Spring has Sprung

A couple of weeks ago I was up to my knees in snow but it’s been up in the 50’s with lows around 40 or better with the 10 day forecast of more of the same.  I think we’ve turned the corner on (consistently) cold weather so it’s got me motivated to get started on the garden.

I got my shipment from Fedco.  It took them a while to ship due to the rush but they upgraded it to Priority which was good so I put a lot of seeds in flats last week.  I bought a bunch of Johnny’s expensive greenhouse tomatoes to try this year and they’re all started, along with early stuff like kale and onions.  In a week or two I’ll start all the tomatoes for starts for sale as last year they got started early and got too leggy.

I tilled up the two raised beds in the greenhouse that were in tomatoes last year and planted one of them in carrots, half in Sugersnax 54 and half in Rainbow, a multicolored carrot.  I’m hoping to harvest early carrots for market before anyone else has them and plant tomatoes right in between them.  I figure that by the time the tomatoes start to shade them out I’ll have harvested most of them, with any luck.  The other tomato bed I’m going to plant in spinach with the same idea.  The bed on the north side that I had in strawberries and canning tomatoes, which didn’t work at all, I’m going to plant in sweet peppers.  I need something that doesn’t get too tall and by having them early I think I can get good money for them.

Looking back at last year, it’s clear I don’t need to grow so many squash as I just hauled a couple of hundred pounds of mixed squash to the compost pile.  They all seemed to go at once over the last week or two after surviving all winter.  The Delicata actually did the best in storage, even better than the Sweetmeat types, so this year I’ll be focusing on them and not growing so many or at least selling the surplus, instead of keeping them all winter.

The main focus this year will be on growing what I actually eat and growing what sells at the market, not stuff that looks “interesting” so I need to be working on how to allocate space in the gardens.  Once again, I need to work on succession planting.  Every year I know I need to do better and every year my system falls apart when summer gets here.  Last summer people wanted lettuce in July and August, no one had any, so I’m trying sone new varieties that are supposed to be more heat resistant to see if they work.  Given how cool our summers are compared to most of the world I’m hoping to get some summer lettuce, and I also bought a big pack of cilantro seed so I need to plant a patch every couple of weeks.  It will be interesting to see how long that plan holds together.

Garage sale season is also starting.  I picked up a huge box full of flats and trays, probably 50 of each and made out of something that looks like fiberglass instead of cheap thermomold, really fancy stuff, for $10 at a sale yesterday and when I emptied the box I found a brand new 15′ x 50′ net which will cover my whole blueberry patch to keep the birds off.

I need a couple of clear days, or at least non-raining days to finish pruning the fruit trees.  I’m really looking forward to doing some more grafting this year.  I did a little last year and picked up some root stock last year I’ll be using as well as converting over some existing trees to new varieties.  Most all of my saddle grafts took while all of my cleft grafts failed, so I know what I’ll be doing this year.  I picked up a bunch of pear root stock so I’m going to make some Asian pear trees with 2-3 varieties on each tree.

That’s about all my ramblings for today.  I hope to get back into working on this site.  Winter has been tough for me and I haven’t been able to get much done but with the days getting longer and more light I should start doing better and feel more like getting something done.

Finally, I am getting 10-20 “user registrations” every day here.  I can’t figure it out as if they’re spammers they don’t seem to be posting anything so not sure what their purpose would be, and if they’re real people they’re not posting anything either.  If any of you are real people how about posting a brief comment just to say hi and let me know someone has an interest in the idea behind this site, it would help to get me motivated to put in some time on it.