Monday, February 11, 2008

Peas and greens

It was mild enough on Sunday to have fun preparing the main vegetable garden for seeding of cool weather vegetables and flowers. The soil is lovely, fluffy and dark. The fall amendments and mushroom compost from the fall change outs has been nicely incorporated, and since I try not to ever step on the blocks, all it takes is a quick turnover to provide an excellent seed bed.

Now, I do have a soil thermometer that tells me that the soil temperature is still closer to 40° than 50°, so I do need to be patient a bit longer. But, I had some older seeds of spigarello broccoli, broccoli rabe, mache, and something called Zamboni broccoli (another sprouting sort) that I went ahead and sowed in my potting bench flats, which were warm on a sunny afternoon. I should have put them in the cold frame, or on the germination pad in the garden shed, but the light was waning. We'll see how they do.

I put some more peas to soak (sugar snap and sugar sprint), waiting for the legume inoculant that came today. The directions say I'm supposed to swirl the seeds in a mixture of the inoculant and chorine -free water (uh, I already am soaking them in regular tap water), but I'll rinse them off, swish them, and see what happens. I'd think that I'd have plenty of Rhizobium bacteria in the soil already, but it can't hurt, and might boost productivity.

The hardest lesson I've had to learn (and am still learning) as a native plant expert turned vegetable gardener is how pampered and selected our vegetable plants are. They need lots of nutrients, period. They're water hogs too, compared to more thrifty native cousins. But that's why they're tasty and edible, compared to their wild relatives.

1 comment:

  1. Great! We were able to put in our strawberries this past weekend.
    I am hoping to get into Clemson for horticulture soon. Do you have any advise on that point?
    Greg II


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