Every Spring, or almost Spring, and that means as soon as I can have any reason to start my seeds, I prep trays of six packs with Black Gold soil mix and start popping seeds into their little holes. I planted a bunch a couple of weeks ago and I planted some last week – now I got cole seedlings pushing right up – cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage. Don’t you love cauliflower? I mean, I really like cauliflower! And I was pretty well prepped for that first seed more than a month ago when I ordered my new seeds – this year I used Johnny’s Seeds, but Territorial Seeds and Peaceful Valley Supply are a couple of other sources I have used heavily. But, look around, and see what you can find. One year I wanted to go all Italian and all purple and I did find a Italian seed supplier that gave me a beautiful purple garden. I just can’t remember their name. You know, I always feel like I am taking a chance when I plant my seeds – fresh seeds seldom will fail you – but, somehow, I just feel this sense of adventure. I started ‘em; and when I harvest ‘em, all that good food will be my doing. I just don’t trust corporate food – they don’t care about me, but just about making a buck. I know that my family is getting good, clean food if I grow it.
I had virgin oak savanna meadow soil last year and since then I have tilled my garden rows several times. I added lots of compost too. This fall I planted a fava bean cover crop down each row and before the beans podded up, I cut them down in place. Legumes like fava fix nitrogen and create a substanial root mass – both these things help to prep my soil. Its actually very cool; you can see little balls of nitrogen attached to the roots if you pull a plant up. I plan to use hoops (concrete wire) and plastic on my beds to give things an extra start (and to protect them against the crows). I will use hoops up behind my house as well. My home is built into a hillside so that the flat roof lines up with the ground and the hill behind has been terraced. I have turned two of the terraces into vegetable beds. That’s where I plan to put my first covered lettuce.
And, now, its raining so hard that I can’t plant anything.