Hurrah for Sunny California! We’re Sowing Seeds!

February 2, 2011

Yesterday, I worked with three other master gardeners at the Amador Food Bank Demo Garden. The sun was bright and warm and the soil alive and ready to nurture whatever Barbara, Jackie, Kathy, and I put down.

We started with a 10×10-foot area and constructed three trellises out of rebar and wire then direct sowed snow and sugar snap peas.

Then we moved on to one of the raised beds and broadcasted a blend of white bunching onions and lettuce varieties of Romaine, Buttercrunch, Rougette de Montpellier, Spicy Mesclum Mix. Sowing lettuce and onions together is a new concept for me and so is broadcasting. While some vegetables aren’t compatible and broadcasting isn’t suitable for all varieties, seeds that can be sowed this way will produce more vegetables per square foot than the traditional rows and furrows. I loved this method. This is what I call an EQF task—easy, quick, and fun.

In another raised bed, we sprinkled in radish watermelon, purple top white globe radishes, salad rose radishes, plus spinach and mustard in different sections of the bed. We ended our planting session by covering two beds with straw and one with frost cloth. This will keep the soil and seeds warm. Soon, the seeds will germinate and tiny heads will emerge from beneath the soil.

Now that’s what I call a perfect day . . . warm sunlight and the promise of future garden births.

Here’s a little information on some of the seeds we planted.

Romaine lettuce is fast growing, forms a loose head that is easy to harvest, and takes up little space in the garden. Sweet and delicious, Romaine lettuce is the basics for Caesar salad.

Buttercrunch Head Lettuce is compact rosette heads and is productive, heat tolerant and slow to bolt. It has mildly flavored leaves.

Rougette de Montpellier Lettuce is a very old French variety with smallish crispy lettuce with glossy green-red leaves. Give some protection over winter for the best pickings.

Organic Mesclun Mix is a popular blend of baby lettuce and spicy greens with a variety of shapes. The word “Mesclun” comes from the French word for “mix.”

Bunching Onions form perennial evergreen clumps up to 1 ft. (0.3 m) in diameter. 

Watermelon Radish is a large round root vegetable related to the turnip and horseradish family, with a crisp texture and a mild to sweet peppery flavor.

Purple Top White Globe Radish is an excellent globe-shaped radish and America’s favorite turnip!

Russia Salad Rose Radish is an amazing gorgeous rosy pink radish eight inches long. A great salad or beer radish.


One comment

  1. Learning new techniques and having ‘fun’ doing it for a special cause, what could be better?

    What a delightful day of ‘sowing seeds’. I’m sure your Food Bank Garden will thrive, as it was also sown with love. bernadine


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