Sunday, April 26, 2015

Spring Veggies to Harvest Now, or Soon, and Delayed Planting

We've been bringing in asparagus, green onions, and radishes, and there are little bits of lettuce to add to salads, but it will be a few more weeks before the beets and spring-planted carrots are big enough to add much mass to a meal.

The peas, though, will be ready sooner. The vines are in that covered-with-flowers-and-tiny-pea-pods stage, so I am pretty hopeful that we'll have some peas with our meals in ten days or less.

There are herbs, too, which help bridge the gap to summer veggies, but we are going to need a very long bridge at the rate my planting is going. We have had mostly rainy and cool weather in the past few weeks. It has been too wet to work the soil for planting, and it has been too cool for most of the summer veggies to be happy in the garden, even if I had wedged them into the muck.

Tomato plants, for example, if planted in too-cool soil, often get a purplish look. This is due to a problem in taking up phosphorus in cooler soils. If anyone has tomato plants that have purplish leaves right now, it may be some comfort to know that the condition will pass, and that I've planted tomato plants too early before, too. Using a higher-phosphorus "starter fertilizer" for transplants on any affected tomato plants will speed the re-greening.

This year, all the gardeners who have installed raised garden-beds and filled them with fast-draining soil mixes are going to have an even better head-start on spring planting than usual. Just as the days (and nights!) really begin to warm, their gardens will be plenty dry for planting. I, however, am in the slow-boat with the local farmers, waiting for our red clay to drain and dry enough for planting.

In the meantime, there are birds and frogs singing, peony buds about to burst open, seedlings to tend, and the veggies of springtime to enjoy.

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