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Signs of Life in the Garden

February 21st, 2012

Yesterday was a beautiful day, sunny with the highs reaching up into the high 30’s low 40’s. I decided it was the perfect time to sow some lettuce seeds. After spending a few minutes clearing away the mustard cover crops that winter killed, I sprinkled 2 packs of lettuce seeds on the bare earth. This are of the garden has a semi-south facing slop so the ground was already starting to thaw. What kind of lettuce did I plant?

‘Rouge D’Hiver’ from Grow Organic described as: (Latuca sativa) (aka Red Winter) French heirloom described in Vilmorin’s The Vegetable Garden (1885). Produces a compact 10-12″ head with a green heart and brownish-red leaves. For spring, summer, and fall planting. Romaine, 60 days

‘Brune D’Hiver’ from Baker Creek described as: Compact, hardy, French butterhead-type lettuce that was introduced in 1855. Crunchy green leaves are blushed in reddish-brown color. Plants require little space when growing, and are perfect for fall plantings. Hard to find in America.

After sowing the lettuce seeds I took a stroll around the garden to see if I could spot any signs of life. In addition to the snowdrops which are gathering steam and starting to show up in higher number I noticed more green in the garden. There were chives coming up, the sweet autumn clematis is already sprouting new growth, the Pink Mediterranean Heather is blooming beautifully on the front hillside, the daffodils are putting up green shoots. There are still overwintered leeks that will be harvested soon and the wild spring greens will be in season shortly. In fact I harvested some bittercress for a salad last night!

Are there any signs of life in your garden yet?

To read more about using cover crops in the garden I highly recommend this book:

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.