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Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Spring Garden Jucy Lucy Freakout

On my list today was Kansas City Community Gardens, where I planned to get some spinach and other seeds, as well as some other transplantables to augment what I'm getting from James Worley. I didn't realize they were only open until noon, so I struck out there. I did learn that these tree-like plants in some of the beds were overwintered collards, that you can harvest just the low leaves and it'll keep going at least until it gets hot enough to make the plant bolt.

That would be good information to have if I planned on growing more collards. I grew some in last fall's garden, but the thing is, I don't really like collard greens. Or turnip greens, come to that, and I have a big row of those in the front vegetable garden.

From now on, I think I'll stick to Chard, which is also my wife's favorite green. That and spinach, and lettuces of course.

From there we went by Habitat Re-Store, where I hoped to score a sleeve driver for driving my tomato stakes in. They sell them with the t-posts at Home Depot, but they're almost thirty bucks and you can probably find used ones for less, right? Or borrow one, which is what I ended up doing after striking out on the used purchase. I'll get my own in the fullness of time, but I don't think I'll pay retail: it's one of those things that would survive more than one apocalypse, there's no value lost for it being 'used.' Eventually I'll get one for cheap or even free if I keep my eyes open. This is America, after all.

From there, we went by Worley's, where I was originally planning to pick up my 36 tomatoes, plus a dozen or so peppers, some basil and other herbs, a few cucumber plants, etc. But since management has locked out the sun this spring, his plants are all still pretty puny. Plus, it's supposed to get cold again this coming Thursday. So I let him continue to have custody of these babies, just getting some SRM film and fertilizer so I can ready the bedrooms in their future home. Hopefully it will warm up enough I can transplant next weekend, but if it gets as cold as is predicted, I might be wise to wait a few days for the soil to warm up.

While I was there, I was checking out James' enviable greens. He has huge beds of lettuce and spinach just about running riot. Plus hundreds of onions and a whole bed of garlic, two kinds. I didn't think my spring vegetable garden was doing nearly as well as his, the bed I saw him transplant to when I got my Agribond and seedlings from him back at the beginning of March.

But when I got home and pulled back the Agribond, to my surprise, what was holding up the row cover wasn't my wire frames and string (and candlestick and whatnot), it was the plants themselves. Wow.

I fired up the grill and made Jucy Lucys, cheeseburgers with the cheese on the inside and relatively rare (only medium if melting cheese counts as 'medium'). Corinna and Raymond (who skillfully repaired a broken post-hole digger that got broken building our dog fence) harvested some radishes and lettuce from the spring garden and we sat down to eat.

I'm like, wait: I don't normally even have anything planted by April 27. Here I am eating a salad from my garden and draping my Jucy Lucy with a heap of crunchy goodness from a bed that was covered with snow a few weeks ago.

I love my life!

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