The kids had a rough night with their colds and fevers, but by morning had perked up enough that I went to work for a half-day. When I came home it was sunny, so Daughter and I headed out into the yard to check our garden. The day before I’d spied what I thought…hoped…dared to wish was a sprouting radish plant. The pessimist in me figured it was likely a hole in my weed cloth letting in some undesirable plant from below. But no. When we came out today we saw this:
They’re in the right place to be radishes. And I realized that if they were weeds, they’d have grown through 6 inches of soil when the weeds in the surrounding soil (outside my boxes) were barely an inch tall. Very exciting!
We planted some more radishes in another, non-adjacent, 1’x1′ square. Keeping them separated by other crops is supposed to reduce the ease with which pests can infest your crops. Planting these radishes 2.5 weeks after the first bunch is so we don’t have to harvest (and thus consume) dozens of radishes all at once. We’ll see how it all pans out.
The Square Foot Gardening book has a handy chart that shows when you can plant crops based on number of weeks before or after the Last Spring Frost. This date varies from region to region and serves as an easy landmark upon which planting times may be based. A quick Google search of “last spring frost in My Town” shows that for my region it’s expected around March 28th. So we’re still only able to plant the cold-resistant, early spring crops like onions, radishes, etc. I have learned that these crops aren’t actually growing from the time you plant them – they lie dormant until the soil has been warm enough for so many hours/days. The point is that being in cold soil doesn’t bother them which is why you can plant them early.
I have also been reading the tips in my SFG book, obviously written with beginners in mind, and discovered a few errors I’ve already made which I hope won’t affect my yields. First, he says if you are planting onion “sets” (which is the gardening term for what looks like miniature onion bulbs) you should place them in the ground so that their pointed tops are just barely poking up through the soil. We didn’t do that. It didn’t say so on the seed package and we used the “plant to this depth” number to guage how deep to place them. I’m realizing that seed packets aren’t the most comprehensive source of information and perhaps I should be reading more before I get started!
But, live and learn right? The little radish shoots are very encouraging!