The first week of April is the perfect time to get your early season crops in the ground. Recommended are peas, asian greens, spinach, radishes and hakurei turnips. Our favorite pea this year is 'Tom Thumb'--an heirloom cultivar that made it's way to the United States from England in the mid 19th century. Exceptionally frost tolerant, it's most remarkable characteristic is it's "dwarf" form of growth--it only reaches 10 inches in height! It has been bred traditionally for container culture but is also suitable for direct seeding in the garden. We can't wait for them to start popping up in May and June.
Sowing seeds when the danger of frost still looms can seem kind of scary, but in fact the young seedlings of these hardy vegetable crops can take a little nip of frost on a cold, clear night. Most cultivars of spinach, for instance, will not reliably germinate without a period of vernalization--colder soil and air temperatures--and will in fact suffer at warmer temperatures as the season rolls on. Some asian greens even taste sweeter after there has been a frost. Peas are very light sensitive and thrive during slightly shorter days. Take a risk and plant when it's still brisk.
So, what do you say, will you give peas a chance this spring? Please contact us if you have any questions about starting a new vegetable garden this year, we'd love to hear from you.