Well, it’s snowing again. As I write, warm in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot, earthy coffee, I watch the rain/snow mix fall weightlessly to the ground. Maryjane thought Santa was coming the other night. But, even folks that live in Colorado forget that April is one of our snowiest months and we have two more weeks before Santa can put his snow boots away! Still, the finches are singing and a quiet hush is over the land as the blossomed fruit trees drink and the earth softens with moisture.
Last week if it were even fairly warm I was at the Community Garden. Opening a little late, leaving a little early from work, goodness, it’s a very good thing I can’t fire myself! (so this summer should I be missing from my shop go to the community gardens…)
Now, let’s get to work, spring crops are going in! I lined the paths I created with thick blocks of straw. Underneath, as I empty the bags of garden soil, I slip the bag beneath the straw as weed suppression. I will place walking stones across these as money allows to hold everything in place.
Use a good old fashioned hoe to rough up the areas and to easily pull up errant, non-medicinal weeds. You see that I purposely am gardening around the Cherokee roses and mullein!
The first row of potatoes (russet) will be joined by garlic. Any organic garlic from the store will work (conventional vegetables are sprayed so that they cannot be planted). A row of potatoes every foot and a half or so and a long row of garlic cloves next to it. I used this marker to show where ran out of garlic cloves, cause I’ll be damned if I waste even two feet of space! In went kale seeds.
The next two rows of potatoes were joined by yellow onions. When I ran out of onions, I planted chard. Just dig a hole, nestle seed potato in, cover with garden soil. Cut a thin row with your hoe, put a few seeds per few inches, cover in garden soil. That is how we will plant everything. Water, cover the whole thing with a light, and I mean light, covering of straw. We aren’t trying to suppress weeds here yet, just keep the soil from drying out too fast, and leaving little seeds exposed.
I use tomato cages to hold up vines. Around the outside of the tomato cages every three inches or so goes in a pea seed. Four cages of snap peas, four of my beloved purple snow peas (just like immigrants and travelers and migrators of old, I have carried my seeds with me through our journey this last year), and four of Alaskan shelling peas. In V shaped lines zigzagging between cages went four different kinds of lettuce, and more kale.
I had room at the end of the peas (see how many vegetables you can get in a small space?) I planted a few seeds in each hole a foot a part of quick growing cabbage. Greyhound cabbage, it’s called. I love it because we loved and miss our greyhound! In a tick tack toe grid between the cabbages went radishes.
Another row went in of another kind of cabbage and Doug’s favorite, cucumbers, every other. The last foot and a half is for corn, beans, and pumpkins, and sunflowers but we won’t put those in for two weeks. I left a foot on the north end as well for the same.
In the other bed Maryjane and I started one row that contains beets, three different colors of carrots, pak choi, spinach, and cauliflower. Then one of broccoli who will probably be interplanted with soy beans. Seeds will grow, planting 1 or 2 in each hole is quite sufficient, unless you have a three year old gardener. I think she planted 20 cauliflower seeds in each hole. She was so cute doing it though!
Paths in, seeds lightly covered, now we wait for the rain and snow to moisten, then Nudah (sun) to come out and spread enough warmth to germinate the seeds. Soon it will be summer. See you next week!