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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring fever and spring planting

Well, with spring officially a week away, I'm planning on what I can find the time and energy to do in the garden this week. In another day or two the temperatures will be climbing up to the high 70's and even 80's and I still have to finish spring clean up and and do other garden chores - like weeding, feeding and planting.

Winter was milder this year, thank God, and my 2 well mulched artichoke plants and jasmine vines made it through just fine, even though we had many nights in the teens. The winter before I lost them as well as some perennials when temperatures plummeted to well below zero in this 7b-8 zone.

Last month  I planted fava beans, spinach, kale, shallots, peas, arugula, lettuce, sorrel, potatoes, parsley, cilantro, leeks and some new, large, June bearing strawberries. I've been too busy to keep up my garden calendar, so I may have also planted some onions and garlic. I'll have to get out there later today or tomorrow and looks at  what's up in the raised beds and get it all fed, which I should have done at planting time. But, cold weather came in and it may have been good that I didn't fertilize which would have only quickly brought on new, tender growth.

I never got around to planting carrots and beets, and it may be too late to plant the beets because of our hot, dry, summers.

Next month I'll plant the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, pole and bush beans, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, and basil; but it won't be my own seedlings. Last year my office/meditation rooms doubled as a greenhouse with several grow light set up; but I think I'm done with that since we have local growers who do a great job of it and have a huge selection of heirloom, organic veggies and veggie seedlings. Even one of our local garden centers is now selling organic veggies starts and I expect more will soon follow. The one exception I may make is to start my calendula indoors since I want to dry them and use them in soaps and maybe creams in the fall.
 One grower will sell you a single plug of a veggie start, so you can pick a variety of  the same veggie  and flowers;  and for us with smaller gardens or smaller needs it's a great service.I'm not into canning any more. The closest I come to that is freezing pesto, some beans, hot pepper and tomato sauce when the tomatoes are in full force. Everything else is used soon after after harvest.