Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 22, 2011: Today in a Zone 4 Garden, Central Wisconsin

This afternoon, the sun is beginning to peek out. It seems like forever since we've had that much light! It is not supposed to freeze for at least the next several days, although we are supposed to have some wind today. It is pretty wet to work in the garden.

I did move three flats filled with kale, cabbage, and onions out of the cold frame and under a storm door screen. I have found the screen provides just enough sun, wind, and torrential rain protection to serve as the perfect cover when hardening off plantlings. One edge of the screen is on the cold frame the other two corners are supported by a stack of bricks. I tucked three flats under one edge next to the thermal mass of the cold frame.

This frees up space for three more flats in the cold frame. At this point with temps in the mid-30s at night, I don't want to bring out peppers, eggplant, coleus, or tomatoes; but dino kale seedlings, radicchio and head lettuce starts may do well in the cold frame.

I started some peas indoors and after they have germinated and grown true leaves, they will be candidate to bring out to harden off. There's still no sign of those I planted in the ground. I also planted some yellow onion sets before our major spring snow storm. Onions are pretty cold hardy and even wet, cold ground should not deter them.

This activity has also freed up space on the grow racks. The average last frost date is about 4 weeks out. I am thinking of getting some more spinach started, including a climbing spinach.

After May 1, I will start some heat lovers, like melons and pumpkins. These won't go into the garden until almost June 1 here, well after any chance of frost.

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