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Garden Season is Underway!

The star of this year’s garden is of course the new greenhouse. The framing is nearly complete so let’s hope the weather cooperates enough to start hanging windows this weekend. Even without the greenhouse finished, there is still plenty for me to do to get the garden started. I’ll be planting my warm season vegetable seeds indoors in a sunny southern window. By the time the seedlings are ready to transplant into larger pots, the greenhouse should be ready (or close enough) to move them in.

The soil in the raised garden beds is workable so I was able to direct seed some cool season vegetables this week. I planted lettuce and spinach seeds in the cold frame and planted peas and installed trellises in another raised bed. I’m also trying something new this year – growing onions from seed. Usually I buy onion sets from the nursery, but I was on a roll with my seed saving last year so I let some onions go to seed and saved some “Candy” sweet onions. Onions need a long growing season, so I have already planted the onion seeds indoors and placed them under a grow lamp. I’m hoping this experiment goes well and allows me to grow some bigger onions than I did last year. The onions I planted from sets last year did alright, but they only grew to be small to medium sized onions by harvest time, whereas one of our neighbors a few miles down the road grew onions the size of softballs which I eyed jealously every time I drove by his garden on the way to the farm.

This summer I’ll be expanding the size of the garden by adding a squash bed in front of the house in an old flower bed. I pulled the blackberry that had invaded the bed, put down landscape fabric to smother the grass and weeds, and covered it with yard debris. In a few months, when it’s time to put out the squash seedlings it should be all ready to go. With the new squash bed, maybe this year I’ll have enough space in the garden to plant everything far enough apart so that it doesn’t grow into one tangled mass of stems and leaves that I have to tiptoe around in order to harvest vegetables…but then again, probably not. When it comes to gardening (or chickens for that matter), my philosophy is there’s always room for a few more!



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