Putting in a Spring Garden


| 5/9/2017 11:35:00 AM


Tags: Becky, Wisconsin, gardening, planting, frost, compost, weeds, seeds, pests,

Transitional TraditionsIt was the end of February. We were boiling maple sap and setting up our first-ever mini greenhouse. The seeds had arrived from our catalogs, and the starter soil sat beckoning me from the edge of the kitchen table. Surely we could plant some seeds now?

 

Seedlings under grow lights

In our part of Wisconsin, the typical last frost date is around Mother's Day.

I don't know what I was thinking.

Fast forward to the end of April, and the greenhouse in our living room was bursting with enormous tomatoes, lively cabbages, and stretchy cauliflower. I began watching night-time lows like an addict. The weather was evening out, but not near what we needed. I decided to put the cabbages out to start hardening them off.

Seedlings hardening off outside

First, we had to prepare the garden for new plants. This always involves weeding the raised beds and top-filling with compost. This year, we had enough compost for five beds. Next, we began planting cold-hardy seeds. We put radishes, lettuce, peas, and carrots into the ground. Later we planted the little Chinese cabbages in a bed all their own. They looked so relieved to be out of the little cups!

Kids weeding garden beds

Chinese cabbage sprouts

We still needed to top fill and weed three more beds. Down the road from us is a nursery that sells composted topsoil for 30 dollars per yard. While not cheap, the soil is black and loamy. And, having few alternatives (my dad's farm across the road only had hot manure available), we filled the back of the pickup three times.

Having all the beds filled and ready to plant was a good feeling.




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