Monday, March 04, 2013

Early garden 2013

Red leaf lettuce, spinach, and beets
This Portland weather.

I awoke this morning to frost. Maty was scraping the rime off the windshield when I tripped out the door at 6am.

This drop in temperature puts the test to assurances I received from the gardener at Portland Nursery and Garden Center on Saturday. When I pulled my wagon up to the register I asked him. "Everything I've got here is okay to put in the ground this early, eh?"

He looked over the little plants in their black plastic ice trays. "Let's see. Lettuce, spinach, beets. Yeah, you should be good."

Thus reassured, I made the purchase and pulled my wagon back to the house. I stopped at Peet's Coffee along the way and picked up a couple bags of coffee grounds. These I mixed in with the soil in the garden bed when I got home.

On Sunday, I went out early (10am is early for a Sunday, no?) and carefully extracted the contents of the cells of the seedling trays. I took great pains to separate each tiny plant from its brothers, then planted it in the coffee-enriched soil in the beds in front of the house.

This morning, crystals of frost blanketed the dirt in the garden beds. The tiny seedlings looked traumatized, but I couldn't be sure in the dim pre-dawn light.

I guess we'll see. According to the local forecast, temperatures this afternoon will be in the high 50s, and projected lows for the coming week don't get down past 40. I've never started a garden this early before. After all, winter still has another two and a half weeks to go.

Hang in there, little lettuces! Hang in there, spinach and beets!  Next weekend, the garlic goes in.

Hooray for the garden!

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