This weekend the weather was wild– yet totally perfect for cool season gardening. I know May 15th is the last frost date and thus a time when lots of us wait eagerly to beginning our gardening…but for me so much gardening happens before all that. I have been growing starts in the green house since February. With the increasing light they have been growing like crazy and so I have started hardening them off and of course make more room for warmer season starts!
Hardening off basically means taking the flats outside everyday to a partially sunny/partially shady table to get them used to wind, cold and even a little rain. I still take them in at night and in one week they have gone from floppy green to strong upright little fellows. This weekend I spent hours in the garden and tucked tons of these little guys into the cool ground.
I know that a plant is ready to go out when the little white roots start to poke out of the bottom of the pot…
If you wait too long, they will become root bound, and be a bit stunted, but if done right the plants actually seem to like the residence of a pot and when transplanted some feeder roots will die back and regenerate a bit stronger.
The perfect conditions help too…moist earth, cloudy skies and of course it is lovely if they get rained on just after planting…yes we had the perfect weather this weekend and now my garden is full full full. I planted most things among what I planted either last fall or earlier in the year and now I have a continuous stream of greens.
Everything is still covered with row cover, mostly to reduce watering– the wind dries stuff out so much, but as of now I only water once a week. Soon unveiling more often would be good, but until I turn on the irrigation in a month I just open, harvest, water and button back up until next week.
All we can do now is wait and see what the season will bring.