Sunday, March 16, 2014

Garden Rhythm - Time to plant the peas and lettuce!

For those of you who have been asking me to help with the rhythm of the garden, this blog is for you!

But only if you live in the Front Range of Colorado.

Weather has the place of pride for impact on your garden.  Check with you local Extension Agent at you nearest State College for gardening tips in your area. They are usually very knowledgeable and eager to help.  They will also usually have a soil test kit that is well worth the time and money to have done on your garden plot.  Hone up your Google-fu!

I've looked at the predictions from my local weather persons, consulted the winter coat on my horse (shedding started about 2 weeks ago), and well, darn it, it's just time to get out in the garden!

Today I am prepping to plant tomorrow.

Prep needed:

1.  Soak the peas and lettuce seeds in water over-night

2.  Cut back the dead plants, pull weeds (I know - already!!!!)

3.  Loosen/till the soil

4.  Pre-water if needed.

You will notice a lot of focus on water in my gardening blogs.  Between the sun and the wind, any soil moisture can be fleeting.

Tip:  To test for soil moisture, dig down to where you expect roots to be.  2 - 4 inches to begin with, deeper later (if you've done it right)  Scoop out a handful of soil and squeeze it.  If it stays in a nice ball, that is good for now.  If it leaks water, too much water; if it falls apart - it's time to water NOW.

Peas and lettuce planted in March generally give a LOT more produce as they are cold weather fans.  Try it, you will be amazed.

Soaking the seeds helps to soften the outer protective coat.  If I'm in a big rush for the seed to sprout, I will actually sprout the seeds before I plant.  If you do this, you must be vigilant with your watering or the sprouts will die.  But it can give you a good jump on the germination time.

But I'm just going to soak over night this year.

I am healing from a back injury so I am going to try a low-till method this year.  I know that weed seeds sit on the surface in large numbers.  When we dig them in, they are all happy.  I am going to try doing minimal soil disturbing to see if that helps reduce the weeds.

Using drip irrigation also helps reduce weeds.  Only water where there are plants.  The weeds will not flourish.  After I clear the top of the soil, I will scratch in rows where the peas will be planted.  I will water that row well to make sure there is good soil moisture.  The drip is not running yet so watering has to be done by hand.

Peas like the innoculant that helps them fix nitrogen from both the soil and the air.  Here is a Wiki link for some more technical info:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbial_inoculant

Look for the PEA innoculant, there is also on for beans.

Pictures after I get the planting done!

Get out there and get gardening!

Link to the Second Blog in this series (with lots of pictures!):
http://foxryde.blogspot.com/2014/03/garden-rhythm-planting-peas-and-lettuce.html


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