Monday, November 1, 2010

Two Weeks After Planting

I planted in the front yard because the front yard gets the day-long sunlight that the backyard does not.  Still, I am surprised how fast the seedlings in my front-yard garden are growing.  Just two weeks after planting, thick rows of greens cross the garden.  Compared to the backyard seedlings, these seedlings are sturdier, shorter, and more deeply colored, with wider leaves.  While their older siblings in the backyard are just hanging on, waiting for the leaves to fall from the trees that shade them, the front-yard seedlings are thriving in the light, becoming baby plants.

Front-yard garden two weeks after planting

All but the latest-sprouting seedlings now have their second sets of leaves.  Their second sets of leaves are actually their first true sets of leaves, which, unlike the original seed leaves, or cotyledons, are miniature versions of the adult leaves of the plant.  So, while the rows the cabbage-family seedlings were indistinguishable from one another at one week after planting, now that they have their second sets of leaves, their identities are becoming obvious.  The diversity of the second set of leaves is most visible in the row of Asian greens, a "Pan-Pacific Stir-Fry Mix" from Renee's Garden.  Wavy, purple-stemmed kale leaves stand out among the rough, mustard leaves and the round leaves of Pac Choi.

Asian greens (Brassica spp.) after two weeks

The Lacinato kale (Brassica oleraceae) seedlings are the deepest green in the garden, so green that they almost have a bluish tint.  Their second sets of leaves are wavy and textured, beginning to resemble the long, crinkly, blue-green leaves of the adult plants.

Lacinato Kale (Brassica oleraceae) seedlings at two weeks

Pak Choi and Tatsoi, two varieties of Brassica rapa, both have round leaves with complete (not wavy or serrated) edges.  The leaves of the Tatsoi seedlings are deep green, a color that I associate with the vitamin-rich nature of greens, and so round that they are almost circular, while the Pak Choi leaves are larger, more oval-shaped, with almost parallel veins, and more yellow-green.

Tatsoi (Brassica rapa) seedlings at two weeks

Green Fortune Pak Choi (Brassica rapa) seedlings at two weeks

True to their bean-family nature, the fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seedlings are starting to resemble mini pea plants as they grow their second sets of leaves.  One leaf of each second set is a simple oval on a long petiole, while the other leaf is compound and trifoliate, with three leaflets, like a clover leaf.  The trifoliate leaf is on a shorter petiole (leaf stem) than the simple leaf, intensifying the asymmetric appearance of the seedlings.

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seedlings at two weeks

The spinach (Spinacia oleracea) row is the most unruly, with long cotyledons and newer, triangular leaves poking in all directions. This year I am growing the Bordeaux variety of spinach, which has red-tinted stems.  It looks like the major veins of the leaves will be pink-tinted as well.

Bordeaux spinach (Spinacia oleracea) seedlings at two weeks

At two weeks, the beets and Swiss chard, two varieties of Beta vulgaris, are beginning to take on different appearances.  The Swiss chard leaves are green and crinkly, with yellow or pink or red stems, while the beet stems are uniformly magenta.  Many of the leaves of the beets, the red-colored Bull's Blood variety, are tinged with magenta as well.

Bright Lights Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) seedlings at two weeks

Bull's Blood beet (Beta vulgaris) seedlings at two weeks

The lettuces, a mesclun mix of varieties of Lactuca sativa, have grown into a crowded row of baby greens in two weeks.  The leaves of the lettuces are oblong and wavy, ranging in color from yellow-green to burgundy.  The lettuce plants have grown so intertwined that it is difficult to distinguish between individual plants.  Thinning the lettuces is going require patience.

Mesclun lettuce (Lactuca sativa) mix at two weeks

The sorrel (Rumex acetosa) seedlings have not grown as much as the other greens.  Their second sets of leaves are only slightly larger than their cotyledons, though they are longer and some of them are starting to take on the the more-pointed appearance of mature sorrel leaves.

Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) seedlings at two weeks

As predicted by their slow germination times, the carrot-family plants are lagging behind the rest of the garden in growth.  The fennel (Foenicucum vulgare) seedlings have been germinating over the past week, with only a few of them now revealing their feathery sets of second leaves.

Florence fennel (Foenicucum vulgare) seedlings at two weeks

More of the carrot (Daucus carota) seedlings have their feathery second leaves, or their first true carrot leaves.  The seedlings are still tiny however, leaving me to hope that they are busy below ground, growing the thick tap roots that will become the carrots.

Scarlet Nantes carrot (Daucus carota) seedlings at two weeks

Cilantro, or coriander (Coriandrum sativum), seedlings, faster growing than their relatives, have grown into a healthy row of bright green.  The second leaves of the cilantro seedlings, which are distinctly different from their narrow cotyledons, are simple versions of the compound leaves of the older plants, giving the plants their identity.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) seedlings at two weeks

And, last but not least, the parsley finally decided to join the fall-garden party.  Two weeks after planting, the parsley row now looks like the other rows looked a week ago.  But I have to admit that once the parsley seeds decided to germinate, they made a good show of it, and I now have a respectable row of parsley seedlings.  Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) cotyledons look like the back side of a two-tailed round brad, the kind that is used to hold together a thick stack of papers.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) seedlings at two weeks

At two weeks, dense rows of seedlings call for thinning and promise to produce delicious thinnings salads.  But I am so enjoying the sight of such thick, healthy rows of greens in the front yard that I am having trouble motivating myself to do any thinning.

No comments:

Post a Comment