Spring is here, perhaps a little early for our area. Today the temperature climbed into the 60′s. This is very unusual for this time of year at this elevation. The Homeowner’s Association where we live has already instituted a fire ban for the entire Association, and may not lift it until next fall if we do not get any more significant moisture. All that aside, it is a perfect time to experiment with planting some cool season crops that might do well up here. We are supposed to get some rain/snow tomorrow evening into Monday, so that will water the seed in since it’s too early to get water into the tank.
So today in the main garden bed, I planted two types of broccoli, Waltham 29 and Calabrese. The Waltham 29 is considered the standard in open-pollinated broccoli varieties and is supposed to produce 6″ heads on 20″ tall stocky plants. The Calabrese variety is know for producing side shoots after the main head is harvested. In addition to regular broccoli, I planted some broccoli raab or rapini. This is a traditional italian specialty with much smaller heads and a more distinct flavor than regular broccoli. I am not sure if these will be critter resistant or not, but as I’ve said before, it’s all an experiment up here.
Also planted were swiss chard, both five color silverbeet and fordhook. The five color produces stems that are yellow, red, orange, pink and white. The fordhook variety produces on white stems. Because cabbage is a cool season crop I planted some pak choi (bok choi) chinese cabbage. This variety is wonderful in stir frys and adds a lot of flavor to salads if picked young. In another smaller bed, I planted onion seeds. These were given to me by a friend and I can’t remember the variety name, but they are yellow onions, suitable for our area.
Yesterday I also planted all the seeds for the warm season vegetables in plug trays in the greenhouse. These should be ready to plant out in the garden by mid-May or the first of June. I just have to say that I do love gardening and being outside on a day like today really feels nice. If you live in an area where you can start planting cool season crops, now is the time to do it.