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Salad Jumpstart

 

The last week in February, we spoke about preparing our soil in our mini polytunnel and cold frame vessels located in our unheated greenhouse to plant some cold tolerant greens.

After observing that our soil temperature was above freezing, our action plan for the first week in March is to direct sow arugula, endive, maché, spinach and onions in our cold frame and a direct sowing of onions in our polytunnel vessel.

Our succession planting of these greens will keep us with salad right into late spring or early summer when most gardeners’ are getting ready to plant their vegetable crops.

Arugula is easy and quick to grow and you should enjoy this within a month after sowing and when the daytime temperature rises between 35 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can direct sow them into your outside garden beds.

Our heirloom batavian endive is a cool weather tolerant bitter green that can also be direct sown in the garden 3 or 4 weeks prior to the last spring frost.

Maché is also known as corn salad or lamb’s lettuce and has a mild nutty flavour and is known as a popular cold hearty salad green for winter gardens.

Along with these 3 varieties of leafy greens, we will intercrop our heirloom bunching onions that are excellent in salads.

With the unusual fluctuation and rising mild temperatures predicted for second week in March we will need to monitor carefully the moisture and ventilation to prevent fungal issues that could arise within the vessels and to especially keep our cold tolerant greens healthy.

Since our overall current state and progress of our seedlings are doing well, part two of our action plan this week is to pot up our grow plugs of kale, spinach, lavender and geraniums that will be hardened off and transplanted directly to the garden. The kale and spinach will get a head start in the garden because they are cold tolerant and the lavender and geraniums will be planted after the last frost.

Our lavender is not only beautiful and has a pleasant aroma but will be used as an excellent pest repellant for our garden and will repel moths, and fleas. Other plants intercropped near our lavender will benefit with the protection from white flies.