March 2010 was one of the warmest Marches on record in Maine. April began with three of the hottest days in early April on record, with temps. up to 77 degrees in Bangor. With these conditions and the chance of another hard frost nearly non-existent, it seemed a good gamble to plant peas and swiss chard in the terraced garden with raised beds we built in our yard:
The raised bed above has two rows of peas (Sugar Snap), planted 2 inches apart and the rows 8 inches apart. The rest of the bed will be for tomatoes in mid to late May.
This shows the three raised beds we built into the terrace between our house and the house uphill. The front of the farthest bed is planted with Bright Lights Swiss Chard from Fedco Seeds in Waterville, Maine.
This is our garden, taken from the giant silver maple out back in May 2009. The peas and swiss chard are in the beds on the left.
The next few weeks will tell whether I got all rambunctious and planted too early, since this is very early for planting anything outdoors in central Maine. However, this spring is already shaping up as a very mild one, most likely influenced by El Nino along with global warming. And because we are using raised beds, the soil temperatures tend to get higher than the ambient ground temperature and the raised beds keep the soil from getting waterlogged after a hard rain. We shall see.