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Polytunnels and Cold Frames

The week of March 4th we planted our cold frame vessel with arugula, endive, maché, spinach and onions along with a centre row of onions in our polytunnel.

The first day of Spring – March 20th, the germination of these seedlings are coming to life in our cold frame vessel and our action plan for this week is to succession plant a row of pak choy and a row of mustard greens on each side of our onions that were already planted in our polytunnel.

Pak Choy is another quick growing green and is a member of the mustard family which is very nutritious. It can also be interplanted with transplant plugs of other member of the brassica family outdoors in late April.  Pak Choy is a good choice to direct sow in a cold frame or polytunnel approximately 8 weeks prior to the last spring frost and direct sow in your garden 4 weeks prior to the last spring frost.

Mustard greens, preferring cooler weather can tolerate seasonal hot temperatures but are best grown in cool temperate climates and is also easy to grow.  You can grow outdoors in your garden vessel or interplant accordingly with other members of the brassica family 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost.  The mustard greens tender and young leaves are great for adding to salads and are known for their spicy flavour and is excellent in stir fries.

Although these 2 crops are easy to grow, the downside to them is that they will attract a range of brassica pests such as flea beetle, cabbage worm and slugs so you may need to use a protective barrier when planted outside until they fully mature. These 2 leafy greens are both rapid growing and are considered Asian Greens.

Not only is it unbelievable to most that not only early spring sowing of salad greens is practiced in mid to late February and into March but as well we are still harvesting winter carrots and leeks from last years’ succession sowing in the fall. Will enjoy 3 or more leek and potato soup meals from this harvest.

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