Garden Update: Starting Seedlings and What’s Come Back

We’ve been doing a ton of work starting to establish our veggies and herbs for the year! Here’s what we’ve got in the ground and what’s almost ready to plant …

We bought the cold frames above so that we could place them in our garden beds to nurture seedlings and start planting. It’s worked great so far.

Here are lettuces planted three weeks ago under a cold frame. They’ve more than doubled in size. We spaced them this way to give them plenty of room to grow, but also so that we could put our seedlings under the cold frame, keeping them warm in the cold weather we’ve been having so far this spring (it’s rarely gotten over 60 degrees).

The seedlings you see here are frisee, beets and shishito peppers.

In the next bed, we planted radishes. These are cold hardy and grow quickly, so we rotate them in waves during the summer so that we don’t have 50 radishes all ripening at the same time! These are French breakfast and watermelon radishes. We also planted mache greens, which haven’t started peeking out yet. Fingers crossed!

Under the second cold frame we have seedlings as well. The pumpkin seedlings have gotten giant and we’re going to need to find a new home for them soon! We also have broccoli, cauliflower, sorrel and kale incubating here.

Finally we planted sugar snap peas and sugar magnolia snap peas. These are cold hardy and grow quickly. When it’s sunny you can practically see them getting taller in real time.

Indoors we’re starting some shishito and padron peppers. We’ll see how they do but they’ve been slow to grow – possibly because even inside it isn’t quite warm enough for them yet. The fact that it’s been cloudy in Massachusetts for pretty much all of April hasn’t helped anything!

Finally, a few things have returned on their own. Behind the peas you see above we have arugula and chives that have come back for the last several years.

And in the pasture, our kale is already roaring back and some is even ready to eat! Last year we were overwhelmed with kale, which produces non-stop. The only difficult things was keeping the grass at bay (the bed is in a field, so this is a constant battle) and keeping the bugs off of it. The kale required spraying every week to stop the caterpillars from eating it all. But the caterpillars have yet to arrive and it has been so rainy that spraying wouldn’t have made a difference anyhow!

We’re hoping the rain stops and the weather warms enough soon to allow us to move our seedlings. But no matter what, we’re looking at a lot of vegetables this summer!