Seedybeans Blog

Celebrating the Humble Harvests of High Desert Homesteading

Slowly sowing spring

 

Lettuce ready for transplanting

 

This spring has been holding out on us, chilly air, gusty winds, late snow storms. yes it is spring in Santa Fe, but this feels slow to me.  It has actually been great though. It may be that my life and schedule is different this year, but the chill has warded off that frantic feeling that I am behind on getting everything in the ground and I can’t keep up on all I want to do.  I actually feel the opposite.  I am ready to get my warm season cucumbers, melons, tomatoes, etc.. into the garden, or at least out of those 2 inch pots, but it is still too cold.  I know the last frost date is May 15th, but we are all ready. I did however take the cold frames off everything in the garden and am pleased to say that head start was fantastic.  We have been eating from the garden for weeks now and though it will be while till fruits come on, the salad season may just feed us right up till then.

It has given me time though to get in all the cool season crops.  I have been transplanting lettuce in every nook a cranny I can find.  I am a big fan of inter cropping.  In any intensive garden weather home or school, I love to see lots of diversity and things taking advantage or being cozied in together.  Many vegetable crops need different care, water and light than perennial foods and flowers, but one thing I have found to be very successful is planting cold season greens in among my herbs, flowers and fruits in the front yard.  I can’t take full credit, I was mostly my husband’s doing, before I became the head gardener here on Bouquet lane, but I sure do pack them in there.  A few reasons why this is possible. 

1- It is watered well– being right near the facet

2- It is sunny in spring and shaded in high summer because of the trees above it

3- The microclimates created by the perennial that all grow and bloom at different rates creates a dynamically changing and dense ecosystem. 

How I do it.  I start my lettuce for example in wooden flats (I have a post all about it Here) in February.

Take a little slice

 

Once they are big enough I slice little sections out, like pieces of cake.  I plant them in clumps in the garden among the re-emerging perennial herbs and flowers.

I am a fan of garden gloves after 10 years of New Mexi dirt you might be too.

 

 They grow up and are shaded by the others so have a nice long season as salad.  

Lettuce planted among perennial herbs and flowers

 

When my lettuce that is in full sun goes bitter I will still have lettuce that is tucked away, cool and crisp for summer salad, and more open ground for full sun crops.  

Yarrow, lambs quarters, columbine, valerian, and lettuce

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