The weather has been so nice recently, and while we might dip back below freezing before May, it’s a perfect time to plant some of the cold-hardy vegtetables. Some, like peas, spinach and radishes, don’t tolerate hot weather very well. Others, like Swiss chard, celery and favas can get going a little early and leave you with a bigger harvest later on.

After I dug in three bags of composted manure and half a bag of peat moss and mixing everything together, the bed was ready to plant in. In my other bed, I had left some celery I started from seed last year. It never produced much of a crop last year, but it overwintered really well, and it’s a biennial. I pulled up three big clumps and divided up the individual plants. I ended up with about 20 small but well-rooted plants, so I decided to transplant them into the shadier bed. I’ve read that celery is pretty finicky, but I’m hoping that this year I get enough to not have to supplement with store-bought.

Divided Celery Plants

 I did the same with five Swiss chard plants I found as well. They don’t look nearly as robust, but it’s worth a shot.

I also planted peas, fava beans, tatsoi, spinach, radishes and Swiss chard from seed. All of these should do fine, even if there’s another light dusting of snow in the cards. The radishes should be the first to mature – around the middle of May (the seed packets say 28 days, but I think it’s usually a lot longer than what the packets say.) I replanted French Breakfast and Purple Globe from seed I bought last year, and I added Giant of Sicily. I also added a row of inedible but beautiful sweet peas at the front of the bed. I always like to add some flowers into the vegetable beds where I can to add some color.

The shady bed, planted with early spring seeds and transplants

In addition, I cleaned out some of the other beds, trimmed out the neighbor’s invading ivy, raked the twigs and leaves out of the lawn and cut the grass for the first time this year (mainly to cut down the wild chives that are popping up.) The dogs had a nice afternoon out in the sun, with minimal digging. I’m not sure if they think they’re helping, but I’ll have to figure out a way to keep them, especially Lucy, from digging in the vegetable beds.

Lucy and Scout enjoying the sunny day. And Scout eating some sort of paper he found.

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