Puttering In The Potager – Week 15 of 2010
Well my soil temperature has reached 50° which is ideal for planting what I call the cold weather crops which are listed below. I planted seed in my garden for all the crops except for Swiss chard for which I will buy seedlings and lettuce which we already have in seedling form. After planting the seeds I spread a thin layer of compost on top just to get things cooking. If you click on each plant name below you will get a complete file on growing that plant in yardener.com.
I planted a 16 inch line of beet seeds which will give me about 10 beets. In two more weeks I will plant another 16 inch line so we will have a steady supply of beats over time I will probably plan beats every three weeks until early September
As with the beets I will be planting a succession of radishes about every two weeks
We have three 7 foot tall iron towers that are used for growing such vegetables as pole beans, cucumbers, and lima beans. None of those crops will be planted much before the second week in June or about six weeks from now therefore I have planted snap peas to grow on each of these three powers and will expect them to be pretty much harvested by the time the warm loving plants are growing on those same towers.
Nancy bought a container of both green and red leaf lettuce at the garden center and she has transplanted about a third of those lettuce plants into what she calls her lettuce bowl container. Lettuce is another crop where we will be planting successions probably once a month until October.
seedlings for Swiss chard will be in the garden centers in a couple of weeks. In the meantime there are two varieties of Swiss chard that are not commonly found in garden centers that we will be starting from seed indoors.
I planted three16 inch lines of spinach and well do that again in three weeks.
One of the perennial problems of vegetable gardeners is finding a suitable label for the plants in the garden. I have used the seed packets on a stick, tongue depressers, but have settled on those old-fashioned rectangular metal strips on wires. I have a label maker that produces a plastic coated label which can stand up to any kind of weather and does not fade.
All of the vegetables I have planted so far can handle a frost without any trouble. Still when I plant the Swiss chard I will cover them with a Wall o Water so that they will grow a bit more quickly than if left unprotected.
What Is Happening In Nature
We should start seeing some butterflies and if you keep a sharp lookout you might spot a garter snake sneaking around in the garden. For those of you who have a Purple Martin apartment house your guests should be arriving in the next week or so. While it is probably still too early for most folks to start mowing the grass, if you want to give your lawn a really good start this year; this would be a good time to spread a combination of compost and peat moss thinly over the lawn.