Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!
Monday, April 1, 2013
Early Spring Planting
March was a long and frustrating month. Spring simply refused to come to Wisconsin. Average temperatures were at least ten degrees below normal while snow accumulation was above average. Although the moisture level has been good for the soil, gardening activities have been strictly limited to indoor seed starting.
This weekend, we finally caught a whiff of spring. On Saturday, the afternoon temperatures reached nearly 50 degrees under partly sunny skies. (Yes, this really is an improvement!) We took a couple hours to remove the tattered plastic hoop covers over two of our raised beds. It took an ice chipper to remove some ice and snow from the outside perimeter of the beds, but we were able to remove enough snow to accomplish the task.
Beneath the hoop covers, we found the soil in the raised beds to be warm and friable. Last fall's spinach was growing happily. I turned over the soil easily with my favorite hand cultivator and started transplanting seedlings immediately. I filled one 12' x 3' bed with carrots, beets and scallions (plus the volunteer spinach).
After carefully watering the new seedlings, we covered the bed with a fresh layer of plastic and tucked it in again. We can expect to harvest these cool weather crops through the end of May, when I'll replace these crops with summer vegetables.
I complained in my February 8 blog that the hoop covers were too much trouble to maintain throughout the winter. Nevertheless, the soil beneath the covers is so loose and warm that it might be worth the trouble after all.