Thursday, April 13, 2017

It all started with the peas

Last summer I decided to really expand my thinking about what was possible growing vegetables in my climate (USDA zone 7A). I grew up in Rhode Island and my father had a summer garden with tomatoes, beans and cucumbers so that was my frame of reference. I have lived here in Maryland, in a much warmer climate, for more than 20 years now, but breaking out of that "summer garden" mindset has been HARD. This breakthrough has involved a lot of growth for me. I felt like I did have a spring garden because I grew peas. That I didn't even eat! Walking with my friend one morning in January, I actually verbalized this AHA and I laughed at myself. I was growing them year after year because I was eager to get back to my raised bed and see something grow. So I got past the mental block the peas were causing me and started growing other spring vegetables that I actually DO want to eat. It sounds to simple but it took me a long time to get here.

And here I am! I have growing cherry belle radish, bloomsdale spinach, tendersweet and nantes carrots, stuttgarter onions (started March 1) and siberian kale that I direct sowed on March 25. I have parsley and tarragon that never dies year after year and some more kale that I got as seedlings from my same friend.
Cherry Belle Radish

Bloomsdale Spinach

Long Island Improved Brussels Sprouts

Stuttgarter Onions
I have lettuce and arugula planned for the next week or so. And a few hold outs from last fall-one spinach plant, 2 long island improved brussells sprouts and a few carrots. I have a full garden in April. Yay me!

My advice? Just try it and see what happens. We have had very strange weather here with a very warm February, pretty cold March and April is feeling a little warm, too. My timing was based a little on the last frost date from the Old Farmers Almanac and a little by a planting spreadsheet I got from the You Grow Girl blog the Lazy Gardner years ago and a little on my own motivation. Not scientific my any means! That's not how I manage my gardens.

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