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Spring Garden Startup

It's starting to warm up. I'm getting that itch to go out and get the garden ready. I know that it is still a bit early being late March in WI. So...for now just surveying what will need to be done. Lots of cleanup first of all. I'll start slowly but try to wait. We still have a month of cold nights and I don't want to disturb critters that are using overwintered leaves to stay warm. But...I won't be idle either.

In the next couple weeks I'll get some seeds started indoors. You can get your peas started right now. Direct seed or start them indoors then move them out when they sprout. They don't mind the cooler weather. The sooner you get those going and outside the sooner you'll get your first harvest.

I checked on the bed I reserved for green onions and garlic last year. I planted many cloves in the fall and am SO pleased that they are all sprouted and looking strong. I was worried because they sprouted in the fall and were getting established but in early winter a deer or bunnies came and ate all the tops off the garlic and green onions. I was pretty sure the garlic would survive since they are bulbs but wasn't as confident in the green onions. Last year was the first year I planted green onions in my garden. I've done it indoors and in pots outdoors. Those never came back but I am happy to report that the ones I planted in the garden did. Maybe it was kept warmer by the layer of leaves I threw over it. I don't know but I'm glad I don't have to start all over with them!

Another thing I'm surprised is growing back is my parsley. Last year was the first year I planted some. I already see leaves! I didn't know it was a perennial! The box I have designated for herbs is showing signs of life. The mint, that I can't kill, is sprouting new leaves. I did pull out some runners to get it back to the spot I want it to stay in. I also see new leaves sprouting on the oregano and thyme and the garlic chives are starting to poke up. Yay!

Think about garden cleanup and what seeds you want to start indoors. If you live somewhere warm you can start now. If you live somewhere cold, like me, you can start indoors and start hardening process in late April. We bought a grow light last winter and will try our hand with that. I have never had great success with hardening off seedlings. Usually I forget to bring them inside or the sun is too hot for it one day and they just die.

The growing season in WI is short. For tomatoes, peppers and other nightshades I barely get a couple harvests before it gets cold. Again, it's because I always start with seeds. We'll see what happens this year! Looking forward to lots of aromatics and veggies!

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