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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Early Spring Vegetables

Does any day offer greater joy in the garden than that first day you go outside after the winter and plant the early spring vegetables?

The ground will still be cool to the touch and a jacket may be required, but if you are lucky and plan it right, the sun will be shining enough to warm your back as you kneel down and sow peas, lettuce, beets, spinach, radishes and other early spring vegetables.

There are few finer days in the garden.

Because I have raised beds, I can generally choose any sunny spring day to sow my early season crops. I don’t have to worry about whether or not the ground is dry enough to till or spade under. I just pull any weeds that may be growing, generally henbit or chickweed, rake through the bed to create a nice loose, seedbed, and then sow my seeds.

This year, my early crops will include:

Pinetree Radish Mix
Pinetree Lettuce Mix
‘Red Velvet’ Lettuce
‘Bloomsdale Long Standing’ Spinach
‘Green Arrow’ Peas (a triumph of 2007, can I repeat the magic?)

I’m going to try to hold back on my exuberance that first day, which will be right around St. Patrick’s Day, and sow half as much as I would normally. Then I'll come back each week and sow some more of each crop so I can extend my harvest.

I’m also going to plant some turnips, which is a new crop for me, some beets, and of course, onion sets. Does anyone know of a good variety of turnips to grow in the spring? I’d like to try to get some good turnip greens and some young turnips to slice and eat raw.

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Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Does anyone really need a reminder that February 15th is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day? I confused a few people last month by indicating we had come full circle in January which some took to mean we had reached the first anniversary of bloom day. But what I meant was that we had completed a full year from February through January.

Now we start again and it is truly the one year anniversary. If you haven’t joined in the past, now is a good time to start, and if you’ve been joining all along, I hope you’ll continue.

Looking back at my inaugural post last year, I had nothing in bloom outdoors. This year, if the weather cooperates, I could have something blooming outdoors, plus I have a few indoor blooms I’ve been holding back posting about so they could be part of bloom day

It’s easy to participate. Just post on your own blog about what is blooming in your garden on the 15th of the month, outdoors or indoors. It can be pictures, lists, common names, botanical names whatever you’d like to post. No rules on that. Then just come here to my bloom day post and leave a comment to let us know you’ve posted so we can find you.

I look forward to seeing what’s blooming in your garden because this is what my one flower blooming outside looks like today.
Yes, that's my little crocus, buried in some "wintry mix".

20 comments:

Frances said...

Poor little crocus, still showing us his pretty purple head, in spite of white stuff all around, brave little trooper, we're rooting for you!

Frances at Faire Garden

Nickie said...

Wintry mix...serves you right for braggin carol!!! :D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yep, we are mixin' with winter over here too.

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Your poor crocus is much colder than mine are. And it's still trying to peek its little noble head. You gotta love crocus for their tenacity!

I just got done going out and planting a bed of violas. It was the same as the way you described sowing the first veggies. It's absolutely wonderful!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Last week we had a couple of unseasonably warm days. I had to restrain myself from running outside with the pea seed packages.

Since I'm in a big hurry though, I've planted microgreens in lettuce boxes. They weigh about 20 lbs each--something I didn't plan for. Still, it's very encouraging to see the little sprouts as I work at my desk!

Robin at Bumblebee

jodi said...

Hmmmm. I can't even FIND most of our garden now...except for some tree and shrub twigs sticking up. So your crocus looks real fine to me!

vonlafin said...

That poor little crocus, don't you have some heat cables laying around that you could wrap around it? I bet that it would repay you with a nice bloom on the 15th!

Mary said...

Darn, it's snow and ice everywhere but here. I'm grateful for the rain we are having now, at least.

Carol, I can tell you are ready to burst into action :o) A few more weeks, is all...

How in the world do you do it? Every day, you produce a marvelous, well-thought-out post. You are the queen of organized activity.

WiseAcre said...

jodi is right, when there's still over a foot of snow on the ground and another foot or more expected overnight the crocus looks pretty good.

Early spring planting? I've tried to tell my wife snow peas are not meant to be planted in the snow. This year I hope to beat her to the garden and build some raised beds. Our vegetable garden is in a cold wet spot and needs a bit of improvement.

Annie in Austin said...

Sorry about the wintry mix, Carol - will it make you feel any better to know that Austin has a freeze warning tonight? Hope there's some good stuff left for the 15th.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kylee said...

Nothing blooming outside here at the moment I don't think. It's all under snow anyway!
I'm itching to start some things inside, but it's a bit too early yet. Your spring veggie garden is so pretty!

Hillside Garden said...

Vegetable garden in the style of yours are my favorit gardens. I by myself have no place to make on.

Sigrun

Entangled said...

I've got lettuce and radishes started in the cold frame, but it would be more fun to plant outside.

My crocuses are in the same predicament as yours - we got a surprise ice storm overnight.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I have two types of lettuces about 2 inches high right now and ready for thinning for a micro-green salad. My first sowing didn't take so this is my second sowing. I planted some Broccoli raab, which is just getting its first true leaves. And some chard which is already a foot high. I foolishly bought two other packages of chard which I haven't gotten around to planting yet. And where will they go? I'm envying your lovely raised beds.

Nicole said...

I use "seven top" turnip for greens and they grow really fast and prolific.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oooh... a wintry mix is no fun, but that little bud holds the promise of brighter days to come, right? :)

Carol said...

Frances, Keep rooting for that little crocus, it is doing it a world of good. Now there are two more blooms.

Nickie, Fortunately, the wintry mix didn't last all that long. Today the sun was shining!

Lisa at Greenbow, I think you get some of our same weather just a few hours before we do, and maybe a few degrees warmer.

Rosehaven Cottage, I should be planting violas and pansies in about a month, I can't wait!

Robin (Bumblebee), I love seeing growing things, too! I've got some good salad dressing, send some of that lettuce my way once it is ready to harvest.

Jodi, You have gotten hammered by snow, haven't you?

Vonlafin, Heating cables? Now that's something I hadn't thought of. But the sun came out and so I now have three crocus buds!

Mary, You are the queen of making me feel special with your comments!

Wiseacre, Raised beds would definitely be helpful if your garden is in a low area. You'll be able to plant much earlier in the spring.

Annie in Austin, I sure don't want you all in Texas to have a freeze right before bloom day. Then we'd miss out on all the blooms you have!

Kylee, Thanks, and I just tell myself that in another month I'll be planting outside. And oh what a panic I'll be in then, probably screaming "I'm not ready."

Sigrun, If you garden on a hillside, it is hard to have raised beds.

Entangled, I saw the pictures of your ice storm, very pretty. I keep thinking I need to build a cold frame, but I haven't yet. Must do it this next fall!

MSS@Zanthan Gardens, Where would you plant 3 packets of chard seed? What kind of lettuce did you plant?

Nicole, Thanks, I'll look up that variety of turnips.

Blackswamp_Girl, Yes, the first crocus is a flower full of promise and hope and endurance.

Thanks all for the comments!
Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Curtis said...

I am also growing Turnips as a new crop this year. We'll see how it goes.

Pam/Digging said...

I've been behind in my blog reading of late. Today I was doing the big cut-back of my front garden when I stopped, dripping with sweat, with scratches up and down my arms, and thought, "It's Bloom Day, and Carol didn't let me know!" Then I remembered being behind on my blog reading.

So here I am, hiding from the grubby work outside by working on my Bloom Day post. I'll let you know when it's up. I have quite a few blooms, despite the cut-back.

Julie Bolejack said...

Is it too late to do a spring planting in Indiana? I was traveling and am just now ready to plant. What is it too late to plant?