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On Your Mark, Get Set….

In our last episode, One Year Later, one of the items I noted was that the soil temperatures were pretty chilly. It was March 27th, 5 days ago. Between the freak storm and the very chilly temperatures, even the soil in the bed under the glass was only 40.3 degrees F. As you can see from the photo at the top, in the past five days, between the sun on the glass and the steadily warming trend (today’s high was in the high 70s!), the soil has warmed up mightily. So, when I got home from work, I decided to take advantage and sow some seeds to get plants started under the glass. I don’t intend for the veggies to stay in that bed under the glass. If April is as sunny and warm as Accuweather predicts, anything under that glass is going to get fried; I just want to get the seeds started so that I can get the other beds ready and available when I want to transplant them.

Since the plants won’t be staying in that particular bed, I am not worrying about spacing at the moment; I just want to remember what I sowed where, so for memory’s sake, I drew a rather crude diagram that looks something like this:

===================Sugar Snap Peas====================
Chinese Kale============Brussels Sprouts=====================
Carrots================Beets==============================
Spring Lettuce Mix=========Starbor Kale=========================
Broccoli=================Chard=============================
Spinach================Red Kale===========================
Cabbage===============Curly Kale

Once they come up, I’ll be able to space the plants out into the other beds, but in the meantime, we will be digging over the other beds to get them ready. While I was planting the seeds, I found a lonely refugee potato that got left from last fall. Part of it is a little bit soft, but I transplanted it into another bed just to see if it will come up as a volunteer.

At the other end of the bed-under-glass, I’ve got two experimental rows going. A couple of years ago, I did a little experiment in hybridization with a hosta and with an iris (irises are actually really easy to hybridize). I’ve been keeping the seeds I collected in folded up paper towels in the fridge and I figure this year is as good as any to see if a) they will germinate and b) what we’ll get. So I put those in at the other end and we’ll keep an eye on that also.

Just a reminder, though; if you have a soil thermometer (and as you can see, I’m using an old meat probe there, so you don’t need anything fancy) and can get temperatures of at least 50 – you can put in anything from greens to anything in the beet and cabbage family and get them going. The soil is NOT warm enough for things such as squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, or anything like that, but for hardy spring crops, now is good. I know in various areas of the country, there are traditional dates of planting (in our area, Memorial Day is ‘get your garden in’ day) but with climate change, we need to be more flexible.

Until the next time..

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