Time to get back to the garden

My garden is right at what I call the “transition period” this time of the year: we are ending the winter garden, some of the spring vegetables are not quite ready yet for picking and we have yet to start our summer garden planting. The winter vegetables that are still around in my garden are broccoli rape, cavolo broccolo (also known as spigariello), cavolo nero (Italian kale) escarole and chicory.

The spring vegetables that are not quite ready yet for picking are peas and fava beans.

Now that the rain is finally at an end here in California we will be getting our summer garden ready. If you haven’t started your seeds yet, you still have time so that the seedlings will be ready for transplant in about a month. Read last year's post on how to start your seeds if you need a brush-up. And here are two online sites that carry seeds from Italy: www.gardenedibles.com and www.growitalian.com. Also, remember to amend your soil with some manure or compost now, something you need to do a few weeks before you plant your seedlings.

We started our seeds a couple of weeks ago. And last week we made our annual trip to a local farm and picked up about 30 bags of goat manure for my garden and my parents'. If the weather holds up my dad will add the manure and turn it into the soil in the next week or so.

The tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot) and eggplant seeds have sprouted and will be transplanted in about a month. The romano beans will go directly in the ground next week. I will also plant the potatoes and start my lettuce bed next week.

Did I miss anything? Let me know if you have any more questions. I do hope that you get motivated to plant something. Start small if you have never done this before. Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can plant in your front yard or in large pots on your deck. You will be rewarded with the best vegetables. There is nothing like fresh peas picked right off the plant or a vine-ripened tomato.