A New Season of Gardening: March 10

It’s been a wetter and colder February than normal, so this past Sunday, March 10, was the first opportunity to get out into the garden this year. That’s about 3 weeks behind last year. Here’s a few notes from the work Sunday.

Even though it was wet with consistent rain the last couple of weeks, the soil was still pretty workable. Only one spot on the west side of the tomato bed was a little wet to work.

The soil temp in the unprotected raised beds was 40 degrees at the surface. I had put down clear plastic over the tomato bed the Sunday before. The temperature under the sheet was 42 degrees. Bed 1 had Agribon 19 laid directly on it to protect the over wintering kale and corn mache. The soil temperature was 50 degrees under the row cover.

The outer leaves of the kale were frost burned, but the inner leaves were already recovering. Hopefully it will give me a jump start on harvesting kale. The corn mache was ready to harvest, having overwintered. It produced 8 oz’s after cleaning. It was a nice addition to the store bought salad greens for lunch today!

In bed 1 and the tomato bed, I added a couple of Za’s cups worth of the Epsoma 3-4-4 fertilizer, a half cup of pelleted lime and a quarter cup each of the other two lime, and a cup of 0-10-0 bone meal. I used the broadfork with 10″ tines to loosen the soil in each bed. I planted the Johnny Seeds spring green manure, raked it in loosely, then added about 3/4″ of compost on top. On the tomato bed I replaced the straw that was already there. In bed 1 I setup the hoop house with Agribon 19. I left 1/3rd of bed 1 unplanted for a transplant of kale next to the overwintered kale that was there. I’ll turn the spring green manure under around April 7, which would allow me to transplant in the bed around April 28. That’s about a week later than I planted last year.

I cleaned out the bit of rye that overwintered in bed 4 where the lettuce and spinach will be transplanted this coming Friday, weather permitting. I put the hoop house over the bed.

I used the stirrup hoe to cut the tops from the the fall green manure planted in bed 3. I then added same mix of Epsoma, lime, and bone meal before turning under the remainder of the fall green manure. After raking I pulled back the top soil to create trenches and mounds in advance of planting potatoes.


About mwolske

I'm a Senior Research Scientist in Community Informatics at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois.
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