Friday, March 19, 2010

Freebees, Spring!, Open Gardens

Gardening in shorts! Whoda thunkit a week or two ago? What will a week from now be like? Meanwhile, it's great for all sun worshipers. My daughter says everyone is a sun worshiper these days.

The lettuce I sowed in the cold frame in January has gone crazy. I'm potting it up in garden soil, just digging out whole patches of seedlings. The pots are now on the right side of my steps at 56 Gordonhurst Avenue, Montclair. Each pot contains enough seedlings for a decent lettuce patch. If you want maximum yield, place them at 6" apart. If you have limited space, they will bear okay at 4" apart. Remember that lettuce is good only for a few weeks, so if you want a continual harvest, sow seeds again every 3-4 weeks. Also, :( woodchucks love lettuce. These are "leaf lettuce," which means you cut only the leaves you are going to eat that day and let the others grow until they are too bitter to enjoy. These seedlings came from outdoors and I expect you to put them outdoors, but it isn't illegal to coddle them in your kitchen.

I will put celery seedlings on the left side of the steps tomorrow morning first thing. These hatched in my greenhouse window, and I'm carefully potting them in potting soil. I'd suggest letting them grow in a sunny window before putting them out. They are tinyly (is that a legit taking only the celery stalks I will eat "today" and letting the plant regenerate. Treated this way, each container will probably feed a family celery for some time, possibly the entire season.

I've decided to put things in alphabetical order: Celery on the left and Lettuce on the right since we read left to right. I'm going to do the same with Purple and Yellow irises, where you have no other way to tell them apart: purple on the left and yellow on the right side of the steps. They have been getting invasive into my vegetable garden, and I've decided they must go. The books say to transplant irises in July, but then the vegetables must be risked to do iris editing, so I'm digging
them today and tomorrow. They are in 6" pots, but you don't need to take the contents of an entire pot; please bring a bag to protect your vehicle. No guarantees on any porch offerings, of course.

There is also a black pot with a mystery plant. I think they are garlic, which are all over my back yard, but this is the first time they have appeared in the front yard. Why not? Anyway, they were cozying up to my great-grandfather's primrose plant, and I decided the plant needed to be relieved of the competition. If you put one back into your soil at about the same depth as it was before, I suspect you will have a garlic bulb late this spring. The alternative, I think, is that you will have a flower sooner or next spring. I bought one garlic bulb years ago, and these are the descendents. I have more than I can use, and give many away.

Necole offered to put her leftover seeds on my front steps for others to take, and I have accepted. I may put out some of my own if I get a round tuit. You are welcome to put your left-overs there, or take whatever you want. A friend brought weights, which are next to the steps, that we use for hand-outs at Open Gardens, and they can be used to keep seed packets from blowing away. I don't mind your putting LABELED seedlings (as well as seeds) on my front steps if you have some to share.

The next two open gardens will be Saturdays April 24 and May 22. My garden will be open from 9-11 AM those days with displays in the front yard. All humans over the age of three are welcome. There will be a tour both days from 9:00 AM to noon. If you want to open your garden at one or both of those times, let me know. Already I have two volunteers for both dates, but we are glad for many.

My Hakurei turnips have germinated. Spring is exciting! I doubt that we will have a blizzard again, but I do expect frost (incredible to contemplate today) so my dozen tomato plants are protected by
wall-of-waters. I have also planted out my pac choi along the fence to defend peas against woodchucks. I put arugula (which the woodchucks disdain) with my broccoli in the hope of harvesting some of the latter this year. Here's hoping we all have good harvests, eaten by humans!


No comments: