Sunday, April 6, 2014

Almost Time for the Spring Planting Marathon

April is the biggest planting month for home vegetable gardens around here, and getting everything done can be tough. First there's the "waiting for the soil to warm up" part, and then there's the rush to get as much as possible into the ground as soon as it is even remotely feasible.

I like to start with some bush beans because they are early producers. I usually am able to bring the first beans to the kitchen in May.

Right now, I have lettuces getting close to what I consider "harvest-able" size. I'm not a big fan of baby-sized lettuces, which means I end up waiting longer for the larger leaves. Some of the spring radishes are almost big enough to pull, but the spinach and beets are all still pretty small. In the longer-range category, most of the seed potatoes have sent up some green leaves, and the onion-family crops planted in October are all still looking good.

A couple of the garden beds in the side yard are ready for planting. I worked on those yesterday, along with hoeing and/or pulling weeds in most of the other beds. In what is probably a jumping-the-gun moment, I planted some seeds in one of those beds.

The dill and additional radishes aren't at all early, but the little patch of bush beans and short row of cucumber seeds probably are. My reasoning was that seeds are relatively inexpensive, and I have more than I need this year. If we get a late frost and the little plants don't survive, it won't be a disaster. I can just replant those little sections. We are forecast to have rain for the next couple of days, which made the planting seem even more like a good idea -- no dragging out the hose to water the seeds!

If it works, I will have a start on getting the garden planted. If we get as much rain as the weather-guys are suggesting, the ground will be too wet to do any more work in the garden for several days, but as the soil dries and warms up a bit later in the week, I will probably plant another little section with some kind of seeds.

Most of the transplants for tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and tomatillas won't be planted out until I know for certain that the weather has warmed, but one tomato plant is already in the ground. All the seeds for that variety germinated, and I ended up with extra plants.

I'll let you all know how it goes...

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