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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Garden

This turned out to be a lot more project than I had in mind for this weekend. I have a freelance deadline, and I sort of have my kids though I try to avoid doing so when I have this project to do. That's only half true, one of my kids is in Boston living it up, eating a hamburger at the country's oldest restaurant, the Union Oyster House (a hamburger in an oyster house! I'll disown her, I swear).

Anyway, the whole deal kind of became a gardening deadline. The floating row cover method Worley set me up with is all about getting the early crops in. And it's not really even 'season extension' in the truest sense when I'm a day past the start of the planting time for crops like carrots, lettuce, etc.

Well, it's season extension for me, the guy who's never out before May 1 when he's transplanting tomatoes. The rest of the garden is sort of an afterthought for me, I'd just grow tomatoes and peppers if I had to pick two things.

Turning the beds is a piece of cake with raised beds, nothing got compacted to begin with. Pulling the crabgrass is another story, but I got that done, too. Then it was time to transplant seedlings and map things out, and that turned out to be a lot more knee time and bending time and stooping time and whatnot than I had in mind. I think I spent roughly five hours out there, and I was whipped by the time I was done.

Any notion that I save labor thinning radishes by transplanting sprouts, well, you're really just moving the labor around. I can plant a row of radishes in about the time it takes to curse loudly at a cat that's running through a newly planted row of chard. Then I have to go back and thin it when we find out what's really going to try growing up and going to college. With this method, depending on how interlocked the roots of the seedlings in the cup, I spent roughly the same amount of time kneeling as I would on thinning day but I'm doing it all up front when I plant. Probably for the best since I'm terrible about not getting out there to thin things.

I planted some carrot, radish and lettuce seeds in the space that was left in these two beds after the transplants were done. I'm really not that thrilled doing the work end of the garden, but having a productive garden practically year round, I'm all about that. And I have interesting plants I won't find at every stall at City Market or every aisle at Price Chopper (as evidenced by this map which contains Chinese cabbage, golden beets, and so on).

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