Good morning – Just wanted to let you know that my book, From Seed to Table, is available for free download on Kindle today through Sunday, March 13.
This book is a compilation of my blog posts about gardening, harvesting, and preserving vegetables. It’s full of recipes and organized by the season. If you don’t have your copy, now’s the time to get it.
I haven’t been posting about gardening much in the past few years because we’ve been in transition and moving. But this month, my husband–the real gardener in our family–is building raised beds on the side of our North Carolina hill, foothill, mountain, and I’ll be posting his progress as he begins our new garden journey.
Here’s an excerpt From Seed to Table:
Most years by the end of March, the seedlings are growing; onions and garlic are in the ground; spinach, lettuce, and cole plants await placement once the soil is workable. During the second week of March, Robert begins covering the areas of the garden with plastic sheets where he’ll plant first to protect the soil from the late winter/early spring snow and rain. The soil needs to be dry when he begins turning it over and readying it for planting.
Since there’s still a chance for frost or a freeze, we watch the weather each evening and keep the Reemay® near to cover the onions, if necessary. It’s a time of growth, but it’s a tender and tenuous time as well.
From Living Lightly blog – April 2, 2013
The spring of 2013 is late in coming to western Pennsylvania and other parts of the Midwest and Northeast. Spring sprung on the calendar more than ten days ago, yet the cold temperatures stymied our gardening plans. Seeds sprouted a month ago are now seedlings growing under lights in our family room.
I can tell they are yearning, as we are, for the warmer days and nights of spring, for the sunshine to heat the earth, and for soil large enough to spread their roots.
The onions should be in the ground by now or at the very least, they should be outside getting sunlight for a portion of the day. My husband has been putting them out for brief periods, but the temperatures are still too cold for any type of sustained sun bathing.
The soil for spinach needs preparation. They’ll be ready to go into the ground as soon as the weather cooperates. If spinach is started indoors about a month before transplanting into the garden, the harvest will triple or quadruple, and huge succulent leaves will grow before the plants go to flower in June. Any plants grown indoors need to be slowly exposed to direct sunlight for a few days with minimal mid-day sun during the early spring.
The peas have been most affected by the cold weather of spring 2013. My husband worried for weeks that he wouldn’t be able to get the sprouts in the ground in a timely manner. He sprouts seeds on an old cookie sheet and covers them with several layers of damp paper towel. He has one tray all ready to plant, which he intended to do this past weekend. Then we heard the weather report for the first week of April: nighttime temperatures hitting the low to mid-20s. He said he’d put them in the ground even with predictions of high twenty temperatures, but 25 degrees is too low. He sprouted another set this past week because he’s fairly certain the ones already sprouted won’t last until he can put them in the
ground. He put the tray in the basement, hoping to slow down the process.
We’re learning to be flexible with the unpredictable weather patterns of recent years. It’s not always easy, especially when we’re as eager for the warmer temperatures as the plants stretching for light right before our eyes.
If you prefer reading the paperback, click here. It’s $7.99 on Amazon.
Thank you and happy gardening. Would love to hear what’s popping at your house!