The seedlings are doing great, and they are growing vigorously! Of the four seeds I planted, all of them germinated except one (the 2230 Wallace rotted, possibly from over-watering). I planted the 1975 Wallace (2009 Wallace x 1985 Wallace) in its place, and it is doing well.
Site #1 in my backyard had great soil test results, so I didn’t need to do anything else except warm up the soil with clear plastic. Site #2 needed some more organic matter, so I drove down to Unity to pick up some compost from the Hawk Ridge Compost Facility. They donated a truckload of compost for my pumpkins, and I can’t thank them enough!
My two most vigorous seedlings were the 1790.5 Wallace (1730 Wallace x 2009 Wallace) and 758 Berard (1756 Lancaster x 2323.7 Meier). I transplanted the 1790.5 Wallace into site #1 in my backyard, my most promising site. The 758 Berard went to site #2. Its only downside is that it gets a little less sunlight. Both seedlings are sheltered by homemade hoop houses that I made out of clear plastic and PVC piping. Both of them have a heater to keep them warm during the cool Maine nights. Despite a mild winter, this past week has been unseasonably cold, and we had a low of 21 degrees just the other night. I am walking on boards to prevent compaction of the soil. Both seeds were transplanted on 4/25/16, 14 days after planting the seed, and 10 days after seed germination. I placed mycorrhizae, Azos, and kelp meal into the soil where I transplanted the seedlings.
The two remaining seedlings are still under the grow lights. The lights are on for 16 hours a day, and I keep them no more than 4 inches above the seedlings to prevent the stems from getting leggy. Both seedlings are ready to be transplanted, but the soil isn’t quite ready yet at the Bangor Community Garden. I’ve been working a little slower because I’ve been feeling under the weather, but I still managed to drop off two truck loads of manure. We have some composted leaves and peat moss we’ll be adding to the patch as well. Once that’s done we’ll set up the hoop houses and get those babies transplanted!