Thursday, March 24, 2011

sowing seeds & spotting turkeys

The first round of lettuce, carrots, and Swiss Chard seeds are planted! I’m eager to see how they perform, my goal is to have several months of salads right from the garden. All in all, it was an extremely productive weekend in the garden; I even pruned up the euonymus hedge and cut back my large butterfly bush considerably.

The lettuce I planted is the Black Seeded Simpson Variety which is known as a fast lettuce that withstands some frost, heat, and draught; it also bolts late. Mature at 40 days (April 29th), this variety can be harvested as early as 3 weeks (April 10th). The last sowing should occur 2 weeks before the last frost (October 1st).

An heirloom carrot, Scarlet Nantes is prized for its sweet flavor, crisp texture, and ease of growth in more challenging soils. Maturing at 65 days (May 24th), this variety can be planted up until the end July for fall harvest. I plan to plant several rounds of the carrots as well, space permitting.

Reading through Alton Brown’s cookbook, Good Eats 2, I discovered that Swiss Chard is actually in the beet family, though it is grown exclusively for its colorful, flavorful foliage. My row will be ready in 52 days (May 11th) and can be re-seeded up to 2 months before the first frost, or the middle of August.

One morning this week we had the most surprising visitors walking through the neighborhood...wild turkeys! They were really beautiful, and quite large. I'm feeling more like an urban farmer all the time.

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