15 May 2008

gardening!


Well, it's been quite a while since I've had any news on the garden. Not that I haven't been doing anything, I've just been so busy!

First off, pretty much every perennial I had is coming up with crazy enthusiasm this year. Even the stuff in the planters that I thought would be too exposed in the winter survived and are starting to grow and green. The peppermint, lemon balm, feverfew and soapwort specifically I assumed wouldn't survive, however, they are now all growing back and the peppermint already smells amazing!Feverfew, rhubarb, echinacea, lovage, thyme and chives are making their presence known again, back from the winter with pretty green leaves. I love how they look when they are JUST peeking out of the soil from the slumber. The lovage and echinacea had such pretty purple veining to them!

rhubarb:


peppermint sprout:


lemon balm:


feverfew:


lovage:


echinacea:


The garlic I planted last fall was SO big by the end of april, and now is even bigger! I have a hard time remembering specifics from year to year, but I swear that the size the garlic is now, equals the size it was last year around july. I planted two beds of garlic, one bed was garlic I grew the year before, dried, hung and saved. The second bed was garlic I bought from West Coast Seeds in case the stuff we dried didn't sprout properly. Our garlic breached the soil a couple days after the store bought stuff, and is now way bigger than the garlic I ordered! Although, since I'm pretty bad at keeping record, it will be a surprise which is softneck and which is hardneck.

garlic:


This year, one of my goals is to grow better onions. I've been starting onions from seed in soil blocks every week for just over a month now. The first batch I transplanted last weekend, and they are doing amazing! I've also been starting leeks the same way from seed in soil blocks. Transplanting those will be a little wdird as we've never grown them before, and I'm not sure about some of the specifics for them. For example, should I thin the leek seedlings to 1 per block? Should I mound the soil, or let nature just do that over the course of the leek's life? Either way, it'll be a learning experience i guess. I'd like to become more proficiant at winter hardy gardening, and carrying those hardy plants into november, december and even january with the help of low tunnels and cold frames.

The tomatos I'm growing this year are a cherry sized type that are shaped like little pears! I'm excited to see them start fruiting! I started them the first week of april, and they are getting quite big already.

I dug in the ground cover and some compost about 5 weeks ago so that I could start some early outside stuff. The carrots are 'atomic red' carrots and the radishes are 'white icicle' radishes, both bought from the seedy saturday event from cottage gardener seed company. There are tons of other starts currently, chamomille, basil, ground cherry, cabbage, pac choi, arugula, radicchio, peas, lettuce, cucumber, squash, zucchini, sunflowers, morning glory, borage, wild bergamot, lemon mint, catnip, cumin, lemon catnip, and tons of other cool stuff.

borage sprouts: