Spring is right around the corner and it is a very exciting time of the year for me. It’s time to chop down the cover crops. Some people leave the chopped cover crops right on their beds to decompose and work back down into the soil.
I prefer to take the cuttings to the compost pile. The process of decomposition uses up some of the nitrogen from the soil and I want my soil to keep as much nitrogen as possible for use on my new seedlings.
During the cold, wet days of winter lots of plans were made for my garden. Seeds have already been started indoors for early planting-out. During early March, I’ll continue to start seeds indoors until I’m pretty sure we won’t be getting any more freezing weather. But at this time of year, many seeds can be sown directly into the ground. I will plant the lettuce, carrots, beet, radishes, chives and spinach seeds right into the garden.
I find the sunniest spot in the garden so that the soil is slightly warmer and plant away. After the first seedlings come up I thin them and plant more seeds, so that I’ll have a continuous crop.
If you’ve picked the sunniest spot in your garden, you may need to provide a little shade for your lettuce when the weather gets progressively warmer. We carry a permeable fabric (row cover) that can be supported with stakes along the sides of the seed beds. This provides some shade but allows air to circulate and helps keep the lettuce cool and slows down bolting. You can also use the permeable fabric at the time of planting to protect the young seedlings from frost and cold.
Whether you choose single varieties or mixes, we have lots of both. Just get out there and sow!