April Showers

coldframe2seedstarting 012We are getting a lot of rain in southern Wisconsin today. I prefer the liquid variety of water to the frozen kind at this time of year. Yesterday, I planted my cold frames with four different cut-and-come-again seed mixtures: a salad mix that was mostly lettuces, a generic mesclun mix, and Asian baby green and French market garden mixes. I had been keeping an eye on the weather, watching for warming temps and moisture.

coldframe2seedstarting 008My cold frames are on the south side of the house, and the greens will germinate under pretty cold soil conditions (as low as 40F for lettuce and 45F for cabbage) as long as they are well-drained. I divided the contents of my worm bin between the two beds. (I won’t reseed the worm bins with red wiggler bait worms until tomato planting time.) My husband dug the worm compost in, and I picked out any sticks or twigs and smoothed the bed. Using the blade of a plastic kid’s snow shovel, I made rows, dropped in the seed, marked the sections, and patted soil back into place. It took about 15 minutes if you don’t count the time I spent visiting with a neighbor.

The cold frames are the first outside garden beds I plant each year. They don’t produce the first food that I harvest (that award goes to the dandelions and the Egyptian onions), but there is something about the experience of putting seed into sun-warmed soil for the first time after a long winter that makes it the high point of my gardening year. Have you planted any seeds yet? BegoniaIMG_0220

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2 Responses to April Showers

  1. Amber says:

    I, too, am in rainy southern Wisconsin. Today I planted most of the seeds and bulbs I plan to have this year. Normally, I have them started in late March, but with how nasty this Spring has been, I kept putting it off. I think we’ll have a late enough frost that everything can sprout and grow a bit inside first. I’ll probably pick up some plants from the garden centers around here later in Spring to fill in gaps, too.

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