March 11, 2012

Spring has Sprung in the Vegetable Garden

Grey Spring Sky
A styrofoam container planted with lemongrass seed.
Intermittent spring storms have been passing through bringing rain and warming winds. I am so excited about spring finally being here, I just can't stand it. All I can think about is giant pepper bushes loaded down with large succulent bright red fruits dangling from their brittle stems, indeterminate tomato vines heavy with their fruited orbs, and dragging in buckets and buckets of vegetables to be canned and eaten fresh and cooked up.

In celebration I went ahead and planted some lemongrass seed in a used styrofoam shipping container filled with a couple of inches of seed starting mix. The seed packet stated that the lemongrass needs light to sprout so the seeds were just sprinkled onto the surface of the soil instead of buried. Hopefully they were started early enough because lemongrass needs a very long growing season to get some worthwhile stalks that can be frozen and used as a seasoning or herb. Lemongrass chicken and lemongrass pork is absolutely delicious, and the herb adds a whole new dimension to curries that takes it to a whole different stratosphere. Too bad lemongrass is completely unavailable in this area otherwise I would just stick some store bought stalks in the ground.

With spring finally here all I can think about is tilling the soil, but the ground is still way too moist to be rototilled which is making my eye twitch. I did go out there and pull a few weeds around the Swiss chard bed but I have half a mind to go ahead and rototill under the overwintered plants, and get started with situating the beds for warm weather crops. There is still about a month and a half before warm weather crops can be planted out maybe the end of April. Although a friend of mine who has farmed this area for years says he wouldn't plant any tomatoes out until May 1st.

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