Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Too early to garden?

Finally, the first day has come that has felt like spring, since the arrival of...spring.  A good day to get things started.  After turning over the vegetable bed in my backyard I headed over to the Minton Stable Garden.  As you can see from these photos, there is not much color, yet.  No one has planted crocuses or snowdrops, but a few gardens had tulips in progress, including mine.  With the absence of rain this past week, cracks have appeared in the soil of several plots.  And with it being so early in the season, only a few of the gardens bore the darker hue of turned-over soil.
I started three varieties of tomatoes under the grow lights at home on Monday, but I was itching to start a few outdoors.  So I planted a row of Forellenschluss lettuce (an organic Romaine) and Space Spinach seeds.  I have not planted these vegetables in the Minton Stable Garden for several years, but due to the encroaching shade of a maturing lilac in my backyard, that location was not as successful as I would have hoped last season, though I still plan to sow seeds there.  The lilac had been planted by the previous owners and in recent years has taken off.  We have been too hesitant to undo the previous owners' efforts, but perhaps in the fall we might have to make an exception.

After I sowed my seeds in the MSG I realized the disadvantage of starting so early.  Where was the water?  The hoses were not out yet, and the water had not yet been turned on.  Since I no longer live a convenient distance from the MSG, I had to borrow watering cans and raid the tap of one of my abutting friends.  The first official meeting will be this Monday night; perhaps after that it won't be considered too early and the water will be back on.


Dan said...

I also have the same watering problem but I can just get it from the laundry sink. Way to early to turn the garden spigot on. I keep planting more and more lettuce in cell packs, when things warm up I think I am going to be swamped. I need to plant some spinach soon, we are getting a good amount of rain over the next few days so timing should be good. Your community garden looks like a very nice spot.

StephenMcC said...

Rain! Sweet sounds of rain overnight! Went out yesterday afternoon and scratched through all the road salt and compacted leaves at the front end of the "lawn", then screened a bit of last year's compost across the barren ground. It just looked dirty. This morning when I got the paper? presto! just add water for rich loam ready to nourish. Every winter we forget how hot July was and, likewise, early every spring we forget that this is really the quiet before the biomass storm!