Potager: Early Spring

I'm getting a jump start on the kitchen garden this year
 I have learned so much the last two years about what works for me and what doesn't 
and how long it takes for certain veggies to mature.
I learned too, about the growing habits of certain vegetables and how to manage them so you don't end up with vegetables and vines growing totally out of control...
like Jack and the Beanstalk out of control!
 This year I am caging my cucumbers and using a pickling variety 
instead of the seedless cukes

 I pruned all of the fruit trees a bit too...both the apples and the peaches
 and all of the citrus trees
 Some of the vegetables do just" OK" when they are sown directly in the soil and others seem to do better when they are planted from a 6 pack
 These are chives 
and they are a rapid grower
 anyway you plant them

 New this year are turnips
 I have really gotten lazy with my plant markers! I know!

 Bed preparation has been key to the health of the veggies too, 
and I now have a pretty easy system after each harvest is done.

I add 1 large bag of GreenAll and one large bag of Farmers seed cover then I work the soil really well.  After you direct sow your seeds,
 water gently then sprinkle a top layer of the seed cover
 and water again.  
It usually takes about a week to see the the new sprouts pop up. 
 Tomatoes are in the nursery already and I love Early Girl!
I get more great tomatoes from this variety.
I'm triple staking my tomatoes again 
because this worked really well last year

I will plant some heirloom varieties 
as soon as I see them in the Nursery
 The tutuers are planted with Asian peas 
and the rest of the bed has celery, parsley and beets

 This bed is all direct sow seeds...mesclun, spinach and basil

 Behind the cages are fennel, which was sown direcly into the soil and then heavily thinned out.  That too has done really well so I will probably do some more this summer.
 I did some broccoli direct sow about a month ago and it seems to be doing pretty well too...but these are little babies right now!

If you aren't sure what you should direct sow, most of the seed companies
 have guides just for that purpose or you can read some good gardening books about just that.

I like:
 The New Organic Grower
by Eliot Coleman

This book is written with large scale vegetable gardening in mind,
 but it is full of really useful tools and techniques 
for the home gardener too.
I love the vegetable garden. 
 I never thought I would like it this much,
 but it is so much fun and not all that much work really.

Thank you for all of the great comments on my last few posts!  I am so sorry for not getting emails out to everyone and answering questions.

I will do my best! 

; ) 

happy gardening
  1. Thanks so much for this great post. I just said yesterday that I can't wait to get going on raised beds this year. It will be our first year doing it, though I did grow up having a vegetable garden so I remember a little bit. We are still a little chilly, but since we've had such a mild winter I think we will be ready to plant very soon. Your gardens always look so wonderful, and you've been a big inspiration for me wanting to start growing more of my own veggies. I will look for that book too!

    Kat :)

  2. Very inspiring!! I wanted to try some kind of seed cover this year as our soil is too dense for most of the seeds to do much. Hard to resist planting something in this unseasonably warm weather, in any case!

  3. How lush and orderly your garden looks Kelley! When you pruned your fruit trees were you able to bring some blossom inside? Nothing says spring like that!

  4. I am in Colorado with 2 feet of snow on my lawn. I am so jealous that you have already started gardening. We won't even get to think about it until after Mother's Day!

  5. What beautiful post. It makes me want to get out and start gardening!


  6. I am going to try that "seed cover" this year -thanks for the tip!


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