Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sprouting Hope

I'm sure most of you in other parts of the world have long ago finished planting your gardens. It is the first of June after all.  Heck, you are probably already eating spinach and radishes and who knows what other fresh garden goodness.

But here in the Pacific Northwest, we've once again been experiencing a cold wet unending spring. If I sound like I am repeating myself every time I blog about springtime, it is because I am. And I'm tired of it too.

So we haven't attempted to plant much in the garden beds yet. We know from experience it will be a colossal waste of time until the sun stays for longer than a day or two. We've replanted our gardens after seed rotted in the rows before. We may be slow but we ain't stupid.

I do think this is that latest we've ever had to wait. We have almost always been able to plant by Memorial Day.  But this year the weekend was so cold and rainy that all we did was put up the garden stakes and fence panels for the tomatoes and beans. We're ready if the sun ever decides to stay!

So in the mean time I'm trying to make some progress by pre-sprouting the corn and bean seeds. We have found that this greatly improves our germination rate with these two crops that tend to wane with the poor weather. Corn needs very warm soil to germinate and we won't have very warm soil for awhile. As mid-western gardeners we never had to give a thought to our corn crops. We just dropped the seed in the soil and the stalks shot to the sky. But now we are struggling to learn how to coax these hot weather crops out of our Northwestern garden. Waist High by the Fourth of July has become Ankle High by the Fourth of July. (We hope!)

So to give the corn some help I cut up an old tie-dyed t-shirt that nobody wanted to wear and dampened it with water.  P.S. Tie-dyed cloth is not required for this method but why not?

I spread the corn seed in a single layer...
...and rolled the fabric up.

I did the same with the pole bean seeds which seem to also germinate poorly without help.

Then I wrapped the rolls in plastic and set them on the windowsill. I'd say "sunny" windowsill know.

About five days later....
The corn is ready but the sun still is not! 
(Just to clear up any confusion, this batch is not the tie-dyed shirt batch...)

The weather guy is promising 70 and 80 degree temperatures on the horizon.
I think the entire population of Oregon is going to hold him to it.


  1. And well you should!

    We're eating squash from the garden now. We sprouted beans and corn in science this year. Should have used tie-dyed.

  2. Don't pay any attention to the gardens of southerners... they're probably eating tomatoes, too. We just don't need to hear about it. :-)

    We're not eating spinach and lettuce, either. I don't have corn planted (or many other things).

    However, I should maybe not tell you about our 75-85 degree days this week...

  3. Maybe you should not.

    (Currently....47 degrees. What is this Alaska??)


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