Planting Schedule for the times I usually sow and plant vegetables here in our gardens. Timing is key I think, and starting these veggies now will get them going so they can produce before really cold weather gets here. And keeping the garden producing all season long is one of my goals for sure!