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The Upland Gardener

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by M. L. Wells

Memorial Day has come and gone – no excuses for having the garden not only in, but up! We had our first luscious salad from the transplants. The lettuce was sown the first week of April (indoors) but spent mid-April outdoors in the cold frame. Come April 21, out they went into the garden only to encounter those three nights of upper 20s. Yikes! Toss on the towels! They did fine.

For those early crops: peas, spinach, beets, radish and carrots, I do not mulch until late May when the soil has warmed. Two inches of mowed leaves does it for me. They help to keep the weed seeds from sprouting and, if and when it dries up, it keeps the moisture in. Who doesn’t want to weed and water less? Also, as the leaves decay, they enrich your soil and feed the worms. Do not forget all those tireless, unpaid workers.

The potato sets that were planted only two inches deep and covered with two inches of leaves are now six inches high. Early in the morning add three more inches and again in the middle of June. This keeps the spuds under cover in the dark. You may have to do this again in August. Next time: Bugs….

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