Photos from March 30: Lillian planting peas with her grandma, Terry. Turning the soil in the raised beds.
Although its early May, I’ve already been working in my gardens for nearly two months. Often the first trip to the community garden occurs on a warm day in late February or early March and snow may still be on the ground. Many times, we’ve had to brush aside snow and chisel away at the soil to get our St. Patrick’s Day peas planted. But not this year. We had a rather mild winter in Colorado so the soil was uncharacteristically workable in early March. My garden pals and I were thus at Rosedale digging early in the season and the peas went in like butter.
Photos: Toasting St. Patrick’s Day with my mom’s Waterford goblets, picking up free compost and burlap bags at Allegro’s Coffee’s Earth Day Celebration, me posing in front of our robust garlic patch with Marilynn’s garden behind me. She was my neighbor for 17 years and sadly died of lung cancer the day before this visit to our garden on March 16.
By March 16, we’d planted our first round of peas and spinach. A few weeks later, we planted more peas with the help of Terry’s grand daughter Lillian as well as other cold crops including lettuce, carrots, beets, broccoli and more. I was also surprised to find that many crops that typically don’t make it through the winter, survived — cilantro, rosemary, kale, chard, parsley.
Photos from March 16: Ana,Terry and Susan getting ready to plant peas on a very windy March afternoon, our tomato cages all lined up where we plan to plant tomatoes in late May, the garlic patch growing between planks of wood for walking.
We’re off to a good start and busily prepping all the beds for the big warm season planting in just a few short weeks. Although the weather can be deceptively nice in May, we still must restraint ourselves from planting our precious tomatoes, peppers and warm season crops until we’re safely past May 22. Last year, we had about 6 inches of snow around May 20!
Photos from March 31: Free tomato seeds earned as a volunteer at DUG free seed distribution, tomato seedlings planted on March 31, two trays of 12 6 packs of tomatoes and peppers growing under lights and on heat mats.
Timeline of Chores
- March 9: Map the garden
- Order or shop for seeds
- March 12: Volunteer at Denver Urban Garden Seeds Distribution — earn free seeds
- Visit the plots and make plans for prepping the soil
- March 16: Plant peas and spring crops
- Fill milk jugs with water and pack in back of car
- March 30: Start seedlings — tomatoes and peppers in early April
- April 7: Attend Rosedale Community Garden Spring Meeting, pay fees and network with fellow gardeners
- Turn soil, pull weeds, lay down burlap on paths
- April 20: Visit Allegro Coffee for Earth Day Celebration — pick up burlap bags and free compost
- April 23: Flower garden consultation at home with Shirley at http://www.mindful-gardener.com (More later!)
- April 25: Transplant seedlings to larger pots
- April 26: Scored 6-packs of broccoli and cabbage seedlings at King Soopers for $3.49/pack
- May 1: Plant spring bulbs, broccoli and cabbage; plant cover crop in the pumpkin patch
- May 2: Plant broccoli and cabbage at St. Philip Donation Garden with Jennifer
Photos from April 25: Susan working on repotting the tomato seedlings, tomato seedlings ready to transplant, individual seedlings in peat pots.
Photos on May 2: Newly planted broccoli and cabbage with Jen Drews at St. Philip Donation Garden.