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The change to Daylight Savings Time is the starting gun for early gardeners! The extra hour of evening daylight means more time out there after work. This year the weather is cooperating, and I am in gardening heaven right now.

 Here is what I have been up to this past week:

In honor of daylight savings time I unzipped the main vegetable garden. Unzipping is:

  1. Taking the hay off the sides of the beds (in the fall when I layered, I stacked flakes of hay along the west edges of the beds. I am happy to report that they kept the wind from blowing off all the layers).
  2. Taking the frost blanket off the overwintering greens (spinach, kale). They made it through the winter but the outer leaves were tough and gnarly. I pulled off all the old stuff and the new growth is looking mighty good).
  3. Pulling the hay off overwintering carrot seed, garlic, walking onions and spring onions. No sign of carrots yet, but the garlic and spring onions are doing great. Each year I also find onions that either didn’t come up the previous spring or I overlooked harvesting them. Know they are growing, and these second year onions are fabulous…very strong and great with early cabbage. Also, I found a cilantro plant that overwintered under the hay…what a great find.

Garlic (fall-planted)

Spring Onion

I harvested! I love to say that at this time of year. I picked spring onions and some of the overwintered greens. What a treat. My spring onions are always the first.

Spring Onion

I planted!  I found a kit at Home Depot that included Italian, Silver Rose and CA White garlic; shallo

ts;   horseradish root; and onions sets. I put out all the garlic (normally planted in the fall but early spring is fine too,) horseradish root, shallots, and some of the onion sets.

I also planted peas. I put parsnips out in the garden, between the garlic. The garlic will come out in July and the parsnips will go through frost.

Holes for garlic cloves

I divided my rhubarb and moved it to a location with more elbow room.

I moved some mint to an old wheelbarrow that is now a planter. The mint in the ground got way out of control, and am now trying to kill it off.

Planted indoors,  in the Aero Garden the following:

  1. Tomatoes for our Master Gardener demo greenhouse
  2. Tomatoes for my garden (San Marzano, Roma)
  3. Fingerling eggplant
  4. Dahlia, lupine, and rudbeckia seed

Planted under regular grow light (Jump Start System)

  1. Kale (Nero di Toscana from last year)
  2. Spinach (Bordeaux from last year)
  3. Celeriac, Root Parsley, and Leeks
  4. Cabbage Babies

AeroGrow with special seed starting tray

   Close-up, seed starting tray

AeroGrows on top of Jump Start lights

Hay Bale Greenhouse

Saturday morning I found 8 bales of hay  out back . It felt like the Easter Bunny had come early. A friend dropped them off while I      was away. What a nice surprise. So, I completed the hay bale greenhouse, and I planted peas and radish. Below is a photo, without cover

      Hay Bale Greenhouse uncovered

 More Beds, More Manure Hauling

I creating new flower and veggie beds inside my fenced back yard. I will plant tomatoes out there, along the fence line. I am thinking that I will be able to cover/protect them better. Tomatoes need a bit more heat that they get naturally so I will experiment with covers, frost blankets.

 Watering

Sounds crazy, but I have been watering the freshly layered beds. Outside the conditions are extremely dry (15% humidity a couple of days last week). Today the wind kicked up. The overhead sprinkling keeps the layers in place.

 WORMS!!

I finally decided to set up a vermicomposting system. I  am creating my own containers/beds from medium-sized storage bins. I ordered red wigglers through Amazon and am waiting for their arrival. More on that when they get here and I get set up.

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