Our weather is still not conducive to putting on shorts and a tank top and going out to dig in the dirt. (That's an understatement.) The soil in my raised beds and the field garden is still too wet and cold. For the past two nights, our temps have gone down into the 20s. You can bet there has been frost on the pumpkins these mornings. Or more correctly, frost on the still-dead grass.
But I do have seedlings started inside and so far everything but the peppers has popped up out of the starting mix. I have eggplant (don't tell Papa Pea or he will yank the spindly things right out by their tiny roots), broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes. I'll take pictures to prove this to you as soon as the fragile sprouts are big and sturdy enough that the flash from the camera won't knock them over.
I'm so eager to uncover the strawberries but must restrain myself until this freezing and thawing cycle is over. The straw we got to use for mulching last fall and bedding for the poultry over winter turned out to have a lot of seeds in it. If I remember correctly it was oat straw and the poultry were pleased as punch with it because they snarfed up every last oat seed in it that they could lay their little beaks on. The strawberry bed is going to be another story. Mama Pea is not going to be a happy camper (or gardener) when I uncover the berry plants . . . and those katrillion oat seeds left in the soil start growing.
Here's a shot from Pap Pea's upstairs office window of my raised beds. I have cold frames strategically placed on five of the beds in an effort to warm the soil in preparation of planting some early crops. What will go in these first-to-be-planted beds? Well, since you asked . . .
One will hold my started cauliflower plants since cauliflower likes to grow in cool weather and be headed out and done before the warm/hot days come.
One is for sweet peppers as I find my peppers do much better if I leave the cold frame on them all summer.
Two are for early lettuce and salad greens including spinach. Those crunchy greens can never be ready too early after the months of winter that lack adequate fresh greens for us to munch on.
The last is for slicing cucumbers. We eat them like candy and I'm really going to push the gardening envelope this year and put them in super-early.
That's all for today, folks. Now if I can just find my list for today I made out last night, I'll get on with it.
Dan's Workshop: Making the Bents
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