All Posts   Posted:   March 2, 2015 by Nicole Forbes - Dennis' 7 Dees Education Director

I love to eat soup in the winter - home-made is best; potato-leek, minestrone, Hungarian mushroom & curried butternut squash to name a few. As spring arrives, however, I crave fresh green things to add to my diet. In early February I turned my winter cover crop under and last weekend I added a layer of premium Malibu compost to the garden with some Cascade Minerals and a little bit of lime. My soil thermometer is tucked into the garden where I check the temperature every few days waiting for the earth to reach 45 degrees then I sow the first crop of lettuce seeds: Gourmet mix.

I have a small seed-starting tray on my windowsill with tiny shoots of broccoli, chives & cauliflower already sprouted and waiting to go into the early spring garden as it warms up. Around Valentine’s Day (or late Feb – early March) I start green peas by pre-sprouting them indoors in a moist paper towel, planting them outside once the seeds have germinated. Sugar Ann & Pioneer are a few of my favorite pea varieties; I continue planting peas every 2-3 weeks for the next few months to provide a continuous harvest into summer. As the pea plants begin to grow I occasionally pick a few of the tender young shoots and add them to salads and sandwiches, they taste a bit milder than peas but no less delicious.

In spite of all this seed starting I still can’t help myself and while browsing the edible section at the garden center I pick up a tray of lettuce, a few peas already sprouted, a parsley plant and a cold-tolerant early spring green called corn salad/mache. I am excited to transplant these new items into the soil and want to rush home to my garden. At the last minute I remembered to grab a new can of Sluggo to protect my delicate spring shoots from slugs and snails as they sprout; I don’t intend to share my edible bounty with uninvited guests!

I love to eat soup in the winter - home-made is best; potato-leek, minestrone, Hungarian mushroom & curried butternut squash to name a few. As spring arrives, however, I crave fresh green things to add to my diet. In early February I turned my winter cover crop under and last weekend I added a layer of premium Malibu compost to the garden with some Cascade Minerals and a little bit of lime. My soil thermometer is tucked into the garden where I check the temperature every few days waiting for the earth to reach 45 degrees then I sow the first crop of lettuce seeds: Gourmet mix.

I have a small seed-starting tray on my windowsill with tiny shoots of broccoli, chives & cauliflower already sprouted and waiting to go into the early spring garden as it warms up. Around Valentine’s Day (or late Feb – early March) I start green peas by pre-sprouting them indoors in a moist paper towel, planting them outside once the seeds have germinated. Sugar Ann & Pioneer are a few of my favorite pea varieties; I continue planting peas every 2-3 weeks for the next few months to provide a continuous harvest into summer. As the pea plants begin to grow I occasionally pick a few of the tender young shoots and add them to salads and sandwiches, they taste a bit milder than peas but no less delicious.

In spite of all this seed starting I still can’t help myself and while browsing the edible section at the garden center I pick up a tray of lettuce, a few peas already sprouted, a parsley plant and a cold-tolerant early spring green called corn salad/mache. I am excited to transplant these new items into the soil and want to rush home to my garden. At the last minute I remembered to grab a new can of Sluggo to protect my delicate spring shoots from slugs and snails as they sprout; I don’t intend to share my edible bounty with uninvited guests!