The other day on facebook I commented on how I have my peas planted, and how my radishes and turnips are coming up. I was surprised to get comments of "Boy you are early!" "Wow.. .that's might early". I often have things in the garden at this time of year. I don't always tell people, but this year it surprised me at how many people commented on the earliness.
Hubby, in answer to my surprise said "but hun, you have raised beds.. it makes all the difference".
So know you what predicated this post. :) Be prepared to get some early gardening advice.
Once the weeds started growing I knew the soil was warm enough. I planted cold weather seeds such as spinach, radish, turnip and the like and then let the boards stay up until the seeds sprouted.
Now the boards stay off and I just watch for frost warnings. I picked up some inexpensive frost cover at the local dollarama.
(guess what I got to do?)
Yes..you nailed.. I got to plant seeds that I wasn't anticipating planting today. :)
I planted: more spinach, swiss chard, lettuce (two kinds), mustard greens, and Salad greens. This is all for the bunnies except for what we steal for our own table.
In my raised beds I plant close together, usually about 6-8 inches, but some plants simply don't do well with that type of spacing. Those plants have short beds that they don't need to share. :) I planted the whole package of zucchini which we DEFINITELY don't need but they will hopefully come up and then my son can sell them to raise some dollars. :) We'll market them to the various homeschool groups around. I certainly felt stupid getting the seeds wet so hopefully that didn't ruin them.
I keep a thin piece of plywood next to my short boxes so I can cover plants as they start to come up to protect them from frost damage.
1. It helps to keep the grounded shaded so they don't dry out as fast. The nemesis of raised gardens is they dry out quickly.
2. It helps shade the ground so weeds don't grow as persistently because there is no room for them to spread their roots.
1. they are MUCH easier to work and it's easier to work up one section at a time. This keeps the job from being overwhelming.
2. It's easier to rotate what is going where.
3. If you get a diseased patch of dirt (it happens). It's easy enough to spread that batch of bad dirt over the lawn, which gets rid of dips and divots in your lawn.
4. Lack of persistent weeds. Twitch grass is SO not a problem in my gardens.
5. Adding growing room is not difficult. You can use a hoop cage, screw in support poles and hang twine down for plants to grow up, or you can even build up (as in the case of layering potatoes)...
6. It gets me started earlier growing plants for the bunnies. They adore my parsely/cilantro patch and have eaten from it twice already. I have some clover, plantain and dandelions mixed in the patch as well.
Here in Ontario, where the season can be shorter than one wants, having raised beds helps me to extend the time I can garden and to take advantage of the cool weather crops by planting early.
Do you have anything special that you do when you garden?