Three soil preheating trials
During a warm winter,
I'll start lettuce under quick hoops on February first and peas in the
open on Valentine's Day. During a frigid winter like last year, I might
not get anything out into the ground until the middle of March.
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This year will likely fall somewhere in between with the determining factor being how much this week's cold snap chills the soil. I'm looking for soil temperatures that are at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit first thing in the morning to prevent seedlings from rotting in the ground. And to that end I'm preheating my pea/lettuce bed in three different ways.
Treatment one, in the foreground above, includes some solarization
plastic from last summer weighed down with this and that. Treatment
two, in the middle-ground, consists of solarization plastic under a
quick hoop. And treatment three is the quick hoop alone. I'll check soil
temperatures in a couple of weeks and see which, if any, area hit that
critical 40-degree mark.
In the meantime, I'm starting more and more seeds inside.
My first onion seedlings are already up, and I plan to play with
broccoli and peas in soil blocks today. Maybe when the outdoor garden is
warm enough, I'll have some starts ready to go and will end up with a
harvest just as early as during warm winters in the past. Only time will