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(early) Spring Fever

March 26, 2012

Ah, the sun is shining, my heart is singing, and the afternoon has been spent putting seeds in the ground!

My incredible, talented partner brought my musings on a greenhouse/cold frame/hot frame to fruition by dismantling a little storage shed we had beside the driveway and reincarnating it as a greenhouse. Apparently this is called an unheated greenhouse, which isn’t that different in function from a cold frame; it’s just bigger. He built a raised bed inside and we filled it with SeaSoil.  We also top-dressed our other raised beds with this miraculous soil.  (Full disclosure: the family that makes SeaSoil are local Vancouver Island residents and dear friends, but their soil really is a fantastic product that I would buy even if I didn’t know them.)

The last few gardening sessions have been spent repotting all the little strawberry plant offshoots that were trying to escape their raised bed.  Now that the individual strawberry plants are freed of their offspring and the dead leaves have been pulled away, they are ready for some straw mulch to keep the weeds down and the fruit dry, when it comes.

Garlic is up in another raised bed, pushing its bright green spears through the leaf mulch.  Parsley that overwintered with the garlic is also sending out new growth.  Today some radish seeds went in in short rows between the garlic and parsley, as well as a row of chive seeds. 

I chose a different bed to plant peas in, since they are good nitrogen fixers (also called heavy givers) and I want to rotate that crop.  Last year I zapstraped two sheets of bamboo trellis (from Coombs Country Market) together at the top and dug the trellis in against the long edges of the bed.  Today when I put the trellis up again I wondered, “Why did I waste all the space in the middle of the bed?”  Instead, I made the trellis angle sharper, hoping to put a cucumber plant in at either end of the bed (when the weather warms up) and make the trellis do double duty.  Then, I made little holes 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart along the sides of the trellis and the kids put one pea seed in each hole and “tucked them into bed”.  I love watching them perform this little ritual, knowing they will eat peas to their hearts content in a few months.

But the greenhouse!  My Big Girl and I planted broccoli, borage, leeks, and lettuce in plastic pots in the new warm space.  She was disappointed that we didn’t plant any flowers until I told her borage are beautiful, sweet, blue, edible flowers.  After that it will be tomatoes and squash, sunflowers, and beans….  I’m so excited not to have to watch the weather and pout through a wet spring again, waiting to direct-sow those vegetables that need warm soil and warm nights to really take off.  I may leave some tomato plants in the greenhouse all summer, if I can ventilate it properly, and maybe even try growing a melon…?  My love knows no bounds!

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Direct-sowed: sugar snap peas (edible pod peas), radishes, chives, spinach, and pac choi

Started in the unheated greenhouse: broccoli, borage, basil, leeks, lettuce, zinnias

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One Comment leave one →
  1. seethesea permalink
    March 27, 2012 8:21 am

    Great pictures.

    Makes me want / need to get into my soil. Inspiring !!

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