With the arrival of our favorite late winter annual guests Ozzie and Harriet (Canada Geese) it is a signal that the day light hours are increasing, and the weather is going to start heating up. Everyone is itchin’ to expand the variety of crops in our edible gardens.
Farmers refer to this as the “shoulder season” in between cool and warm season gardening. (Tammy and I call it Crazy Season!). With all the wacky temperature swings it is a challenge to start planting seeds without a frost or freeze killing them. An easy way to get around these crazy temperature swings is to start seeds in a cold frame like we do at Moonshine Hill. Cold frames are an above ground enclosure with a glass or plastic clear top that opens and closes to maintain a consistent warm temperature.
Richard, Justin and Ty built ours using an old glass cabinet door and attached it to four wooden side walls. It measures about 4′ long by 2′ wide 1′-6″ high. This gives us plenty of room to fill the inside with seedling flats for our warm season plantings.
Justin and Ty our resident farmers at Moonshine Hill our currently growing in our cold frame: Peas, lettuce, spinach, purple and green mustards, and parsnips. Soon we will be seeding tomatoes, peppers and squash! Meanwhile we are still harvesting an abundance of Scarlet Bor Kale, and Spinach and Green Leaf lettuce from our winter garden.
The garlic has been slowly growing all winter long and now it will start really kicking into gear. So if you planted some too, now is the time to feed your garlic and onions with compost tea, or foliar feed of seaweed extract.
Our fall planted flower cutting garden is making a nice appearance. If the deer don’t get them first you can anticipate seeing bachelor buttons, bells of ireland, love-in-mist, amaranth, cosmos, phlox and poppies soon.
Now is a great time prepare your garden beds for your warm season garden. Spread out a layer of compost over your garden beds and let chill. At the Moonshine Hill Gardens we typically apply 2-3″ layer of compost. Then in mid April lightly cultivate add some organic fertilizer and plant.
We grow the gardens at Moonshine Hill for our guest to harvest from and enjoy during their stay. When you book your next stay at Moonshine Hill plan on cooking at home one night with freshly picked vegetables from the garden!