I went out yesterday and collected the last of the carrots that I had planted last fall.
The ground protected them well. I'm impressed. Note to self: Start carrots in August for better size/production and let them "over-winter" in the ground. Harvest as needed. Plant a lot of carrots. (Love my carrots.)
Now what to do about a spring crop? By mid to end May, anything that would be considered a cool weather crop can quickly turn into corn flakes around here. So my window is tight. Very tight.
Last year I got my lettuce, snow peas, and shelling peas in by mid March.
The lettuces stuck around till June. All loose leaf lettuces. I love romaine but they take too long to mature. So I'm sticking with the tried and true:
Salad Bowl- Did very well for us last year.
Red Leaf - Again, easy to grow and a good producer.
New varieties are Slo-Bolt and a bibb lettuce, Buttercrunch.
The NC State site suggests planting in March. So I got that right last year.
On to peas. I'm always surprised how many people turn their noses up at peas. Brussel sprouts...sure. But peas? I love peas.
Snow peas seem to do well around here. I noticed them at the farmers market for a few weeks so that encourages me to try again.
Last year I got about 2 full weeks of snow peas before the heat got to them. Good for "fresh" eating but I'd really like to freeze some this year. So to increase my yield, plant earlier and plant more.
Shelling peas were a complete bust. Both for spring and fall. Zapped by the heat of summer, then zapped by frost in the fall. Timing issues.
It's funny...I'm still eating like I'm growing in New York or Ohio. It's a tough habit to break. I'm going to try the peas again this year. Perhaps I can make it work if I adjust my timing a bit. So into the ground go:
Green Arrow and Wando.
Both are dwarf varieties. NC state says to plant in February so I need to get a move on. Hopefully this weekend. (Grin...Yeah, I know. Planting in February? Direct sow? Weird huh?)
On to carrots. Scarlet Nantes did well considering the timing issues and they have a good flavor. Danvers Half Long seems to be another contender that I read a lot about. Maybe I'll try those this fall. NC State says to get those in the ground between February 15th and March 1st.
So, this weekend, peas and carrots it is!
(*The 10 day forecast shows a nice warm up with highs in the 60's-70's and lows in the 30's to 40's.)