By JIM WILLIS
Like many gardeners around The Green, PieHole is just itching to watch our vegetable garden come back to life with tasty spring greens. A nice plate of lightly-dressed spinach and baby lettuce makes a delicious backdrop for sliced steak off the grill and it’s one of the things we look forward to each spring.
We checked in with Fran Huber in the Sickles Market greenhouse in Little Silver to see what we could be doing this week with our vegetable gardens while we wait for winter to exit the stage.
Right now it’s all about the greens — lettuce, arugula, chard, kale and other cool weather greens. Huber tells PieHole that you can sow seeds for these greens right into the garden once the nighttime temperatures stop dropping below 40F — another two or three weeks from now.
“If you have a crop cover to cover your beds [or a hoop house] you can put the seeds in now, that’s enough to keep the soil warm,” says Huber.
For gardeners who want to get going right now and can’t wait for temps to rise to get their hands dirty, Huber says there’s still plenty you can be doing.
“Start from the ground up,” she says. “If you’ve been composting, now is the time to start working it into your soil. That’s really important. If you have good strong roots you’re going to have a great plant.”
Huber says if you don’t have compost, Sickles Market carries a product called Bumper Crop ($9.99 – $14.99) that you can start working into your soil now.
If you’re starting seeds indoors, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to transplant them outdoors. Huber says nighttiime temps need to be above 45F for cool season crops or check the seed pack for specific guidance.
Still, there are plenty of excused to be getting your hands dirty this week. “You can be setting up your rows and your spacing and laying out your soaker hoses so you’re ready,” says Huber.