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2011 Seedlings: Arugula

03.15.11

I remember years [15-20 years ago, mind you] when evidence of the winter’s snow lingered until early July. I think it will be one of those years. I’ve cleared snow off some south-wall-beds and the resulting heap of remaining snow is about 7 feet tall.

No matter. The face of the 2011 garden is showing itself in the first seedlings. These little guys are arugula – not your grocery store variety, mind you, but a broader, more tender, more richly flavored variety.  I harvested bout a half-cup of seed from last year’s plants, so will have LOTS of arugula around the yard this year.  I’d like it to take up permanent residence in my ‘forest garden’ beds. I only use quotation marks because it doesn’t look much like forest – yet. It’s only 3  years old. But it’s coming.

I’ll be growing a minimum of 3 varieties of arugula this year – this kind, the common variety, and a wild cultivar. They are quick to germinate, quick to grow, easy to harvest, tasty, easy to collect seed from, and are insanely hardy – the wild kinds could take hard freezes well into November/December. It’s about as hardy as kale. I intend on sheltering some with cold frames this fall and seeing how far I can take them into winter.

On that…next post: cold frames.  Was able to build yesterday now that the weather’s broken. Need to start more seeds.

2 Responses

  1. Beautiful. As a teacher, this was always a magical time of year in the class room when I used to teach elementary. The seeds would be planted, and every day – nothing. Glum faces. Then, suddenly KER-POW! The seedling sprung from the earth and reached up to the sun. Children danced. I love that magic and feel it every year in the garden. Once the season starts, every morning, very early – before anyone else is awake, I put on my sandals and shuffle in to the garden in my pj’s. Pulling the tender new weeks, celebrating a new leaf or flower on a tomato plant … or any plant. Whispering grow… I am still astounded at how much some plants can grow on a hot day. Astounded.
    ;)

  2. ACF – ooh, I like how you describe the whole thing. It’s so true. One of my happiest moments too is that morning stroll about the garden. Basking in the health, virility, abundance, personal achievement in its stewardship. It is rewarding indeed – and something that’s hard to communicate to those that think gardening is only hard, life-sapping work.

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