Sunday, March 11, 2012

Early starters in the garden

There are some vegetables that are not as easily affected by cold weather. Some people even sow the seeds in late fall, ready for spring to get an early start on garden vegetables. Lettuce is one of these crops, it thrives in cool weather. As soon as the ground can be worked, you can seed the crops that I'm going to talk about today. My favorite by far for lettuce is called "Prizehead Leaf lettuce". It is a read tinged lettuce and grows like mad! I love the taste of it and I love how it washes up easily! It has a far better taste than romaine. When it goes to seed, you can harvest the ripe seed and easily seed it into your garden year after year. Spinach is another hardy variety that thrives in cool weather. The only thing is that it bolts easily (goes into seed) and then it is harder to wash. Last year, I came across this really cool variety of Spinach called Perpetual Spinach. It looks like Chard but tastes like spinach and doesn't bolt and washes easily. I'm never going back to the old kind! Ever! Radishes are another crop that can be started early. This year, I am trying an old radish variety called German Giant. I have always sown the Cherry Belles but they bolt super easy. I have had trouble with bolting radishes once the spring warms up and this variety says that it can grow to the size of baseballs and not go woody! Sounds good to me! I also like to start my Swiss Chard early, as it is a heavy producer, I only have 4 feet of seed sown. Swiss Chard grows all summer and into late fall when only a heavy frost will do it in. Now is the time to pick up your garden seeds for this season as some of the more popular varieties disappear fast!

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