Field of Science

Pre-season training

Today, a Saturday, is a typical enough late March day, just a bit cool, but OK to do some pruning; still too cold to actually plant anything.  The forecast for tomorrow is a winter storm that could bring several inches of heavy wet snow.  Great.  However, some things still need to be done, some pre-season preparation.  TPP must go out and buy several cubic feet of potting mix because it will be used to plant early season flowers, e.g., pansies, and cold frame crops: lettuce, spinach, baby bok choi, green onions. And to be ready for this some seed shopping is in order, except none of our local garden shops ever carry baby bok choi seeds, so some will have to be mail ordered.  Even if you only have a small space, even if you only do a little gardening, a cold frame is a great low tech investment. You can easily extend your gardening season by 2 months and even keep your parsley happy well into winter. TPP likes the smaller, portable cold frames that can be used in different places at different times.  Generally my cold frame crops get planted in planter boxes rather than in the soil below.  The boxes are also portable and they warm up faster than the soil below. Next will come some gardener exercise, in this case, all the deep knee bends and back bends needed to clip off all of the dead perennials.  Unfortunately this is exactly what TPP does for his early field work, and his back is just not getting any younger. While students can often be conned into helping with the field work, it probably isn't ethical to con them into helping with his gardens. Sadly there are still a lot of leaves left to clean up, mostly those lodged in the various garden beds. All of this will be rendered moot for at least another week by the arrival of snow. 

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