Even with another blizzard blowing across the plains, Sunday saw lots of activity in my community garden. About 15 people were there, working on their gardens and helping to clean up our fence line and raise the height of the fence. In the past few years, parts of the garden have seen a great deal of theft and some vandalism. We’re hoping that the higher fence will be a deterrent.
Once I had helped clean up where the fence was raised, I went to my plot and had a look at it. Last year, I planted peas in late February and they did very well, producing several batches before the heat got to them. I also had a very good crop of spinach—my first ever, in fact—because of early planting. This year, I decided to plant an early group of crops again and follow it with the later spring and summer crops to see if I could replicate the results. Although Arlington is in the top edge of zone 7, its urban environment creates a much warmer micro-climate. Planting peas at recommended times often means you don’t get much from the plants, and spinach simply bolts before the leaves are big enough to harvest.
I took the cover off the arugula and pulled the frost bitten peas and their trellises. What little chard was left in the garden would bolt this year, so I forked it out. Then I weeded and hoed and staked out rows for spinach, chard, corn salad, radishes, kale, carrots, and beets. All of these, especially the corn salad, which won’t even germinate in warm soil, should do well. I’ll find out soon enough.
The lettuce in the cold frame continues to do fine. At some point, I’ll probably just lift the cold frame off it and let it grow in the open. Meanwhile, I’m plotting against the voracious voles, planning to fence my pole beans by surrounding them with hardware cloth buried into the ground 10 inches and staked above ground as a fence. I’ll probably write about that later, when it’s time to plant the beans.