Judy’s Spring Garden
Judy Wright is a master gardener and blogger. You can find her and her garden tips and inspiration at judyschickens.org. Here is an abbreviated guide to her spring planting. For more details, go to judyschickens.org.
“A tomato plant in every yard and a 20-quart saucepan in every kitchen. That’s the way it was growing up with four Sicilian grandparents, a mother, and a bunch of aunties and cousins who were all fabulous cooks. With six brothers, three sons and now a grandson, this blog started as a way to record and share our family’s traditional recipes. It has since expanded into an exploration of where food comes from, from backyard kitchen gardens to commercial farms.”
SUGAR ANN PEAS
There is an old gardening tradition that says to plant your peas on Valentine’s Day. That is always the goal but seldom the reality. Sugar snaps are an edible-podded cultivar that has plump peas inside. If you harvest while young, you can still eat the pods. If you harvest late, you would need to shell the peas and discard the pod. These are so delicious raw, they hardly ever make it to the kitchen. These need a trellis or fence to support the vines and are harvested just weeks after planting.
“EASTER EGG” RADISH
Seeds planted March 15. 30 days to maturity. Started harvesting April 17. Sweet, mild, crispy and colorful. Flowers are edible.
“BRIGHT LIGHTS” SWISS CHARD
Seeds planted March 23. Days to maturity: 28 for baby, 55 for bunching. Harvesting began May 26.
SPRING ONIONS (a.k.a. scallions or green onions)
Sets planted March 15. Harvest starts six weeks after planting. Even though you can buy white, yellow or purple onion sets, I plant the purple variety for one reason: I love the color. I planted 200 sets this year. I cannot get enough of spring onions. I use them sliced and uncooked in salads, sautéed in mirepoix, and roasted whole in the oven or on the grill. Yum.
“PREMIER BLEND” KALE
Seeds planted March 23. Days to maturity: 28 for baby, 55 for bunching. Harvesting began late April.