What We are Direct Sowing Now
Peas: this year's late spring meant that we couldn't plant peas in the field till a few weeks after the traditional pea planting time (in mid-March). The dwarf Tom Thumb variety, however, doesn't need much room and does well in container, so was before the soil was ready to be worked. If you plan on sowing peas this spring - hurry! They need a period of cool weather for proper growth. Spinach: we are growing Abundant Bloomsdale Spinach this spring. A new addition to our catalog, we are excited to be sharing this special improved heirloom, bred with care in partnership with the Organic Seed Alliance. Spinach, like peas, likes the cold, so plant it soon (or wait till fall)! Carrots like a clean bed, free of rocks and weeds, and ample moisture to germinate. Our first carrot harvests will be the Atomic Red variety - sweet and containing high amounts of lycopene, it's a perfect vitamin boost after a long winter. Arugula is a fast-growing, spicy green that loves to grow in spring weather. A perfect foundation for the season's earliest salads! Parsnips grow very slowly, but are well-worth the wait, as they can be harvested when the garden is barren in late winter and earliest spring. They can take up to two weeks to germinate. For best growth, keep the beds moist and well-weeded (as with carrots) while they are sprouting and young for the season's first sweet treats, like the Harris Model roots above. Cilantro isn't picky about where and how it grows, but it is quick to bolt. To prevent this, we direct sow it in succession every 2 weeks from now until early fall for a steady supply of great pesto and salsa. Radishes grow fast and prefer to grow in cool spring and fall weather. For steady harvests, sow in succession every two weeks and eat the tops too! We are starting the season with the petite Cherry Belles for a spicy, crunchy additions to May meals. Chives: it may be too late to start onions from seed, but chives make a fine and easy-to-grow substitute. We actually aren't sowing any on the farm this year, but only because our perennial patch comes back (and expands!) every spring. Kale can be direct sown about a month prior to the last frost date. We grow many kale varieties - for seeds, for trials, and for the table - but Dino Kale always makes the cut. Turnips are another great spring and fall root, along with carrots, beets, and radishes. Direct sow them now and thin by harvesting the crowded roots as they grow close to each other. The Scarlet Ohno Revival is not only excellent sliced thin and served raw, but makes a cooling, summer pickled treat.