May Greenhouse Seedings and the Nature of the Beast

Here are the planned May greenhouse seedings that you are welcome to join:

May 4: Cucumbers and squash
10: lettuce, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi
16: rutabaga, zucchini
20: lettuce, fennel
28: radicchio, lettuce
31: cucumber

The “Nature of the Beast” is referring to the weather, of course.  I wanted to give you a picture of how this year is stacking up compared to others.  In my 23 springs growing the CSA in West Grey the earliest one was in 2011, when March saw many days in the 30 degree range.  I was able to start preparing the fields at the beginning of April.  By Mid April many of the early crops were seeded and transplanted outside in beds.  That year turned into a cooler and wetter than normal year.  The latest spring I’ve experienced was last year, 2018, when I couldn’t start preparing soil until May 10, after snow covered the ground most of April. This turned into the hottest and driest in my experience.  Even though there was about a month difference in this schedule, in both of these extreme years, the first harvest came only a week apart: the earliest spring harvest began the third week in June, and the latest spring harvest began the end of June.  There has been a trend, I would say, over the past ten years of springs generally being later than the average was for the ten years before.  If you have a small home garden, where you do everything by hand, you can get on the soil way earlier than I can with equipment.  Even though the season is likely to shift into summer like weather very soon, crops don’t instantly become ready… I’m still looking at a third week of June or so start… be patient.

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