Spotting is the word we use to describe the act of taking a tiny seedling that’s in tight quarters and moving it into a more spacious environment. Today I spotted the cabbage you’ve been watching develop. I took hunks of seedlings out of the seedling flat and separated them into individual plants and put them into a cell tray. This tray has 72 separate cells. The cell tray is filled with a mixture of “soilless media” (peat, bark, perlite) and my fantastic compost. I make a little depression with my left index finger and then set the tiny seedling into that hole and push soil on top. Now add water and they will adjust to the new situation and start growing again.
Some plants handle this kind of rough activity better than others. Cabbage is in the Brassicaceae family and they are pretty good at being transplanted. Plants in the Cucurbitaceae family are less happy about jostling so we seed them directly into the cell trays, or even seed them directly into the field.
You can see that the greenhouse fills up quickly at this rate. One seedling flat yielded 6 trays of 72 plants. We’ve also been working with many fancy herb plants, moving them for 85 cell trays to 50 cell trays. These are herbs that come from cuttings: rosemary, lemon verbena, tarragon, and lavender. So now the greenhouse looks like this:
We also seeded dill and cilantro for the first time. We put a pinch of seeds into each of the 84 cells, 7 trays of each variety. They will be ready for the field in 5 weeks or so. Tomorrow we head out into the sunny weather (at least that’s what “they” are promising) to prune our neighbors blueberry patch. This earns us many hours of picking blueberries in July for free!