Garden Notes March 13, 2016
All those little tiny seeds I wrote about back in February had to be dealt with this past week. Either by transplanting in their final home or in the case of teeny tiny little herbs and flowers, potted up to the next size with fresh soil.
A true testament to how wet our winter has been, it took almost two weeks for the soil to dry out enough for basic tillage after reinstalling the poly cover. Last year after our extremely dry winter, the soil dried out in about 5 days.
I experimented last year with sorghum sudan grass as a cover crop in the greenhouse and in part of the garden. My early planting in the greenhouse was perfect, it supplied a good smother in late summer early fall and kept weed seeds from germinating or getting much of a foot hold and grew tall enough to provide a good amount of biomass. One note of interest is that an early summer cover crop of buckwheat suppressed the growth of the following sorghum sudan cover crop. The sorghum sudan on that side germinated fine, but grew much slower and was about twelve inches shorter than the side of the greenhouse that had grown vegetables all spring and summer when the first hard frost knocked it out.
A weather year like this is pretty typical, and where the greenhouse really shines as garden. Going back through my garden notes, some years we haven’t been able to plant outside until mid or even late June, more typical though is mid to late May. Two or three months on the early end is a lot of season extension, and well worth the expense if you want to avoid going to the store for your produce, and you like to garden. A recent ad in our farm paper for hoop houses like these were priced from $1.20 to $2.00 per square foot depending on style. Not bad considering how much food you can grow in a structure like these during the shoulder seasons.
Early potatoes – Dark Red Norland, and Desireé
Tokyo Bekana Chinese cabbage
Joi Choi Bok Choy
Parris Island Romaine lettuce
Almost Black & Chocolate Flake Sweet Pea
Detroit Dark Red beets
Gem Marigolds – Red, Tangerine, Lemon
Chocolate Lace Queen Anne’s Lace
Now that seeding and planting season has begun, my goal is to start or plant something each week.