Friday, March 23, 2012

Late March in the garden

What a Spring we're having!  It was in the mid 80s yesterday and the garden is loving it.  We're due for a dose of reality in the next week, but it's been nice while it lasted.  The garden has been growing faster than normal.  Most years, I still have frozen ground, or even snow at this point.  So, I'll take what I can get.

The peas are poking their little heads up already.

The potato onions are getting big.  I'm hoping for a better harvest this year as they acclimate to my garden.

Spinach is up in the hoops.  Lettuce and swiss chard are also poking their heads up.

The rhubarb is getting bigger by the minute.  At it's current rate of growth, I fully expect it to take over this bed.  That's only a slight exaggeration.

The strawberries are looking healthy and we're hoping for a great crop.  If we can keep the other birds and animals away.

Lastly, are the brassicas.  They're hardening off to go into the hoops later in the week. 

What have you got going on in your garden.  Any signs of spring?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Rhubarb

Please check out my post over at Edible South Shore today on why we should grow our own.  I would love your input.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Long to do list

It's been a crazy week here.  I spent all day on Wednesday at the hospital with Hubby (all is well, this was a positive thing).  While I waited, I read gardening books and made lists.  We are predicted to have some more gorgeous weather this week, so my to do list has gotten rather long.  I thought I'd post it for you as much for myself as it may possibly remind you what needs to get done in your own world.  I'll try to check back later in the week to see what has gotten done.

-Talk to Glenn about leaves in the fall.  ( a friend who is a landscaper)
-Turn compost and harvest what is there for the strawberry bed.
-clean and sharpen tools
-get new sharpener tool
-clean out shed
-get barrel for straw
-clean out chicken coop and add to compost
-pull out remainder of fence
-cut back and burn invasive blackberries
-clean up fallen branches behind coop from hurricane
-plant sunflowers and borage
-create garden bed by coop
-harvest Jerusalem artichokes
-write a post for edible on above
-plant more beets, carrots and second round of brassicas
-pot up peppers and brassicas in basement
-start hardening off brassicas for planting in hoops
-get hardware for 2 more hoops
-make list for fall seed list
-make more seed tapes
-fix front flower bed
-mulch everything
-extend bed by mailbox
-get loam from Glenn
-build 2 more beds and 1 with uprights for grapes
-order grapes and asparagus for next year
-plant 2 more fruit trees in back corner
-cut t shirt strips for tomato supports.
-weed and turn remainder of beds

It's a lot and much of it will have to wait for a bit.   What are you doing in the garden and yard this week?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Enjoying the warmth

I know most of us are experiencing this warmth, but it is still just amazing to me.  I can't get over the fact that it is mid March and not only do we not have snow, but I have things in the ground already.  I don't ever remember being able to plant peas so early.  In my hoops I have added some carrots to the greens already there.  The hoops have been open as well, since night temps have been so warm.  It will get cooler, it always does, but this nice little interlude sure is satisfying.

The girls are enjoying the warmth as well.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gourd house

I've been outside enjoying this rare 65 degree March day.  Peas, lettuce, chard, mizuna, mache and spinach have been planted.  The fruit trees have been pruned.  I just wanted to share this bird house made from a gourd.  It was made by an artisan that sold at my Farmer's Market last year.  She is incredibly talented and funny as can be.  My daughter begged for one instantly.  We're really hoping to get a nice family of birds to move in soon.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Planting in early March

Planting in early March is not something I've ever done before.  Outside that is.  I've done plenty of inside planting at this time of year.  Many years we still have snow on the ground, or still have snow coming.  The local saying is to plant peas on St Patrick's day.  Most years, that just isn't possible. 

This year is a little different.  We've had a mild winter, hardly any snow and what is starting to look like an early warm up.  Then you factor in hoop houses.  If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I've wanted hoops for a while.  I even made a really bad attempt at them 2 years ago.  However, this past fall, I finally raised the beds on my interior garden.  They were intentionally made of wood, so that hoops could be installed. 

Yesterday, I finally got Hubby to help me set 2 of them up.  I'm so excited, that I could just sit and look at them all day.  It's warm today and predicted to hit close to 60.  The wind is crazy though.  I ended up needing more clamps and couldn't find them at my usual place.  I had to take the plastic off one, so that I could use double the clamps on the other.  Even with those, it's still having a hard time taking all the wind.  Since it is so warm and sunny today, I'm not terribly worried.  Johnny's had some great clips that are now on their way to me.

It was quite amazing how warm the soil got with only a few hours of coverage.  This morning, I turned over the beds and planted a few things.  Bright lights chard, mizuna, mache, spinach and lettuce mix.  This is all a bit of an experiment right now.  If they do anything in the next week or so, I'll plant more.  When the new clamps come in, the second hoop house will become a nursery for the cooler weather plants in the basement. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Don't fail me now!

Spring is so close, I can almost touch it.  I want to touch it, desperately.  Does that sound depraved?  Here in New England, our temps are predicted to be in the 60s on Wednesday and Thursday.  Such a tease!  After this boring (I'm not complaining!) and warm winter, I'm more than ready to get going on the garden.   Today, however, is still too cold to spend any time in the garden itself.

Instead, I'm planting more seeds.  It's a little early, but I'm throwing all caution to the wind.  If the seedlings get a little too big, I'll toss them into a hoop house.

The peppers need to be reseeded as well.  I've been a little spacey lately, and may have missed seeding an entire row, thus the pathetic germination rate.  Some of the broccoli and cabbage seeds were quite old.  In fact, I'm not even sure how old they are.  I'll be replanting some of those as well.

The garden plan is done, but will most definitely be altered along the way.  I'm very good at planning, but not terribly good at following my plan.  This year, I'm trying to put more garden into storage crops  and year round greens.  I didn't put it into the plan, but many of these beds will be rotated at least once for multiple harvests.  We go through a ridiculous number of carrots in a year, so a very large crop will be planted mid to late summer.  They can be easily overwintered in the ground with some protection.  Even with minimal protection, I've found that they will do quite well.

If you want to see what else I'm writing about, check out my post on Maple Sugaring, over at Edible South Shore.