Winter sucked, I hope spring is better
Whew, it’s been a rough winter. I can’t wait for it to be over. Usually by this time we’ve got a dozen or so different veggies started in the greenhouse in anticipation of transplanting outdoors in early April, but that’s not going to happen this year.
While it’s been very dry (thanks La Niña), temperatures have also swung crazy amounts. We had multiple weeks in January and February where the temperatures climbed well into the 80’s and 90’s in the day time and then dropped to below freezing overnight. (One day in February has a 93° high and a 28° low overnight!) Additionally, our typical last day of frost is in late February, but this year we’re still getting overnight freezes well into March.
For my unheated greenhouse, that’s just too much volatility to expect reliable germination or seedling growth. Actually, it was even too much for my milk carton mini-greenhouses as well. So, after the third round of frying and freezing seedling, I decided to hold off on any more attempts at getting an early start until we had a stretch of more moderate weather — which just happens to be beginning right now (at least according to the weather people).
So, embracing “the fourth time is the charm” principle, I’ve decided to try again with the hope of getting some of the seedlings transplanted into the garden by mid-April. It’s only about two weeks later than usual, so by planting shorter season varieties and goosing the seedlings with seed mats and humidity domes, I don’t think it’ll have too much impact on the late spring harvest.
This week I’m planting snow peas, spinach, cucumbers (pickling and slicer varieties), Cos lettuce, broccoli, marjoram, cilantro and basil. If the weather holds, next week we’ll get some beans, tomatoes, peppers and squash started as well.
Fortunately, even though I’m behind on the main vegetable garden, the keyhole garden, is already planted with early season broccoli, onions, carrots, spinach and lettuce. Because it’s closer to the house and more sheltered from the weather, while it’s still not as mature as it was last year, it’s weeks ahead of the main garden.