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weather and seedlings

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I optimistically began my garden from seed back in late February. Most everything germinated and I have a wonderful array of seedlings at play. However, they seem to have stopped growing. They look perfect, no wilting or curling. My question is this: with our rainy, blustery Nor Cal weather of late, are the plants "on hold" or are they permanently stunted? When the weather shifts back toward mild would it be a good idea to start over? The radishes are supposed to be 28 days to harvest. They sprouted on Feb. 12 and I pulled one up yesterday, Mar. 23, and it was the size of a marble. A very tasty little marble but certainly not ready for prime time. Likewise the leaf lettuce. It sprouted on Feb. 15 and is due to be harvested in 21-35 days but it is only about 4 inches tall. Am I missing something?

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  1. Yes. It's the hours of sunlight. They should start perking along now, if the weather settles down.

    1. you'll find that the "days to harvest" is frequently written by someone under the influence of reality-altering pharmaceuticals.

      But yes, cold grey weather will put your fledgling garden into stasis until conditions improve.

      1. Early Feb, wow. The ground in NY has been frozen every morning this week. Spring is an opinion. A little more time will work wonders for your seedlings. Good luck.

        1. Plant multiple crops of multiple things and see how they do. For example, I have 5-6 crops of radishes a year. Multiple crops of green onions. And several crops of different lettuce, Romaine is a favorite. Broccoli only takes 4 days to germinate so grow multiple crops then freeze for later to eat all year.

          We have lots of flats coming up indoors of all kinds of things. Try to start tomatoes cucumbers in January when prune the fruit trees, by Presidents day. They are doing well with the others now. In mid-May, the last chance of frost, here in Portland will be able to plant starts and seeds directly into the ground. Will get an early crop and a late crop of many veggies that are more cold tollerant. Cucumbers and tomatoes I try to get started early then pick fruit from all year. Like to can salsa and make more hot pickles every year while never seems to be enough. Often the stuff started in the ground and not bothered later in the season I've noticed does better, possibly due to stress or light for me. I mix starting indoors and starting outside. Some things started at the end of summer grow well into winter - have picked dill and broccoli in the snow. Planted huge amounts of garlic last October and they are doing well now. Already eating my first fresh chives of the season, that grow outside year round and go dormant in the winter while already needed a hair cut to encourage more fresh growth and get to cut every few weeks all year.

          Fresh chives and green onions taste yummy in sour cream (with a few drops of liquid smoke) on potatoes with bacon bits. Chives in sour cream with smoke is also good as as a veggie dip (strips of carrots, celery, pickles, olives, radishes, ...). Also enjoy fresh dill in potato salads, noodle salads, dips, and use with salt when make gravlox out of fresh salmon. Also put fresh chives/onion with cucumber and home-made pickles with a spoon of mayo and a few drops of hot pickle juice and eat as a relish on dogs with burgers or as a side dish often with baked beans / cottage cheese.

          1. Everything will start to grow soon. I'm also in N. CA and my lettuce and snow peas have been two inches tall for weeks. At least the rain hasn't flattened them!

            1. I'm in so. CA, and we've been below-normal temps for a couple of weeks and more rain than normal for us. Seedlings are spindly, and even the Early Girl tomato looks a little anemic! Surely we'll warm up soon and seedlings will get going. (All my spring flowers, though, have already peaked)

              1. Just saw on the KGW Channel 8 news here in Portland the latest we have gotten to 60 degrees on record was March 27, 1955. Until now. Portland has not gotten to 60 degrees yet in 2011. Making 2011 is the coldest year on record in Portland, Oregon. Also there has been record heavy rain at the same time.

                Thought it was gloomy... did not realize 2011 is a record cold as well as wet year here. Be assured, when it warms up our plants will do better.

                4 Replies
                1. re: smaki

                  The sun is out today! Must be mid-sixties. The seedlings have grown just since this morning. I yanked several that looked pooped and reseeded them. I repotted the tomato starts into larger containers but they're in the house anyway. Kinda skinny so far. I ordered some more lettuce seed and some green bean seed...

                  1. re: kellylee

                    Yay for the sun! It's about time. When you repotted the tomatoes did you plant them deeper than they were before? They'll grow roots along the stems and get bushier.

                    1. re: Glencora

                      I did plant them more deeply-- the plants looks pretty good. I gave a light dose of fish emulsion, too. I flipped through the Territorial Seed Cat. today and they have so many, many kinds of tomatoes. I better start building more boxes!

                    2. re: kellylee

                      After replying just yesterday about our chillier than normal, it's to be mid to upper 80s by Thursday. Sheesh, weird spring. Now I better go water everything.