Sunday, March 04, 2007

Zone 5 Mache

So I have officially kicked off the 2007 gardening season! Here in far northern Zone 5 planting outside on March 1 is new to me. But using the successful coldframe design of 2006 I trudged through the 2' drifts to my gardens, scratched two rows into the pleasantly warm and moist soil and planted 20 mache plants.
Now back to that zone 5 part. Last week we had some 40 degree days, enough to inspire me to order 2 packets of Vit from Cook's Gardens. While they were en route, I decided to moisten the soil in the coldframe. How? I shoveled it full of snow of course! Temps in the frame are hitting 75 degrees on the clear 40 degree days and the snow melted in days. Of course now that I have seeds in soil nighttime temps are back down to the single digits...

I have never actually tasted mache, but Elliot Coleman sings it praises with almost poetic prose and Cook's descriptions are dripping with even more adjectives than usual so hopes are high! The most important aspect of mache for me is that it appears to be the hardiest garden plant around-needing only sunlight and above freezing daytime temps to grow thru snow if the reports are to be believed. This, combined with my final harvest of radishes in early December, this planting would make only 10 weeks that I did not have veggies growing outside this past winter. Sweet!

Unfortunately the pic is not from my garden, look for updates in a month or so!

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