Of the nine different kinds of seeds that I planted in garden bed number one on April 24th, three seem to be complete no-shows and a fourth is questionable. While the other vegetables are growing in good numbers (see photos below), I don’t have any seedlings of turnip ‘hakurei,’ komatsuna, and mibuna.
Whether mitsuba has germinated is unknown. There are a lot of plants growing where I planted it, and at least some of them must be “volunteer” cilantro, but some could also be mitsuba. It isn’t a member of the cabbage family, and I’ve never grown it before, so I’m not sure what mitsuba seedlings should look like.
That some of these closely related varieties are growing well, and others apparently not at all, is puzzling. I’m trying to come up with some answers. So far, these are my ideas:
- The seeds weren’t viable. This seems unlikely because some seeds are from packets that I used successfully just last year, while others are new and thus should be fresh.
- There wasn’t enough water. But I watered everything similarly, and the other seeds germinated at a high rate.
- They did come up, and were promptly eaten by wildlife. I’ve seen birds pecking at something in the bed. This suggests that they preferred these seedlings by a large margin though, and I haven’t had any such problems in the past. I do suspect birds have eaten beet seedlings in the past.
It’s certainly puzzling. I’m going to wait a little longer, and if nothing comes up, I’ll try planting these seeds again.
On Sunday (May 11th), when I transplanted the kale, cabbage, and cauliflower seedlings, I planted two additional rows of radish ‘cherry belle’ among those seedlings. I hope to harvest the radishes before the other plants need the space.
I also watered all the seedlings that did sprout with the usual mix of one tablespoon (15 ml) of 18-24-16 “Rose Plant Food” soluble fertilizer per two gallons (8 l) of water. I put plain water on the rows where nothing has come up, in the hope that seedlings will appear.
The following photos of some of the cabbage family seedlings were taken on May 12th. In addition to these, mustard ‘red giant Indian’ is growing well. I really wouldn’t have to plant mustard as it self-seeds readily and I have many “volunteer” plants in my garden.