The plants and garden have been progressing nicely over the past couple of weeks. A week ago some friends came up to the garden and we worked compost and steer manure into the garden and turned it over to work it all in. Because the weather forecast looked promising (meaning above freezing) we also planted the Easter Egg radishes. This variety of radishes is mild and we expect red, white, and pink varieties from the one package. The other plant to get an early start this year are our red, white, and blue potatoes. The potatoes are taking the space formerly occupied by peanuts. Hopefully the potatoes will do better.
This past Easter weekend was also busy. My little helpers were up at the garden for the weekend and, because the weather was so nice, we also worked out in the garden, interspersed with a little play time on the swing, playing poker, and, of course, looking for Easter eggs that the Easter bunny hid. Although we have a chance of frost until almost Memorial Day we planted our beets – golden, cylindra (a red beet that should be good for canning), a deep red beet, and Bulls Blood beets (red and white stripes on the inside and deep red leaves for salads and such), watermelon radishes, snow peas and regular peas, and red and white bunching onions. I think that is everything we will be planting via direct seeding this year, everything else will be plants that we will put in the garden around Memorial Day – still almost two months away. This is also the earliest we have planted seeds in the garden. I am hoping this extra month and a half of growing time produces an early crop. If not, some of it will have to be tilled over because some of these seeds are planted where other crops are planned.
It is amazing what difference a year makes. This time last year my tomato and pepper seedlings were very unhappy. They were pale yellow and had little continuing growth. Even moving them outside and repotting them did little to improve their health. This year my tomato and pepper plants are growing like weeds and a nice deep green color. The pimento peppers have blossoms. All but two of the grafted tomatoes are doing great; the other two did not survive, both the same variety. The cloned Big Jake is, well, becoming a big Big Jake. All of the tomatoes and most of the peppers have been moved outside because they no longer fit under my grow lights and I had to make room for other plants. The red storage onions are growing nicely under the lights. The sage and thyme cuttings are in good shape. The chamomile continues to grow. The tomatillos are starting to grow. And the Joe E. Parker and poblano peppers are starting to grow. If things keep growing like they have been it should result in a bumper crop this summer. We might have more salsa and all than we know what to do with.
Keep growing little plants. Keep growing!