Musings of Spring
This has been one of the most unusual Springs I can remember. Taken as a whole, the weather has been rather cool and wet, which has set back planting tender annuals by a couple of weeks. Luckily we have been able to utilize the greenhouse to start many crops in our row flats.
Row flats are used by commercial greenhouses, and they aid us in germinating cool season crops such as: Spinach, Parsley, Sweet Alyssum, etc. As long as things are hardened off and planted in a timely manner, the crops thrive. This often means waiting for a window to get them into the ground – pronto! Direct sowing of these into the garden can often be interrupted by heavy rains, animals and birds, etc.
Here a few photos of the Spring Vegetable plantings. Potatoes, which have sprouted — normally go in the ground April 15. Planting dates are staggered by using different varieties and planting dates. One variety we like is ‘Purple Viking’, whose compact habit fits well into our beds.
Magenta Spreen is a beautiful edible green which we like to sprinkle around for color. It is also a favorite snack of the hen flock and great in smoothies. Beware, don’t let it go to seed in the garden!
Linaria, or Toadflax, is a miniature Snapdragon relative which is wonderful in Spring pots. It comes in a wide array of colors, but doesn’t like the heat.
Aphids, a nemesis in the Spring greenhouse, are kept in check naturally by predators. If you happen to see these brown tiny spheres on your leaves, these are aphids which have been parasitized by a tiny wasp. If you look closely, you can often see an exit hole where the newly emerged wasp has emerged to parasitize more aphids or other insects. When you apply pesticides in the greenhouse, it kills indiscriminately, just as it does in the natural environment.