|Posted on March 3, 2013 at 8:55 PM|
PLANTING GREENS IN THE GREENHOUSE
Last week I posted about thinning some of the seedling starts and beginning the hardening off process for some of them. The broccoli, kohlrabi, lettuce, and napa cabbages all spent increasing time in the greenhouse this past week and are now there night and day. Next week I will move the onions and leeks out to the greenhouse to start hardening off and the broccoli and kohlrabi will start spending increasing amounts of time outside exposed to wind and weather, coming back into the greenhouse after their time out of doors. The intention is that the broccoli should be fully hardened off by the following week and ready to go into the garden. The lettuces and napa cabbages were planted with the intention of growing them in the greenhouse to provide our earliest fresh greens. Since they are now spending night and day in the greenhouse, they were definitely ready to be transplanted in to the containers in the unheated greenhouse.
All of the containers in the greenhouse were pretty dry, so I gave everything a good soak after I was done planting, including the smaller container that has ginger growing in it. It is too cold yet for that to start sprouting, but they need to be kept moist and with the stronger and longer sunlight hours the greenhouse is starting to warm up a lot during mid-day – drying things out much faster than was occurring all through the winter months. It’s getting warm enough mid-day that the automatic vents are opening up. I will be doing the seedling shuffle with the broccoli and kohlrabi plants this week, getting their last push of hardening off completed.
The 2013 growing season is about to launch into the big early spring planting push. Next weekend, I will be closing the gates to the garden effectively shutting the hens out of it until late next fall (other than carefully supervised forays to the compost piles). I hate shutting them out as they do such a great job keeping the walkway weeds down, but they wreak havoc on the beds and young plants so they have to be kept out during the garden season. Once the hens are denied access, then it will be time to prepare beds for some onion starts, broccoli, kohlrabi, and soon the pea patch and snap peas will be ready to be planted. I need to start another round of lettuces under the grow lights next week as well, so I have a group ready to go into the deck planters in early April when the weather starts moderating more.
Each Monday Daphne’s Dandelions hosts the “Harvest Monday” blog hop. Everyone participating submits links to their posts summarizing the week’s harvests. It’s always very interesting and inspiring to see what other gardeners are producing from so many different growing regions. Here’s my modest contribution for the week of February 25th through March 3rd.
The over wintered kale plants are putting on a nice flush of new growth lately, thanks to the longer day length and increasing sun strength. The Toscano kale is showing signs that it will likely bolt soon, but the leafier varieties are doing splendidly and not showing any inclination (for the moment) to go to seed. I harvested some of this new lush growth on Sunday.
We ate out of the freezer and storage quite a lot this week. Green beans, shelled peas, whole tomatoes, zucchini chunks, celery, red peppers, onions, garlic, and potatoes. While digging around in the freezer this weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to find another whole large package of peas and four meal sized packages of snap peas. I had thought we were getting down to the last bits and pieces of both those items so it was a “woot!” moment when they surfaced from the bottom of the freezer. I have to say that other than the raspberry jam, we are not using any canned items to speak of. We have so much in the freezer and cool storage that we just seem to be turning up our noses at the canned goods pantry. I think I am going to do very little canning this summer and just stick to the freezer and storage.
Things are about to get hopping busy around here in the garden. How are things going with your launch of the 2013 growing season?