1/100th Acre Farm: Late Winter Prep

American Grandpa is very proud of himself. For years, when spring rolled around, I kicked myself for not being ready to plant my garden. Part of that was due to the fact that, in Utah, Mother’s Day is considered the safe date to plant, with no more danger of hard frosts, so why be ready to plant in mid-March, but mostly it was about being distracted.   

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

When I established the 1/100th Acre Farm, I determined that I would do all the late-winter prep and be ready to go when the weather broke. And, by gum, I did.

Starting the Plants

I invested in a 72-plug mini-green house and (because I’d done my garden plan in January) knew which seeds to pick up. I hydrated the plugs, planted the seeds, covered them and put them in the sunny windows on the south side of our house. My expectation was that by late March I’d have some nice starts to put out, but I got a surprise.

Within a day, the beans had all sprouted and within two, the peas and cucumbers were up. Within a week, I had to start transplanting into peat pots to give the roots room to grow. Soon my 12 by 28 inch mini-green house was replaced by two tables full of happy vegetable plants.

By mid-March, the weather was looking iffy, but on warm days I took all of the plants out to acclimate to the chill, wind and rain. I lost a few of the weak ones, but most of them survived.

Preparing the Soil

I also needed to get the soil ready. My 2021 plan called for getting rid of the garden box and replacing it with one long row against the fence. I’d pulled the garden box apart last fall, leaving a hill of soil. I needed to cut the sod out along the fence and replace it with the garden box soil. Sounds simple, but It was going to be a lot of work for an old guy, so I called on my secret weapon – my grandchildren.  

We agreed on $5 an hour and they went to work. They did a great job and within a bout three hours they had the row ready to go.

While they worked on that, I terraced my new strawberry planter.

All I had to do was wait for the weather to break.


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