Lettuce, Chard, Cilantro in Bed 0

Lettuce, Chard, Cilantro in Bed 0

Today was the first day of the OAEC Spring Plant Sale. I could not resist getting a jump on Spring planting. Actually, I had hoped they’d have sweet peas and spinach. All they had were snow peas, which I don’t really like. I have no idea why it’s been so hard to find real edible (not decorative) sweet  pea starts this year. I’ll have to sow my own, although most of last year’s crop had to be trashed due to some unidentified bug that is born inside the dried sweet pea, and eats its way out, once it’s an adult, leaving a hole in the pea. What they DID have were lettuce starts, chard, and cilantro. So, I purchased these and immediately transplanted them into the remaining fallow portion of Bed 0 (behind are the cereal rye, planted as a Fall cover crop). The irony is, that the cereal rye (and other fall grain “cover crops”, like wheat and oats) don’t actually mature until late summer, so, if you let your cover crops mature, you’ve lost your sping/summer growing season! To my credit, I single-dug the last 20 or so sq. ft. of Bed 0, amended it with 2 x 5 gal. buckets of our wonderful, home-made compost, and transplanted

  1. Six butter lettuce starts (back row)
  2. Six Romaine lettuce starts (closer to the camera)
  3. Two rows of six chard plants (two varieties, Rainbow & forgot the other one)
  4. Closest row are six cilantro starts

I learned something: Chard are biennial, just like carrots, parsnips, curly-leaved parsley.  Today (4/11/2010) it’s raining, which is superb for the plants. That’s also the artifact you see on the picture: raindrops on the camera lens.

Since this is a shady bed, these crops ought to do well in this Bed, unlike green beans or tomatoes, which require long hours of sun each day.

Left to do: You guessed it! Bird-netting!!!