The results of the small, experimental winter garden will soon be in: Planted on Valentine’s Day, the lettuce, cabbage and collard greens have tripled in size and are approaching their due date. Unable to wait, I plucked off a few lettuce leaves the other day and found them already delicious. Only the brocolli looks bound for an early grave, subject to the always-puzzling ways of Nature. If everything else works like the lettuce, I’ll double next year’s cool-weather planting.
But the winter crop was just an opening act. Now it’s time to get the spring garden in. The ground has been tilled a foot deep and enriched with two types of compost and cow manure. According to my tickler file last year, I had the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and the rest planted by April 1, but this year we were out of town some in March and we’ve had a number of unusually cold nights, so I’ve been holding off. In fact, a note from last year tells me that we had near-freezing temps on April 7 and 8. I’ll go ahead and buy everything, but hold off a day or so getting it into the ground.