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Plant for Multiple Harvests

April 9th, 2014

This week my 5×5 Challenge Garden finally thawed out enough to plants a few things. It doesn’t take long for the soil to become workable after the snow melts. As soon as you can run a rake through the top of the soil you can plant a few things that like cool soil.
5x5 garden 1
There are a wide variety of things that can be planted in that space between the first thawing of the soil in spring and the warm summer months. You can’t plant tomatoes, corn, peppers or heat loving crops right now. Even broccoli and other cool loving crops risk early bolt if they experience too much cold this time of year. You don’t want to let your soil simply go fallow though, some quick crops are what you need so you can enjoy delicious food from your garden while you wait for summer to arrive. A few great options for quick crops: cilantro, lettuce, spinach, mustard, arugula and other greens. My garden was divided into four squares and I planted four different greens. These should germinate fairly quickly in this cool weather and be ready for harvest before the end of May when it’s time to plant tomatoes.
raised bed 2
Before I planted my lettuces I added a generous helping of compost on top of the soil. I don’t bother working it in as some people do, I find that the earthworms do a fine job of doing that for me. I don’t like to work the soil if I don’t have to. As you can see, the soil level had settled a bit and my raised bed was only about half full. After adding 2-3 inches of compost it’s getting better. Before I plant my warm season crops I’ll add another layer of compost and hopefully it will be nearly full by then.
5x5 garden 2
You can be I’ll be keeping an eagle eye on this garden watching for any signs of life. I can’t wait to see how it grows this coming season.

What’s your favorite cool season vegetable?

6 Comments to “Plant for Multiple Harvests”
  1. Nebraska Dave on April 9, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Susy, and so your garden year has finally started. I replanted my cabbages and some onions yesterday. It was a bit chilly but still well above the temperature for those plants. I sprinkled out some lettuce and radishes a few days ago but I may have to replant those as the seed was two years old and I don’t see any life there after about ten days. I started 21 tomatoes, 29 green peppers, and 20 Eggplants on the heat mat as well yesterday. The season is really gearing up and (rolling eyes) the predicted high for today is …. wait for it ….. 81. There is some thing seriously wrong with mother nature. Maybe some therapy or medication is needed. :-)

    Have a great 5X5 planting day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  2. daisy on April 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Our lettuce is actually now bolting. We are planting tomatoes, melons, peppers and eggplant. Looking forward to seeing your greens come up!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  3. MN Reid on April 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I planted peas, spinach, lettuce, and onion transplants. (the onions look lifeless). I have many more inside to put out soon after they are done hardening off. I was just given a cold frame, which is half put together. I want to put beets, carrots, spinach, and onions in that.

    Reply to MN Reid's comment

  4. Kyle on April 9, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I cannot wait for asparagus season, so I am eating all the rhubarb my local farm stand can provide. Other than chives (which have been going on everything), I am going crazy waiting for some kind of spring crunch!

    Reply to Kyle's comment

  5. Chris on April 10, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Asparagus, hands down! I love Renee’s seeds too! I especially like the packaging! :)

    Reply to Chris's comment

  6. Amy P on April 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I did it! I finally got out into the garden and got a bit of a start. I have a long way to go but was able to get my hands dirty!

    Reply to Amy P's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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