Spring Planting Begins

This week I got the first of the spring crops in the ground in one of the beds behind the greenhouse. After pulling a few weeds, I amended the soil with compost and some organic fertilizer and forked it in lightly to incorporate. Back in February I started a few curly kale plants, including Starbor and Winterbor which are two of my favorites for spring planting. They are ready to plant, and should make edible leaves in a month or less.

kale plants ready to be set out

This bed is four foot square, and I managed to get a dozen kale plants set out with ample room between the plants. So much room in fact, I interplanted them with radish seedlings. Lettuce would also work for an intensive planting like this, but I already have lots of lettuce growing in the greenhouse. The radishes will size up and get pulled before the kale plants need the space. I interplanted radishes last year with kohlrabi, and they did quite well.

bed after planting

kale plant

I got the idea for starting the seeds indoors from Steve Richards (Steve’s Seaside Life) who has LOTS of good ideas and videos on his website. About three weeks ago I sowed three or four radish seeds per hole in a Pro-Tray 38 cell flat, and planted all the seedlings in each hole without thinning. This time I sowed seeds for Celesta, Roxanne and Bacchus, which should all mature fairly quickly.

radish seedlings

After planting and giving all the plants a drink of water, I covered the bed with bird netting. That should protect them from deer and other mammals as well as birds. I also spread some Sluggo Plus to help keep the slugs from eating everything first. The netting is secured with clothespins to sections of PVC pipe I have bent and stuck into the ground. It’s not an elegant solution, but it works! The netting can be lifted up when harvesting.

bed with bird netting

Next up in my planting schedule will be kohlrabi, in another bed behind the greenhouse. Then it will be time to plant the spring brassicas in the main vegetable garden. It’s a busy time of year here, but one I always look forward to after winter has loosened its grip on us. I hope you have enjoyed this update on the happenings from Happy Acres!

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