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Planting for a Four Season Harvest, Part 3

Peas First Row Crop

June garden

Long before tomato seedlings get into the garden, I sow my first row crop --- peas.  If ground has thawed by mid-March, peas go in.  A few days before, winter mulch is raked aside temporarily to let soil warm up.  From then on, I make sowings of peas every week until May first.  The aim is: peas every day during June and the first week or so of July.  The early sowings --- but not the earliest, for peas may rot in the cold, wet ground --- make the best crops.

April is a busy planting month.  The lettuce seedlings from the house go outside first.  Though not so hardy as the cabbage, they are more expendable.  I have lots of them and can tuck them in many places.  They are out of the way sooner; I use some when half-mature.  By mid-April, cabbage, broccoli, and/or cauliflower seedlings are set in rows.  It's a good idea to set out more than you'll eventually want --- there are always surplus seedlings if you raise them yourself.  At the end of two weeks, pull up those that are not thriving.

Many important sowings are made at this time: beets, carrots, chard.  If started inside, leeks are set out now.  More lettuce --- just a short drill furnishes many seedlings --- and parsley.  Parsnips can wait a while; they won't be harvested until after the frost the next fall.  Radishes get very short plantings every 10 days until hot weather.  Turnips for greens and onion sets go in now.  Frost may still occur here but the above crops are fairly hardy; most gardeners don't get them in soon enough.  "If the ground can be worked" is the rule to follow.

To be continued....

Tirrell, R.  1966, February.  Planting for a 4-Season Harvest.  Organic Gardening and Farming.

Reprinted by permission of Organic Gardening magazine.  Copyright Rodale, Inc., U.S.A.  All rights reserved.

This post is part of our Planting for a Four Season Harvest lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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