Monday, April 6, 2020

The Hungry Gap

They used to call April "The Hungry Gap" because stored food was running low or going bad and no fresh food was growing yet. America hasn't felt the Hungry Gap this acutely in decades. All of our shopping habits have been disrupted. New gardeners are trying to learn to grow their own food. Old gardeners are altering plans. Supplies are running thin in places. I have my peas, lettuce, carrots, cauliflower and strawberries planted. Now we wait.

This weekend I began preparing two beds for my cauliflower plants which will be set out not this coming weekend, but the one after that, when they are 5 weeks old.  The first step is to loosen the soil with a broad fork.  I've found this to be very helpful for my raised beds particularly in water absorption.  I had a couple of beds where the soil got compacted enough that the water would either pool or run to the low side (yes, my garden is on a grade).  After a bed has been aerated with a fork, water disappears into it like a sieve which is a better situation.  

At this point I add my soil amendments and then rake it smooth.  This way, the amendments are worked into the top few inches (dropping through the holes) without having to turn the soil. Cauliflower are heavy feeders.  I added blood meal and some bone meal along with bio-char soil conditioner, and earth worm casting.  My goal is to improve the overall health of my soil, not just add nitrogen.

The Surecrop Strawberry Plants arrived from Starks over a
week ago and have already begun to put out new leaves.

I've added a plastic tub over the lettuce babies to give them a boost

You can barely see them, but they are there!

Current Garden Status:
Peas: Six rows planted. The last two will be planted this coming weekend.
Carrots: Two grow bags planted last weekend. No germination yet
Lettuce: Seeded three weeks ago.
Strawberries: Planted
Cauliflower: Seedlings thriving. Beds prepared.
Eggplants: Seedling developing first true leaves
Tomatoes: Germinated
Weather: Excellent


  1. My first seedlings (planted a week ago) are popping through under lights inside here but I'm nowhere near ready to set anything out. Still snow covering the lower beds out in the garden. I always had it in my head (incorrectly) that upper New York State was in the same planting zone as we are here in upper Minnesota, but that's oh-so-not true! I'll be experiencing spring through you for several more weeks.

    1. Our weather in the western end is quite mild because of the lakes. But just aways east, deep in a valley, is Bradford PA which frequently makes the national weather as the coldest temp in the country!