We planted spinach seeds outside in a homemade cold frame on April 1 - and today, we harvested enough baby spinach leaves for a salad (we cut the outer leaves from the plants, leaving the smaller center leaves to continue growing - according to what I've read, this method should allow us to harvest from these same plants until mid-June, if all goes well). This is the first time we've grown spinach here in our garden, so we're quite happy with our success so far. We also planted seeds from the same seed packet in another garden bed, but didn't use a cold frame. Those plants are much smaller and probably won't be ready for harvesting for at least another week or two, from the way things look -if they even make it that long. They're not particularly strong plants, and keep toppling over under the weight of their own leaves. I'd never gardened with cold frames before, but this year we built 2. Under 1, we have spinach, kale, and lettuce - and under the other, we're planted broccoli seeds. Next year, we'll plant all our early Spring greens in cold frames, as it's pretty remarkable the difference not only in size but also in strength that the seedlings in the cold frames are showing. All good!
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