Thursday, February 18, 2010

More stirrings in the garden

It's February, a difficult month for gardeners in San Francisco, or at least for me. On the one hand, night time low temperatures are edging up into the 50s and this past week we had a delicious amuse bouche of early spring sun. I can practically feel myself germinating! On the other hand, the ground is still soggy and the rain won't officially leave our reliable Mediterranean climate until the end of March at the earliest. I can get around some of this problem by planting reliable cool weather crops like shelling peas and radishes. They thrive in the cool, moist conditions, and actually prefer to be harvested by the time we start getting our first hot days around May and June. But the February planting I did last year got caught by some freak cold weather and got bogged down (quite literally) in some of the March downpours.

As usual, more after the jump

So this year I'll be taking a page from gardeners that have to deal with serious winter weather (like snow, and real frost) and planting under cold frames covered by horticultural fleece. The fleece costs a bit ($11.99 for enough to cover one large or two small beds), but I was able to scavenge materials for the framing itself (the low frame up top is made from a broken down old futon!) and keep the total cost low. I'm still a little worried that I might have hurt the soil structure by digging when it was moist, but I'm hoping for the best... Seeds are in and I'm expecting sprouts in 5-10 days!