On Monday the soil was finally unfrozen in some of the beds. I couldn't get the peas in as that one was still frozen, but a few of the beds were ready.
Bed 2W was the first one. It is the spring carrot bed. So I did a light fertilization. My soil test said I didn't need anything except nitrogen, and carrots don't need much of that. I don't turn over my soil, but I do aerate it. The aeration process mixes in the fertilizer a bit. I don't have a fancy broadfork, I just use a traditional garden fork. A quick raking gets it smooth. Then I measure out shallow furrows 4" apart across the bed. I try to put the seed about 2" apart in the furrows, but I'm not very good at doing it perfectly. I'll have a lot of thinning to do once they are up.
Carrots have issues germinating if they dry out at all. Plus they can take up to three weeks in the early spring because it is so cold. So I cover them with a double layer of Agribon. This keeps the soil moist. It also keeps the soil in place when we get heavy rains, so the seed doesn't wash away. I'll be watering this once a day on days that we don't get rain.
Next up was the spinach, which I do in rows 6" apart. In previous years I'd sow the seed about 2" apart and thin to about 6". Germination can be a bit erratic, but I usually get a decent stand. I bought seed for two beds - the spring planted bed and the over wintered bed. But I wanted to expand that to four beds with three spring planted beds. I was a bit worried about having enough seed. So I spaced them farther apart. Then I went and bought another packet.
The carrot bed had this little guy in it and a couple friends. I was surprised the soil was warm enough for any to come to the surface. But there weren't any in the spinach bed. In fact when I first started to aerate the soil I thought the soil was very compact at the bottom. I didn't think it was frozen since ice is hard as a rock, but it turns out that it was almost unfrozen. It still had ice crystals in it. I planted it up anyway. I've found that spinach will germinate in really cold soil. And the top inch where the seed sits can get reasonably warm during sunny days.
It was so nice to get my hands dirty for the first time. And Monday was a beautiful day. It was about 50F (10C) and sunny. A perfect spring day for my first planting.