4.8.12 First plantings

We’ve been waiting for the soil to warm up to 50°F — the minimum temperature at which we attempt to start seeds — before direct seeding the first Spring crop. Another  sign we watch for is when the dandelions show, a good indicator of soil rather than air temperature.


Peas and favas went into hoop-covered beds, the rest into these cold frames.

• Peas: Green Arrow (Fedco + saved seed)
• Favas: Cascine (SI), Aguadulce S. Simonia (SI), SuperAguadulce (Franchi)
• Kale: Siberian (HMS), Red Russian (HMS)
• Chard: Rainbow Mix (HMS)
• Lettuce: Winter Lettuce Mix (Fedco), Gourmet Lettuce Mix (HMS), Gourmet Baby Greens (BI)
• Arugula: Ice-Bred (Fedco), Rocket (Fedco)
• Radish: Valentine’s Day Mix (HMS)
• Raab: Spring Broccoli Raab (HMS), Cima di Rapa Quarantina (Franchi)
• Chicory: Catalogna Emerald Endive (HMS), Misticanza (Franchi)

Green Arrow pea seeds saved from last season.

We start peas and favas when the crocuses come up. We’re trying three different favas this year, all from Seeds from ItalyLeft to right: Cascine, Aguadulce S. Somonia, and Superaguadulce. They promise to be more flavorful than the Windsor variety we’ve grown in the past.

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14 Responses to 4.8.12 First plantings

  1. Rick says:

    It’s a fun time of year! We too have just gotten started on planting our spring crops. The peas are in and the onions and some early potatoes!

  2. Nice seed collection. I love the blue background on your seed photos.

  3. maryhysong says:

    You will love the Misticanza; that’s the main lettuce mix I planted all winter. When things started heating up and the overwintered beds turned bitter I’ve left them for seed. One bed I let it all go, the other bed I pulled out most of the green plants because I want more of the red ones in my mix. I’m going to try favas in the fall.

  4. Norma Chang says:

    I have never grown fava may be I will try them next year.

  5. Liz says:

    I need to plant my broad beans soon too – although I don’t want to pull out the eggplants which are currently occupying the place they will take in the beds. Ahh the dilemmas of gardening.

    • leduesorelle says:

      I’ve been looking at ideas for vertical growing, most of which are solutions for urban environments, but seem just as applicable elsewhere since I’ve yet to meet a gardener who thought they had enough space!

  6. kitsapfg says:

    Its amazing how things suddenly are ready for new growth and with good timing the garden just springs to life. I hope all your plantings grow well for you.

    • leduesorelle says:

      Thanks! There are so many mixed signals this spring, it makes it difficult to hold off planting but you’re right about timing!

  7. Your soil thermometer reminds me of my visit to Jekka McVicar’ herb farm the other day…she informed us of her tried and tested method to check whether the soil was warm enough for sowing seeds for herbs was to drop her trousers and ‘undergarments’ and sit on the soil. If it was too uncomfortably cold to sit on then it wasn’t…she did say to make sure the neighbours weren’t about before carrying out said procedure…I think I would prefer to use a thermometer…my neighbours already have enough to talk about!!

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