Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spinach day

I did an early morning spinach planting today. My initial garden plan had two sun garden rows devoted to the cabbage family. I am not completely tossing that plan, but I think I can get away with planting my brussel sprouts and fall cabbage planting later in the summer. According to my PA garden guide provided by my coworker Becky (who took the master gardener class), I can plant brussel sprouts in June for a fall harvest. Spinach is harvested in June. So I am going to try to stagger these plantings. My plan is to start the brussel sprouts inside in late May, early June. Toward the end of June I hope to harvest all the spinach I planted today and replace these plots with my brussel sprout seedlings. I planted the spinach this morning in great quantity. I'm thinking of this planting as a freezer crop, rather than a succession planting. Spinach freezes wonderfully and is a great add in to just about any eggy, soupy, noodely, saucy recipe you can cook. So to that end, I planted about 20 - 3 foot rows of spinach about 6 inches apart in 1 1/2 of my sun garden raised beds. I'm guessing I did about 400 seeds. I also sprinkled in about 4 rows of green onions. Prior to planting I added bone meal and green sand to the soil and worked it with the digging fork and rake, pulling out any lumpy unfinished compost in the process. The soil looks nice - a little lumpy, but really rich and loamy.

I also did some planting in the beet and carrot row in the sun garden. The carrots that I planted earlier in March have not yet sprouted. That is not a good sign. It has been almost a month. In order to continue to give the earlier planting a chance, but add new seeds - I sprinkled a new layer of seeds on top and covered them with 1/4 of screened soil. Then I worked and planted a new section of beets and carrots. I dug the dirt out to about 12 inches deep, loosened the bottom and built the soil back up by screening compost and dirt. I planted cylindra beets. These beets are long and thinner - look more like a carrot than your traditional round beet. I have never tried these before.

Oh yeah - I almost forgot - My pepper seeds are finally starting to sprout. This is the batch that I planted inside on 3/11. It is a mix of Serano (hots) and California Wonder (Bells). Both are sprouting. 6 have sprouted out of a planting of 24. That is great news. I was afraid that I would need to buy pepper seedlings, and I really wanted some more of those serano's for hot peppers and hot sauce.

In the afternoon we went to Chapons and bought two Cherry trees. One is called a Black Tartarian Cherry and the other is called a North Star Cherry. The Tartarian is sweet and the North Star is tart. They are both miniatures - maxing out at about 15 feet height and spread. We got two trees so they could polinate each other. We planted the Tartarian in it's permanent home in the back yard to the south of the stone patio. This spot was chosen to help give us a little privacy from our neighbor and because it has a little sun. We aren't 100 certain where the North Star cherry is going to permanently find a home, so we planted it in a temporary spot behind the shed. It is right off of our parking spot. In both holes I mixed a bunch of compost and watered well. They are about 6 feet tall at planting.

Where the tartarian was planted, we began cutting out yard to make another large perenial garden in front of the weeping wall. We transplanted a small rose that we had in one of our vegetable patches. We already have a currant that is climbing up a section of the wall. Sarah is planning out this planting, and I not 100% sure what she has planned. We'll soon find out.

I filled up the remaining squares of sq. foot garden #2. I planted 2 brocolli, 1 sq of onions. I also dropped 4 other brocoli sprouts into the traditional cold frame. Busy day- Sylvan canoe club for dinner - spring has certainly sprung.

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