March is ending on a very cruel note. It's officially Spring, but the weather gods don't seem to know or care, or maybe they are just out to get us. Southern Wisconsin is experiencing the least desirable of all weather - freezing temperatures and lots of rain. It's bone-chilling and makes outside work quite impractical.
Nevertheless, we are busily preparing for the new season. Indoors I've got onions and sweet potatoes sprouting, and I'll be seeding eggplants, tomatoes, cabbages, and other crops to flats indoors in the coming weeks. I was able to get some time outside in the garden beds last week before the bad weather came in. I pruned my raspberries and cleaned up the asparagus bed. I also dug out a big harvest of horseradish, which I've yet to prepare. I want to do the major muddy root cleanup outside and it's just too nasty out there, right now.
I've built a cold frame which we feature in the newsletter, and I'll be planting salad greens into it as soon as it stops raining. One of my garden tasks for the year is to improve my season extensions both for spring and fall. I want to build some more cold frames and I may experiment with making a very cheap portable greenhouse using a garden canopy as the frame.
I've never been great about succession planting, making sure I follow one crop immediately with another in the same space, and in making sure I've got multiple plantings of beets, carrots, lettuces, etc, so there is always something coming in. That is another of this year's goals.
One other task that I have to fulfill is making my garden presentable to visitors. I've been talking about the open raised bed method I use at several garden shows and the local Jefferson County Master Gardeners asked if they could have one of their summer meetings here so they can see what open raised bed food production is about. So I'll have to be a little more judicious about weeding and having a garden that really looks like it is doing something. The price of fame looks like it will be more work.
Judy and I are off this weekend to Rock Island, Illinois for the Rock Island Flower & Garden Show.
It's a first time event for us, but we've heard good things about the show. So if you are in or near the Quad Cities, come by and say hi.
Thanks for reading our newsletter. We like to talk gardening and food. Send us a line or comment. And whatever your garden plans are for this year, we wish you much success.
Noel and the CobraHead team.