Monday, February 21, 2011
Mid to late February is the official start of the seeding season.. As year round gardeners, we do end up sowing seed - directly in the garden, cold frames or indoors under our grow lights pretty much continually from late February until October - but the next 6 weeks are the busiest! There are artichokes to be seeded (I'm running a bit late!), onions, celery, celeriac, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and so much more.. Plus, now that the days are longer and beginning to show signs of warming up, it's time to start seeding in the cold frames as well.
At this point, there are plenty of empty spaces in the frames from ongoing winter harvests and we can now fill those in with a wide variety of seed - arugula (regular and rustic), mache, claytonia, spinach, lettuce, mizuna, endive and so on. In early March, I'll start seeding more carrots in the frames, even as we continue to eat the ones sown last August. In mid-March, the first seed potatoes can be tucked into the frames too for a late May harvest of tender, baby nuggets! Ah, it's all so exciting!
These are photos from last year in late winter and early spring. As you can see, there was a mix of crops including salad greens, beets, purple pak choi and more. At this point, we're also still enjoying our herbs that are in the frames - thyme, parsley and chervil.
Recently, someone asked me if they could grow mint all winter long in a cold frame.. Although I think that it is likely, I can pretty much guarantee that if you planted mint in your cold frame, that is all you'll ever be able to grow there! It's so invasive, that we located (as I mentioned in a recent post) our mint patch several hundred yards from our veggie garden. When I was a teenager and bought my first mint plant (curly mint), I planted the small sprig between my delphiniums at our cottage.. it looked so small, who knew it would cause such mayhem! Within a year, that garden bed was completely overrun with the mint and it was even spilling onto the pathways (at least it smelled good when we walked upon it!). Although I tried to pull it out, it just kept growing back and even today, that garden still contains large clumps of curly mint. Live and learn!
On that note, I think I should start to get out my seed starting supplies and begin organizing them for the big seeding this week!