Garden Update: Sprouts and Shoots

We've come a long way from bare beds and cover crops. Little sprouts are popping up all over our garden beds: radishes and spinach.

The peas are growing fast too.

I picked out some lettuces and greens to plant.

Seeds are in the ground, just in time for a rainy period, I’m such a lazy gardener. Now these little lettuces will sprout without me running out to water them twice a day. On the down side, the weeds will probably start to take over since watering is my primary motivation for getting to the garden each day. If it’s just weeds I always figure, what’s another day going to matter?

When I plant several rows of different varieties in the same bed, I leave the seed packets at the end of the last row I planted so that I know what variety went where and I don't have to juggle labels, seed packets, trowels, and children all at once.

When it's time to break out the labels, I've found that a grease pen is indispensable for plant labeling, especially with plastic labels.

I don't like that these are plastic, because the world certainly doesn't need more plastic, but I haven't had much success with wood labels holding up very long in this climate. Although, I did pin these painted labels recently. Paint would make the labels hold up to our heavy rains, I might even be able to use them multiple years in a row. We shall see.
Our last frost is sometimes as late as May 1, so to be putting lettuce in the ground this early is fantastically exciting.  Next week we’re supposed to have several days in the 70 degree range, so I’ll be planting beans and squash in no time. Three cheers for extended growing seasons!

A lot of the garden is still in cover crop. This is our lovely crimson clover, planted last September.

Cover crops help keep weed populations down and enrich the soil, especially if you till them in and let them rot. I hear this is much easier east of the Cascades. Here on the west side, I usually till, wait somewhere between a few days and a few weeks, then pull out the big clumps before raking out a seed bed. When cover crops are added to the compost, and then that compost is added back into the garden later, you still get some of the benefits of a tilled in cover crop.

So that's whats growing here at Handmade Life. What's in your garden?

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  1. I will be planting peas and lettuce this week. I am going to try growing potatoes in a barrel this year, we will see how that turns out. Good luck with your garden!!


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