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A Late Winter’s Spring Garden

March 17, 2009

springbeds_narcissus0_031509Sometimes, when you’re really lucky, a long, long winter full of long, long work weeks is rewarded with weekend weather so spectacular (in March terms) that the anticipated long, long Sunday afternoon nap is forgotten in favor of stretching winter-stiff limbs out in the garden.

I’ve said it before: I can feel it in my bones — winter is over. No more snow. No more ground-freezing frost. Done. Everything in my yard is bursting out all over, from clumps of grass to tulips to crabapple trees. Ah yes. It’s time to plant the Spring garden. In mid-March. How awesome is that?

This year, I’m going fairly simple: radishes, lettuces, arugula, carrots. I’ve already got summer garlic and shallots in the ground — they’re up and about and as happy as clams. More garlic goes in the ground now to extend the harvest into the Fall. Same with leeks, but I’m starting those from seed, and they have a ways to go before they’re ready to see the sun.

Sunday, I sowed radish, lettuce and arugula seeds and planted 16 garlic cloves. Now that is the way to spend a Winter’s day.


Unlike the seeds I’ve been dealing with on the indoor front, radish seeds are nice and large (view the larger photo and look for the white dots). Still, I wanted a faster method for sowing this bed. I don’t want neat and tidy rows of man-made straight lines. I like chaotic greenery, Jackson Pollock style.

I mixed about a teaspoon of radish seeds into a tray with organic soil mix, and sprinkled the lot evenly over the bed. Then watered it in well. That should do it. Same with the lettuces and arugula.

Garlic came next. This is the batch I bought from Gurneys last year, in anticipation of planting in the Fall, but, thanks to a lack of messaging on their website, it didn’t arrive until Saturday for Spring planting.

This garlic planting surrounds three sides of my carrot bed. I don’t hold much hope for a successful harvest because the bulbs (and cloves) are disturbingly small, but, I’m counting on them to repel critters, if nothing else.

In this particular tulip bed, I can’t remember what I planted where (it was the tail end of a long day of planting bulbs), so I have no idea who this little guy is, but, his variegated leaves sure are pretty.

Pretty little narcissus, all ready to bloom.

After a long winter’s nap, the shallots are making up for lost time. This is my first year growing shallots – I can barely wait to harvest the first one.

The summer garlic looks fabulous – they’re way ahead of last year.
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