Monday, April 15, 2013

Late start to Zone 5's Spring

I finally got my seeds started a couple of weeks ago, which is crazy late, but I just couldn't get excited about planting stuff when there was still snow on the ground. Winter came late and stayed late, in stark contrast to last year’s insane 87 degree days in March. Here we are, mid-April, and we've only had a small handful of nice days. Lots of rain, though, which considering the drought we had was very welcome. For awhile. Now it’s mostly just boring.

So, the rhubarb is coming up, but there’s no sign of the asparagus yet. I ate my first thing out of the garden today – chives! On my egg salad bagel for lunch. Yum. I direct seeded radishes, beets, carrots, peas, bok choi, lettuce, spinach, and broccoli raab. Mostly the radishes seem to be sprouting. Inside I started all the usual stuff, plus kale. I started tons and tons of cukes, including lemon cukes. I want enough to give a lot away, esp. after last year’s non-cuke production.  I think after school today I’ll finally buy my seed potatoes. I have the pots ready to go, but last time I went to Sneed's they weren't in yet. See: late snow mentioned earlier.

I put garlic in last fall, and that’s looking pretty good. Parsley continues to self-seed. Egyptian walking onions are also growing nicely.

I have so many seeds. I was in charge of getting them for the school garden, and I did not disappoint. I went to a local seed swap, and the woman in charge was nice enough to give me the leftovers. She had gotten 50 packets from High Mowing Seeds, so I applied for the same type of donation ($5 for 25 packets of seeds packed for 2012). They can’t take requests, though, so some of the seeds weren't what we needed. So I picked up the rest at Sneed's.

Speaking of the school garden, I was in charge of getting the build team staffed to build the veggie garden. The principal and 11 parents showed up, which was fantastic. Didn't take too long to build 6 raised beds (from kits), 2 benches, and a storage shed. Luckily, since we've been all DIY for years I knew who to ask to help. I wanted only people who knew how to work a screwdriver. The dirt and mulch will be delivered in a few weeks. We plan to have the students move most of that around. That’s the low-skill end of the job, so that should be fine.

Last week I invited myself to help make newspaper seedling pots with the school's Garden Club (4th grade, including Boo). We managed to churn out 150 in an hour, which is pretty good if you consider that they were very interested in getting the best possible photo to be showing on the outside of their pots. Kids are not very hard workers these days. Blame the unions.