I like Erica's post about getting some garden chores done early. And like her, I'm planting some early season cool weather vegetables seeds in the garden and getting some early weeding done. But, unlike Erica, I am putting down my drip tape (see MG 6 Drip Irrigating Your Garden) to water the bed and covering the it with row cover to provide some frost protection for those emerging spinach and kale seeds.
Extended forecasts for our region (temperature and precipitation) show a good chance of above average temperatures and below average rainfall. Of course, this could mean by a tenth of a degree or several degrees. But when comparing the cost of a few seeds to some earlier than expected fresh vegetables for the table, I'll always plant a few seeds early.
To my surprise, my arugula wintered over and my garlic looks great. My onion sets have been ordered as have my new red and yellow raspberries and new strawberry plants. After all this is the year of small fruit and there is nothing like fresh strawberries or raspberries from the garden
I'm also finishing up the rejuvenation of my 30 year old blueberry bed and will be pruning my trellised black raspberries in the next week or so. Here are some before and after pictures.
Seeds started in the basement under florescent lights are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, leeks, kale and fennel. Toward the middle to end of March will be eggplant and peppers. And just a reminder. Fluorescent tubes start to lose some of there brightness (lumens) after about 15 to 20 percent of their life (20,000 hours). So I change my fluorescent tubes out every two years (16 hours a day x 100 days x 2 years = 3200 hours or about 16% of the tubes expected life). So if your seedlings grown under lights looked spindly and you had the tops within an inch of the lights, try changing the tubes.