April 25, 2016

Gardens begin again

Gardens 2016 are officially going!

I borrowed my neighbors' heavier tiller and did several passes on the garden Saturday getting the compost and manure well-mixed and the soil nice and soft.  That rich, smooth soil waiting to be planted makes my heart warm.  So much promise awaits in that simple picture.

A few weeks ago I planted carrots and beets, and the beets have sprouted.  Soon I'll need to thin them out a little.

I had also planted kale and lettuce in some pots on the deck but was having difficulty keeping them wet enough, so I put them in the ground as well this weekend.  I told Josh that they seemed happier already on Sunday morning.  He replied with a grin, "Yes, they were very giggly and chatty today.  I agree they seem happier."  

I saw a lot of things online about growing potatoes in various containers so I thought I'd try some sweet potatoes in these five gallon buckets that were sitting unused in the lean-to.  I just drilled some drainage holes in the bottom and filled them with dirt then planted my sweet potatoes on top.  The idea is that when they are ready to harvest you just dump the bucket and it's a lot less labor intensive.  I ordered some purple seed potatoes from Seed Savers.  I might try them in a big container too.

I've been cooking with peas a lot lately and enjoying them so I decided to try my hand at growing some.  I found these cute little plants at the store since I'm a little late now to start this cool-weather crop from seed.  I planted them next to my bean trellises.  I figure they'll be done by the time it's warm enough for beans so it was a good use of space.

The garlic that the boys and I planted last fall is looking good!  I weeded it a bit this weekend.

When I was at the store getting pea plants, I saw tiny asparagus plants.  I've never seen asparagus in a plant like this so I got very excited.  My neighbor told me they look like asparagus ferns but they were labeled asparagus and they do have tiny asparagus shoots on them.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they aren't just ornamental.  If they are legit, it'll save me a couple years of waiting on bare roots to get established.

I asked my sweet husband if he could build me a little raised bed for the asparagus plants so they could have a dedicated spot in the garden.  He cut up some treated lumber we had bought for the chicken coop project and had it set up for me in under a half hour.  A trip to the feed store for soil, and I was ready to plant.

See the tiny little baby asparagus near the bottom?

Last weekend I spent both Saturday and Sunday in the herb garden and front flower beds weeding and cleaning things up.  I also painted the bell post, which was in need of some love.  I'm really happy with how things are growing already.

My strawberries had spread out so much that I dug a bunch of shoots out and spread them around the garden.  The plants have lots of flowers on them.  Hopefully the chickens won't eat all the berries before we get to them!

My thyme is leafy abundance!

This pineapple mint is filling in around the pavers that run through the middle of the garden.

My mom had a plaque like this one in her garden and I always loved it so when I saw it online last year, I had to order one for my house too.

The rogue elderberry from Rita's garden is doing well.  It's even put out two shoots on either side.

It's nice to be able to run out to the garden for seasonings again.  Doesn't food always take better with fresh herbs??  I got some sweet basil and some cinnamon basil as well, which I'm keeping inside for now until we hit the frost date.  I had never seen cinnamon basil before but when I rubbed a leaf between my fingers and smelled it, I had to have a plant.  If you haven't had it before, look for it when you're getting plants!  It's such a unique and interesting flavor.  

Happy planting everyone!

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