Friday, March 27, 2009

More Spring Planting

This is really a continuation of my last post about what I planted in the garden yesterday. . . After planting my peas I wanted to get all my hardened off transplants into the ground. I measured out the rest of the bed and stuck in labels so I would know where to plant each crop. Labels are an issue for me. Most people have issues because their labels get lost or they can't read them anymore. I have issues because I just don't. I don't label; I don't keep records; I don't remember.

This year I'm really trying to change that. I'm writing things down *gasp* on a printed out record sheet *gasp*. So far I've been keeping up *cheer*. In the hazy past I used to do things like this. As I got to know my garden better over the years, it became less necessary. Last year however I couldn't remember which peas I planted where. It wasn't the only issue, but I've forgotten all the others, so lets just say that as I age, I ought to write things down more. So far so good. And now I have cute little labels on almost everything. The labels remind me of my kids. They are left over popsicle sticks from my kids' crafts projects. It's nice to have the labels bring up memories of little kids now that my kids are gone.

But I digress. I made four rows for my lettuce transplants. I'll put in a row every two weeks. By the time I need the fifth row the first one ought to be empty again. At least that is the plan. Later I'll have five varieties in each row, one of each kind. For now I just have three, two of each. I planted two Red Sails, two Merveille de Quatre Saisons, and one New Red Fire. I did have two transplants of the last one, so just stuck the other in the tea garden. One of the lemon balm plants died and I put the lettuce there. If that lettuce lives great, but I'm not holding my breath.

Oh I didn't label each lettuce variety. So I'm already falling down on the job. Right now I have Red Sails in the back and New Red Fire in the front. Those two plants look identical right now. Though the other is also a red leaf lettuce, its leaves are more rounded so I can tell it apart. The last thing I did for my lettuce was water it in and put a row cover on it. The row cover won't last long, just a couple of weeks, but it will help if we end up with another bad cold snap.

Next to go in where my bunching onions. I had five multiplant blocks of them. I never have a spot for them. They are little orphan plants. I just put them here and there between the other plants. I put two in the lettuce bed between rows. One where I'm putting some coriander, one in the herb garden and hmm I forget where the last one is, but I'm sure I tucked it away somewhere.

My leeks were the last of the transplants to go in. I planted them just as I did when I planted some earlier. My greens and pea bed is finished until the other cold weather crops are ready to go in a a few weeks.

You would think that would be enough to do for the day, but since we had nice weather and some rain predicted for last night and the coming weekend, I also sowed some carrots in the lower bed. I prepared the bed laboriously a week ago. Yesterday I just had to measure the rows out for four kinds of carrots. Yup I labeled each kind: Danvers, Big Top, Atomic Red, Sugar Snax. I covered the seed with some fine soil. Then covered the area with burlap. Now it is just wait and see if they germinate. I often have to resow parts of the rows.

The last two carrots on the above list were bought this year from Pinetree. I'm surprised that Atomic Red, which is an open polliated plant had so few seeds in it. Sugar Snax is a hybrid and looks like it has more (though it could just be because the seed is bigger). Both packages cost the same. Surely it is easier to make open pollinated seed.

It was a long and pleasent day yesterday in the garden planting everything. Now I have a while to watch it grow before the next major planting. I love to look out my dining room window at the garden. This view lets you see everything. The top bed on the left has the lettuce, leeks and peas and will contain my brassicas. The middle bed has the spinach under cover and will be the three sisters garden. The part in front of those two beds is my herb garden. The bottom bed has the carrots and brown burlap. The plastic tunnel at the back is just warming up the soil and holds the rest of my cool weather seedlings. This bed will have all my solanaceae family plants (tomatoes, potatoes, etc) The little bed by the fence is where my garlic and onions are planted. I'm so happy to see the start of the garden. This week we have seen a real change in our weather. We are back to our average temperatures and no longer have weather 10°F degrees below normal. Whoohoo! Things ought to grow well in the low to mid 50°F (12°C).


  1. My, my, it sounds like you have been very busy! I look forward to seeing the garden progress through the season!

  2. Okay Daphne, you have gone from no tags to such a system as I have never heard of but love. The rotating lettuce with one of each kind in a row. This is an organized person's dream garden. I must get on the stick with the lettuces. I did make a drawing of the veggie bed, to scale. It has the garlic at one end, and the berries at the other. I want to have room for everything but never do. Labels in ahead of the plants is a great idea.

  3. I suck at labeling too. The best system I've come up with is to have my wife remember what is where. And our veg plot is only a tiny fraction of what yours is.

    I read your comment over on GardenRant. I do hope you'll keep track of your vegetable garden expenses this year. Curious to know where a real vegetable garden falls financially. Mine's a fancy raised-bed potager that has so many expensive non-essential bits (rose standard, boxwoods, concrete-block raised bed, copper trellis, apple espaliers...) that I'll never recoup the cost in vegetables. But we enjoy it.

  4. Sheila, Thanks.

    Frances, I think my daughter and husband have made me become so much more organized. When part of your family is OCD you really start to pick up traits. I usually go along, but when my daughter starts asking to straight up my desk, I won't let her. She can straighten up the blinds to make them all even, but my desk needs to be messy and disorganized.

    Jim, I'm already keeping track. I have a tracker on my sidebar to the right. It will tell everyone how much I've spent and how much I've harvested. Once I start harvesting, I'm hoping that Mondays will be my update days.

  5. Ha, I have a thing with keeping the blinds straight and evenly positioned. One of the few things my brain can accomplish in the morning, that and running the coffee maker.

    You have certainly been busy. Makes me realize I should look up when I need to start things. I'd hate to plant late and then not be about to plant a second planting. The only thing I have on the go right now is I'm soak my peas & broad beans and will plant them in peat cells in the coldframe. I'm growing the atomic red carrots too from pinetree, I will have to check how many seeds they sent me.

  6. Dan, I love when I can get more than one crop out of an area. In some places I might even get three (like my lettuce rotations). Starting early helps when you live in the north. That is why I had plastic covering so much of my garden for the last couple of weeks. I want to warm that soil up quickly.

  7. Looks great, Daphne! Your soil looks wonderful! I bet it smells good too- but I'm weird that way, I love the smell of soil! And to think, not long ago you were waiting to see the ground! I look forward to seeing everything all lined up...with label :)

  8. Tessa, I love the smell of soil in the spring too. I hope I keep all the labels up.