Contented Acres Produce

  (Gustine, California)
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Spring Gardening

Most of the spring garden is sowed in winter in these parts, but there are still some quick growing crops that can be sowed right now! Turnips, radishes and beets will grow quickly if direct sowed into moist soil. And if you just can't wait for the roots to form you can eat some of the tender tops while you wait.

Snap peas or shelling peas will be a gamble. Hot days in May will make them mature quickly and all at once, but our wet late winter gave us little choice. Get them in ASAP if you still want to give them a try.

Cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and cauliflower need more time before harvest. If you have some started in flats or pots plant them out once they have four true leaves. If not, find starts at a good nursery and give it a go. They'll need about 80-90 days from transplant so act quickly.

Sunny days make it tempting to set out summer veggies, but we still have a good chance of frost until after April 1. If you want to gamble, set a few plants out under plastic covers. Cut the bottom from a plastic milk jug. Or invert a plastic bucket over the whole plant. Just be aware that even at outside temperatures under 80 the sun can make an oven out of an unvented cover.

My early tomatoes and peppers still need about two more weeks in the greenhouse which hopefully will be just about perfect timing.

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