Beauty is often hidden away, saved for those who seek it. No where is this more true that in the garden.
Since I’ve started some seeds indoors, I’ve been able to pay much closer attention to them. I’ve been growing chioggia beets for a couple of years now, sowing straight into the garden. The first leaves were always so close to the ground that I never saw the underside, until now.
The flashes of colour are only on the underside of the first leaves, the leaves that initially give the seedlings all their nutrients before the true leaves (in the middle of this picture) come up. Although these first leaves are short lived, and wither away quickly once the true leaves develop, they are the most colourful. The young cauliflower blushes in purple.
In contrast, below are the shallot and onion seedlings. The seeds become perched on top of each first leaf instead of staying underground.
I decided to trim the tops down to about an inch as I read that helps to encourage the bulbs growth. My intention was to only trim half, and then to compare to see if the theory worked, but of course, I ended up scissor happy and chopped off the lot.
The leggy seedlings I replanted are thriving so I’ll know for the future that solution works. In another week I’m going to start to harden off the cold tolerant vegetables so I can get them in the ground shortly after. Hardening them off means that for a few hours a day, for a few days, they are left outside to begin to acclimate to the colder temperatures. This will be the beets, kale, cauliflower, brocolli and savoy cabbage (pictured below).