Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spring is (Almost) Sprung

It's been hard waiting through these couple of weeks of cold weather. We had single digits with lots of wind, one last blast from Old Winter. Maybe "in like a lion, out like a lamb" will hold true this March.

We've begun seedings -- but later than last year. I think we did fine last year with starting beets on 26 Feb, but we were also lucky with weather. I get itchy to start early because I can't stop thinking about how soon we were able to plant in Washington, DC, and in Kentucky. Up here the common wisdom is to wait until after Memorial Day! Too late. I can't wait that long.

I've heard arguments that starting later just means the soil is warmer and everything catches up to early plantings anyway. Maybe. But I want to take a chance. Raised beds will help. Even last year, without raised beds, I think we had vegetables sooner -- and they were stronger -- than other people's. So we split the difference: hedged a little and waited a little and started this weekend.

The old man at Agway (who always gives me advice, sometimes grouchily -- I love him anyway, and I think he likes the questions) said that if we have raised beds and row covers, we can get away with a late April planting! That makes me excited!

I cleared all the bulbs off of the bay window in the dining room, and David hung a light there. Right now all we have planted are beets (golden and chiogga) and broccoli (small miracle and waltham). Next weekend, we will move these seedlings -- plus scores more -- onto the front porch, which will serve as our makeshift greenhouse.

The cats have already taken up camp there, sleeping alternately in the my grandmother's old chair or in a puddle of sunlight on the floor.

In order to get more soil for the beets (without going out for another Agway run), I pulled up some garlic I'd planted in a small pot as an experiment.

They were tiny, probably much like the ones in our garden right now. The straw covering the ones outside hide the shoots that appeared last fall. We aren't sure if it's a good place to have planted the garlic, but this first year is a test garden. Well, the next twenty years will be test gardens!

I am interested in starting a section called a no-dig garden. Here's a link to some info. It sounds economical and fun. Supposedly, no-dig gardens can be built on top of concrete! I hope it works. If so, by mid-summer we will have some rick nutrients to add to the hungry plants.

David needs to do a post and report on his big project: raised beds!


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