Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Around the yard in early spring

It's still too early for much to happen outdoors, but the vegetable garden is underway.   Indoors the kitchen remodel is making progress, with the floor nearly finished, awaiting an application of grout sealer.  Then it's time to start putting things together - sink, dishwasher, countertops. More on that later.

The largest bed is for squash, sweet potatoes and potatoes.  About 10 days ago most of the bed was lightly tilled than seeded with oats and field peas.   Compost, a bit unfinished, was spread over everything.  The cover crop germinated and seedlings are coming up.  Since it will be nearly two months until planting I'm hoping the field peas, which were inoculated, will 'fix' some nitrogen in the soil.   When it's time to plant the squash and sweet potatoes I'll plant them in small clearings I make in the cover crop.   

Nothing was done to the section of the bed in the right of the picture.  That's because potatoes will be planted there in less than a month, hardly enough time for a cover crop to establish.  Last year that section grew sweet potatoes.  Once they were out, in mid-October, the soil was tilled, treated with compost and seeded with oats, field peas and clover.

The bed that will be planted with tomatoes and peppers was treated the same way last fall.  I thought about planting the same cover crop that was seeded in the squash bed, but decided to leave well enough alone, since the peppers aren't as vigorous as squash.  Most of this bed is covered with a mat of dead oats.
I also noticed that some field peas had overwintered, so they can fix some nitrogen.  There also a few weeds.  I pull a few whenever I get the urge.  The soil tilth is very good, guess the cover crop helps.

Asparagus has not sent up any shoots yet.  Any day now. . .  Half the bed is in strawberries.

A parsley plant overwintered.  That's a first.

I've harvested about a pound of spinach so far this year, and expect more.  This is overwintered spinach, and there's a row of spring-seeded spinach that hasn't germinated.

In the mobile cold frame, a batch of lettuce is growing in the Earthbox and there's a flat of red onions that will get planted before the end of the month.

The apple trees have been pruned.  The buds are expanding a little bit so I'll need to spray with dormant oil soon.  Not as much was taken off as last year.  I'm hoping for more than the two apples that were produced last year.

Inside there are seedlings growing under lights.  The first set of cole crops will be ready for planting in the great outdoors very soon.  Another set of cole crops, Tropea onions, and more lettuce have germinated recently.

That's it for now.  Things will start busting loose very soon.


Margaret said...

My overwintered spinach is still so tiny - these cold temps lately probably haven't helped. I think that our parsley has overwintered as well as I still see some green under the straw that I piled on top of it - time will tell once the weather starts warming up.

Mark Willis said...

I wish my garden had as might light as yours. Mine is very "confined" and the beds get a lot less direct sunlight than I would like. I have sowed seeds for peas, parsnips, carrots and beetroot, but none of them have germinated yet.

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