Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Planting

My dad's seeder. He uses it to seed his sweet corn every spring.

This year is a great illustration of how unpredictable mother nature is. Last year, the ground was terribly wet all the way into June. Planting was messy, and nothing really liked getting its feet wet. This year, after a incredibly warm March, with no snow melt or much rain, the ground is dry two months earlier than last year. It's a little unnerving to be driving down to the farm and to have dust clouds blowing across the fields.



Since the ground in the garden has been workable now for a while, I decided to plant some early vegetables to start feeding ourselves early this year. We never really realized how early you can plant until last year. We just always had the May long weekend in our minds as the official garden start date. But that can't be further from the truth. I envied everyone else's frost-tolerant early peas, greens, and especially radishes last year, so I made a mission to get them in early this year.

I pulled the tiller out, made some beds, and got to work seeding. The radishes only take about four weeks to grow, and they suggest planting every ten days to have a constant supply. I've put a reminder in my computer's calendar to tell me when to plant again.



Other perennials are growing well, like the hops above. Hops are one of the few ingredients in beer making, which I'd love to attempt. I have a good selection of varieties that are slowly getting established.

I also planted a bit of malting barley. Maybe enough to actually brew something this fall, but I'll probably keep it for next year as seed. I tried to use my dad's old seeder to plant it, but couldn't figure out how to use it properly, and didn't want to bug him on the first overnight vacation my parents have taken since I can remember. So I just took my time and seeded by hand.

Thyme and parsley that have over-wintered well

The main task of the day was to transplant a bunch of perennial herbs to where we're establishing our perennial garden. We moved thyme, parsley, fennel, lovage, and sorrel next to our asparagus patch which is still getting established, and at the end of our strawberry patch which we'll get to enjoy this year.



In our world of speculative home buying and rental living, having a garden to plan for beyond just one season is a special thing. We're so blessed to have access to our family's land that remains year after year and see perennials actually become comfortable and established. We're happy to be picking up apple trees that will be the first apples planted on the farm since the pioneer days. Some of the trees are old, but others won't produce fruit for a few years, but that's ok, because that time will come before we know it.

3 comments:

  1. My radishes always come out SUPER spicy. Is there a trick to keeping them mild enough to actually eat?

    Love the old seeder.

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    Replies
    1. We just started to really love radishes last year, so technically this is our first attempt at growing them. I suppose they have the potential to be super spicy as well. In Canada the spring radishes are nice and mild and tend to get spicier as the days get warmer.

      We'll find out for ourselves soon enough!

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  2. That's my problem--too many warm days around here to grow a decent radish :) Always exciting in the world of gardening!

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