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What's In, What's Up

If Mr. T was a gardener, (and maybe he is), right now his sage garden advice might go something like this, "I pity the fool who is fooled by the weather." The weather has been pulling at our green heartstrings and making us believe that warm spring days are here to stay. But as last night's crisp frost showed us, it's still to early for full on gardening. (This just in-- snow tonight?)

We've been getting lots of questions from gardeners who are confused about what to plant and when. Doug's Seed Starting 101: Crafting a Seed Starting Schedule is a great place to look for answers.  Here's a real-time list of What's In and What's Up on the Seed Library farm.

Plants we've started early and are growing under protection:

Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, artichokes, Asian greens, lettuce, cabbage, kale, collards, parsley, celery, celeriac, most herbs, chard, cilantro, tomatillos, ground cherry.

Plants we've already direct sown outside:

Peas, arugula, radishes, claytonia, spinach.

Plants we're currently transplanting from the greenhouse to the farm:

Onions, leeks, scallions.

What we're already eating:

Asparagus. (Our first ever! Nothing quite feels like home that your own asparagus patch.) Lettuce, Mache, Spinach, Kale, all overwintered from last fall.

Of course, your garden's micro-climate has its own needs. Our farm is wet and prone to frost, so we have delayed some plantings. Your garden may be warmer, or drier, or higher. So when making decisions about what to plant, make sure you take into account your garden's personality. Remember, our gardens don't read the same blogs and books that we do. Gardening is about learning to read your landscape, getting to know your plot, and sometimes using trial and error to figure out what works best for your spot.

So get growing, but play it safe until last frost.

7 thoughts on “What's In, What's Up”

  • Beth

    If you were direct-sowing herbs, when would you do that? Thanks~

    Reply
  • Steve

    Do you know how the warm and then cold weather will affect asparagus harvesting? I am new to asparagus myself and was wondering if asparagus growth rate will slow with the cooler weather. If so, are we still limited to the 3 week timeframe for havesting before letting them go or can we harvest for a longer period if growth rate slows?

    Thanks!

    Steve

    Reply
  • Julia

    I've direct sowed my kale and asian greens and they seem to be happy. We are on a sunny and dry hill, so there you are!

    Reply
  • Marge

    What lettuce overwintered? I too have had my mache salad from last winter, but didn't know there was another lettuce that would do it.

    Reply
    • doug

      Hi Marge,

      We had several varieties overwinter without protection. The most successful was a variety called Red-Tinged Winter Lettuce that will be in our catalog by next year (we may add it sooner--just discovered our lost batch of seed from last year, but it hasn't been germ-tested yet... we'd love to have it ready for late summer and fall sowings). In general, young lettuces overwinter better than older ones, resuming growth in March and making salads from late March until mid-May, when the first spring-sown crop becomes available.

      Reply
  • Betsy

    Quick question: I noticed that your list of things planted "under protection" does not include broccoli or beets, both of which you recommended planting in March. I did, and my broccoli piracicaba sprouts are turning yellow. Are they supposed to do that, or are they lacking something?

    Reply
    • doug

      Hi Betsy,

      Brassicas such as broccoli soak up lots of nitrogen from the potting soil. They often begin to exhibit signs of nitrogen deficiency--including yellowing leaves--around transplant time, which is upon us. (If it's just the first leaves--the cotyledons--that are yellowing, there's nothing to worry about at all: they yellow and drop off as part of the plant's growth process.) If you transplant your seedlings into a well-composted soil sometime soon, they will probably recover quickly. Just be sure to keep them watered, as it looks like it will be a warm-to-hot next few days.

      The beets can also be transplanted at this time.

      Good luck!

      Doug

      Reply

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