Saturday, March 17, 2012

Summer in March, and what to plant?

Wow, wow and wow. 

It's hard to know what to be doing these days.

One day I'm stoking my fire to fight off a damp chill in my house, the next I'm throwing open all the doors and windows and welcoming a warm summer-like breeze into the house to revive my spirits.

As a grower, I'm trying to juggle a whole bunch of seasons at once. 

Winter crops are fading

There are beautiful little dry-enough patches of land that are all set for planting. But indoors, it's time to get the tomatoes (ad infinitum) seeded.  Hundreds of tomato varieties, categorized by colour, then planted within their category in alphabetical order. Somewhat of a logistical nightmare I tell folks. And it's true.
"Tomato Days" cometh
But it never fails to be exciting. I have some amazing "new to me" varieties this year, from all over the place with the most wonderful stories. Can't wait to see them...and taste them!

Hot peppers can take lots longer to germinate than sweet!
The eggplants and peppers are done, and up nicely for the most part, with some of the super hots lagging behind in germination as they are prone to do.

But outside, what can be planted now?

I have no doubt there will be some return to the chill of spring and continuing temperature fluctuations.

So it needs to be cool weather crops all the way.

I've planted my first peas this week, and a number of varieties of radishes. I've got lots of lettuces seeded in the hoop houses, but it can most definitely go outside as well. I've started a zillion different brassicas and chards that are ready for transplanting now, as well as head lettuce. 
So kales, chards, greens of every sort can get into the ground. 

But I won't plant any mustard greens or arugula now. The flea beetles have returned, and that is a most certain guarantee of little hole-filled leaves of these plants. So not till the fall for them.

I'm going to soak some beet seeds to plant, but I'll divide up my planting methods. Some I'll direct seed in the garden, but others I'll sow in either soil blocks or 200 cell trays and grow them on in the hoop house, until they are large enough to plant out. 
A race to the finish..which ones will grow best? That's the fun of gardening-we'll see!

I'll also get in some nice little Paris Market carrots, the cute little rolly-poly ones. 
Scallions too, although my Walking onions are shooting up their lovely greens now, and there is no onion shortage at all. 
How the heck did they get themselves planted throughout my flower gardens? And for that matter, why is there garlic everywhere too?
Strange things are happening.

And the growing season? Who knows-but it sure appears to be starting early!

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