Friday, March 19, 2010

Let the Gardening Begin!

On Friday, temperatures reached 60˚F/15˚C! I took full advantage of the unusually warm weather we are experiencing. We ran some errands in the morning and picked up some compost to add to the Square Foot Garden (SFG) beds and the 2x6 boards for the 3 new 4x4 SFG. As I walked into one of the big box stores, I was confronted by a display of summer bulbs, fruits, and onion sets. I couldn’t resist and picked up these:

I am growing Copra and Patterson storage onions and White Lisbon bunching onions from seed. But couldn’t resist picking up some Red Baron onion sets too. Not sure where I am going to plant all these onions. I am not sure where I’ll plant the strawberries yet either. Maybe in pots. Maybe since I am building more SFGs anyway, I can build another one for the strawberries in another part of the yard….hmmmm. So much for careful planning.

Upon our return from shopping, I immediately walked to the garden and began stirring up the soil in the SFGs:

I added some Espoma Plant-tone and the new compost and mixed it in really well. This is my second year with SFGs and I was wonderfully impressed with the quality of the soil:

Temperature of the soil was similar to the air temperature:

This is the spinach that has overwintered:

Also in this SFG I found some garlic from last year sprouting among the overwintered spinach. I thought I harvested all the small garlic last fall before planting out the spinach but I guess I missed a few. These are really small, less than 1/2-inches wide. I ended up pulling them since I have larger garlic planted in a separate SFG and I have plans for these squares. They won’t go to waste though as they will be used in cooking:

Speaking of garlic. I am pleased to see the fall planted garlic also poking up through the mulch in its own SFG:

I will be adding some pvc hoops and plastic for cold protection later this weekend to the SFG with the overwintered spinach. I am going to start planting out some early spring crops. The first will be some more spinach that I have begun hardening off:

It is difficult not to be tricked by this unnaturally warm weather.

Temps are supposed to be in the 60s again today. However, next week the temps are supposed to drop to more seasonable levels. But for now I am going to take advantage of the warm weather and do more gardening this weekend.


  1. We've been really warm the last few days. It's in the 70's today, but tomorrow it's dropping back to the 50's again.

    Dang it!

  2. I thought I was getting in too much of a hurry, but our daffodils were a full two weeks ahead of last year. Then I checked my planting dates from last year, and found I was planting on almost the exact same days! So I guess I'm actually on schedule.

  3. The soil in the beds looks really good. I love it when I find volunteer garlic in the beds because they are such a refreshing addition to cooking (chopped fresh garlic) versus the dried bulbs still in storage. I am just hoping my green onions get a move on soon as I have all but used up my storage and frozen chopped onions.

    Enjoy your great weather weekend!

  4. The beautiful weather is tempting me to start planting out too but I mustn't kid myself. In my zone, better not start anything before April. So I will wait and enjoy the beautiful weather in the meantime. As you pointed out, temps are supposed to drop next week.

    Your beds look fabulous ! I'm sure you'll find some room for those lovely new seeds ! Enjoy !

  5. Your beds are all cleaned up and tidy. Ah, it is finally time to grow some stuff.....

  6. Those beds look ready to go. Nice that you're set with them.

  7. Ribbit: We reached 70s on Saturday! But now we are back in the 40s again. It was nice while it lasted.

    Granny: You must have an internal clock when it comes to panting dates.

    KitsapFG: I agree that it is like a bonus to fine some fresh garlic to use in cooking. The garlic I have been using most of the winter has been purchase from the supermarket.

    Miss M: Reality hit pretty fast here on the weather front. The temperature now is 46˚F/8˚C and it is going to rain later. It was nice while it lasted. The warmer temperatures will be here soon enough.

    EG: The rest of the garden will be more work with tilling, forming rows and hills, and laying the solar mulch to keep the weeds at bay. Whew! SFGing is so much easier.

    Stefaneener: Yes, the SFG beds are ready. We still need to build and fill three new 4x4 SFGs, so I wanted to get these ready for spring planting. Now if I can only keep the dog out of them.