Sow what?

It’s an exciting time, early spring is, and its the time when we fret about timing. Timing is everything. The early crops that favor the cold, seeds that miraculously germinate in near frozen soil are at the top of the To-Do list.  The peas were a little iffy , germination wasn’t happening, I fretted, until I spoke with my sister in Northern Maine who asked, “Do you know what they call March snow in Maine?” No, what? “Pea fertilizer.” It runs out to be true. We had a snowfall the day after we’d sowed the peas, and now, a few weeks later, the peas are looking robust and eager to please.

Meanwhile, the other cold weather crops have been sown; spinach, lettuce, arugula, cilantro, potatoes, onions, shallots, radishes, pac choi, beets, swiss chard, broccoli di raab, carrots, parsnips, and all are coming up with the lengthening days and the fluctuating temperatures.

The greenhouse continues to be a source of great hope and anticipation. The alimentary seedlings; broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower,  tomatoes, eggplant, celery, celeriac, peppers, basil (5 different varieties) leeks and sorrel are going great guns. The ornamantals; lupines, calendula, marigolds (the gem types that we love for their citrusy fragrance and their edible qualities, not to mention their great beauty), larkspur…are all emerging from their dormant seeds and offering promise of a productive and richly colorful gardening season.

Gardening season! Hooray! Bring it on…we’re more than ready!

Volunteer Fun

Dill volunteers

Dill, poppies and a few cosmos

Assessing the grounds after a strangely mild winter, it was fun to come upon the valiant and vigorous volunteer seedlings in the gardens. Last month, while clearing the old kitchen garden fence, we rolled up the plastic deer netting and set it into a corner of the garden with the a stone on it to re-use for the new garden fence. Setting the new posts a week or so later, we noticed some seedlings around the netting pile. We moved the netting and discovered a large, vigorous patch of dill seedlings clustered in approximately 5 or 6 square feet, and interspersed with a few poppies and cosmos around and beneath the netting and near the south facing foundation of my studio. Meanwhile, in another section of the garden we noticed quite a lot of cilantro, some lettuce, and a few mustard greens. For me, the lesson to be learned here, is to pay attention when nature decides it’s the right time to start growing certain things.

Self-sown, red-leaved mustard green ‘Senposai’