Wednesday, April 14, 2010
My potatoes are in the ground! I have two rows, roughly 8 feet each. I have Yukon Gold and Desiree planted. It rained all night last night, and will rain somemore today and tonight. That should settle them nicely in place.
We're 3-4 weeks away from the LFD, so if you don't have potatoes in yet, do it! Now's prime time to plant spinach, lettuce, peas, onions and potatoes. All these crops have some cold hardiness to them, so they wont mind the cold and rain. The spinach and peas really need to go in early, because they don't do so well with summer heat. Sometimes up here in zones 4 and 5 it can be tricky to find that sweet spot, too early and they can rot in the ground or wash away, too late and they barely get up and put leaves on and summer heat withers them or makes them bitter. How do you find that sweet spot? Is it luck? Instinct? Skillz?
I'll tell you my secret. Succession planting. For example, you plan on a 2 foot row of spinach, (that's not a lot, I would plant more, but I digress) plant the first foot of seed early, then wait about 2 weeks and plant the second foot. You have a great chance of getting both up and sprouted and it's never a bad idea to have crops available to harvest in waves. Should mother nature get uppity and decide to end spring early, she may turn your second planting bitter before they can mature, but there's a good chance your earlier planting will mature soon enough to harvest. I do succession planting with several of my favorites. It works great to keep the garden productive, because it can work in a small space where another crop has just been harvested, or where another crop will grow into later (think vines).
So, try a couple of plantings this spring, and see what happens!
Other things to do this week:
-Keep early spring weeds under control. It's easier to get them now as babies.
-Get fencing and cages squared away. Now's a great time to bang stakes in the ground to hold fencing and cages. The ground is soft and there's not a lot in the garden to have to maneuver around.
-Watch cold frames carefully, temps in the upper 70's can heat them up really fast, no need to steam the spinach before you harvest it!
I'll leave you with a picture from the seed swap. Drew finally emailed me the pics he snapped. Friend Brian is in the red hat, and Drew's wife is sitting on the right. The guy in black is the new gardener who supplied the space for the meeting.