– Posted in: Plant info, Vegetables
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My ‘America’ spinach has withstood my torments much better than the ‘Olympia’ spinach. I had trouble with the ‘Olympia’ dampening off, to begin with. (I did start them inside; more on that later.) The ‘America’ looks settled in, but the ‘Olympia’ looks like it’s hanging by a thread. I actually wanted ‘Tyee’, but Fedco was out by the time they got to my order. Since I said to send a substitute, they sent ‘Olympia’ instead.

People always say to start spinach right in the frozen ground. When the snow was just beginnng to melt and it was about 66 degrees outside, I went up to the garden and wherever I could see bare ground on what had been last year’s potato patch (and, thus, fairly well dug already) I sowed lettuce, spinach and dill. When the weather warmed and dried enough to make preparing the garden possible, there was no sign of any sprouts, and Teman wanted to more adequately dig the garden. Since it looked as though nothing intended to come up, I told him to go ahead, and started said lettuce, spinach and dill in the house. The lettuce handled this well, the dill and spinach not so well. The dill was too flimsy to withstand being smushed into a flat with a bunch of other 9-packs of seedlings; more often than not I realized I’d accidentally severed one (or more) dill every time I watered them. The spinach, as I’ve said, had dampening off problems, and got fried by an accidental night out in 20 degree weather.

Well, those with more experience can probably already guess where this story is going. In random places, I now have dill, lettuce and spinach popping up in my garden, looking as good or better than my transplants. They didn’t sprout before, because, obviously, they knew about the impending 20 degree weather and figured they’d wait it out underground, thank you very much. I don’t want to pluck them out, but at the same time, they are not in nice, orderly rows. I don’t much care about neat, orderly rows, but as Teman well points out, it makes it a million times eaiser to weed and mulch. If he gets there first, I am sure all my rogue plants will go the same way as the weeds. However, if I weeded/mulched it before he does, then . . .! Not that I would turn down help. On the contrary, if I didn’t like help so much, I would give directives that they all be spared, even though it would be a major pain in the neck. That would spare the odd ones, but would also wear at the good graces of my help, which I also don’t want to do.

Anyway, this year, I’m going to try to see to it that the greens section is prepared in the fall, so I can lay out nice, orderly rows in the early spring, and let nature run its most reasonable course.

About the Author

Talitha spent the last few years doing an absurd combination of work and school, and found it wasn’t very pleasant. Now she’s doing work, school and a garden, and life is a little better! She also enjoys photography and hand feeding her ducks. USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 AHS Heat Zone: 3 Location: rural; Southern Tier of NY Geographic type: foothills of Appalachian Mountains Soil Type: acid clay Experience level: advanced beginner Particular interests: herbs, vegetables, cutting garden, cottage gardening

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

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