We had a good thaw, mid 50s today! And the chickens got into a raised bed and started digging it up. Once I got them out, I finished what they had started on the lovage roots. I wanted those out and they were partly dug up. So, got them out (or most of them...it is like horseradish, you never get it all), and moved them to an inground garden spot. They were shading out some of my herbs and greens! I planted 3 BIG chunks of root and might pot up the rest to give away or sell at the farmers market. I think I got an iris while I was at it. Hope to get those in pots tomorrow. Found a bag of soil once the snow melted off this morning. I knew it was out there somewhere!
I put a few garlic cloves in the mini green house and checked on things.
The toraji root was alive! I couldn't remember where I put the skirret. The chives are coming up so I ate one! (to make sure it wasn't grass before I pulled it up. good thing I tasted it or I would have up rooted it).
I have some kale I planted 2 years ago and the base of the stem is still green and pliable! It put out moderate amounts of Kale all year last year. The sage in there is coming up too.
In the raised bed, the lovage, obviously, and good king henry are up. The purple sage has some edible leaves on it. Must have been coming back under the snow! Soapwort is coming up well. I didn't see new shoots from the hops but it's early. Irises are coming up. Mint as well.
In the big garden, as I was planting the lovage, I came across a tiny tiny yukon gold potato that was in good shape! So I put it back in the ground.
some of my pantry potatoes have good looking eyes growing, so I might encourage that and plant them. They are russets free from 2nd Harvest distribution. I'm enjoying them, but if they could turn into many more potatoes....
Need to inventory my seed stock and make a plan. I know I have corn and squash seeds that I've saved, camelina, and I think radish (for sprouting but they grow). I THINK I have more kale. Hope so! I have some dames rocket as well. I meant to save some chard seed but I may have forgotten...I do that.
Still have manure for the big garden too. Prepping the worm bed to harvest the poo and get that on the raised bed and in the mini green house.
This is one of my problem areas. It has looked better in the past but due to neglect it is overgrown with weeds. I'm hoping to have the time and energy this spring to tackle it.
On the left is a flower bed with a couple of low flowering shrubs interplanted with daylilies. What looks like dead grass are old stems. The brown mass near the fence is one of the shrubs. Leaves from various trees in the front yard collect against the fence and gates. We can't even open ours right now. Right behind the fence is the massive lilac (with a maple tree in the background) and it is as tall as the house. You can see the side of our 2nd story back deck. When the lilac is leafed out and blooming it acts as a privacy screen from the street.
Unfortunately the branches are so heavy that they are falling over. We've removed a few of the worst ones and more pruning is needed. There are also invasive tree seedlings growing in there that need removal. It's going to take years to revitalize the planting, thinning out the branches, regrowing healthy young branches. It also very likely needs fertilizing as it hasn't bloomed well in the last several years. It's going to be a big project.
My plan is to start by cleaning up the flower bed, raking out leaves and clearing old growth and dead stalks. That should exhaust me this week.
After the lilacs bloom we will do a branch prune, removing the largest and oldest ones (the ones falling over) and whatever other dead material and invasive growth we can reach. I expect to repeat that several years in a row, to open up the space and encourage fresh shoots. I'll keep you posted.
That's a really nice space! I'm envious of your fence. Mine are all combinations of chicken wire, t-posts, scrap lumber and pallets.
How much sun does it get?
Lilacs are so beautiful but so far have not been happy at my place. Back in Iowa and even in towns here (warmer? Less wind?) they go bonkers. Up in Spokane they have an annual lilac festival and a "Bloomsday" run to celebrate them.
I found some old pots so today I hope to get those lovage potted up. If they look like celery by the time the farmers market opens up, I think I can get a few bucks for them to support my seed habit. I don't DARE look at catalogs. I'd have seeds for the planet. I think our library still has seeds to distribute but you have to ask for them. pre-'rona they were just out there to pick up. People donate old packets and gathered seeds. I miss that a bit.
The area gets a little morning sun but is mostly shaded because of houses on either side. Only the hardiest of weeds will grow there. I have tried shade tolerant plants but they do not survive because the area has heavy clay soil and dries out completely in summer heat. The lilacs get a little more than the ground level, at least until noonish.
It is easy to go crazy with seeds. I just tossed a bunch of catalogs so I don't have the temptation. I just don't have the space to grow everything I like.
I purchased seeds- roma tomato/string beans/squash/pumpkin and flowering bulbs- asiatic lilies/reg lilies/lily of the valley.
I will attempt to plant the seeds on the sunny side of the house and put fencing up so the squirrel and bunnies don't get to it.
Alot of my flowers haven't bloomed in years and it may be due to the squirrel. He doesn't like lilies, however, so that's why I got more. The few flowers that come up are crocus/hyacinth/tulips/columbine.
I still have to get a apple tree for the gala that we have-it needs a friend to produce.
I cut alot of the branches below the lilacs and chokecherry. Honestly, I think it needs more pruning. The branches are so thick, however, and low to the ground. I did what I could to make it look nicer. We have low evergreen shrubs that we can trim severely and they grow . I didn't prune them last year so they have spread but they will get a big trim this year. The peach tree seems happy and let's see if we get more than 2 peaches this year.
Cleanup on the lilac bush. Photos taken from back yard. You can see I thinned out the number of sticks and branches in the corner against the fence. The neighbor cut off a number of branches a couple years ago and shoved them back over the fence into the corner to hide them. I was able to get most of the dead wood out. I need to go back in today or tomorrow with a saw.
You can see that a couple of large branches (partially sawn off) block the gate, and there are two more large trunks that are harder to see because they face the camera, but they are falling over and nearly horizontal. Plus at least one of the tall branches leaning toward the house is dead.
We used to have a trellis on the lower half of the deck, for privacy and to screen the junk that gets stored there. It was destroyed by storms (it can get pretty windy here). I want to put a new one up.
The pile of cinder blocks is a cat shelter we built for winter. It's full of straw.
This week has been warm, almost summer like. It's supposed to drop back into more seasonal temps, starting this coming weekend. While the daytime temps are going to be above freezing, they're supposed to drop back into the 30*s at night, with the possibility of one last chance of snow (likely flurries).
So we're not likely go get back into the garden until April at the earliest, although we can drop off items for the compost bins. I will need to drop off the (paper) bag of stuff for the bin soon. Then again, I haven't been in the garden since the fall, or likely late summer. Still, letting the plot go last year might have been a good thing since it allowed the plot to be fallow for most of a year.
I've been pulling weeds and tilling the soil for this years garden. I have a few asparagus that came up. My kiwi plants and fruit trees are starting to bud, leaf and some blooms. Last year I saved 3 celery plants that I started from seed. When I went to plant them I separated off the babies and ended up with 15 plants. I bought and planted 12 broccoli and 6 cabbage plants. I also planted peas yesterday. I'm so excited to have the garden started.
Last week was warm and this week's cold. Sigh. I think a couple people might have gone into the garden already but I haven't. Thankfully, my knee's doing better so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get back to my plot this year.
I think it'll be a couple more weeks before it's warm enough to start planting things.
I got out last week on the good days, turned over some soil and planted radishes and lettuce. Lettuce packet was nearly empty so I did not get much planted. Found some more seed, so I can throw that down this afternoon. Friend gave me half a flat of chard sprouts that I can plant next week. Snow expected tomorrow or Thurs, so they can wait a couple days.
Got a pile of brand new bricks left over from a neighbor's project and will be incorporating those into walkways and borders. Area near the water faucet in particular needs cleaned up and more bricks put down.
DH helped me get the water barrel upright, and we replaced the broken down spout so it is collecting rain water again. I bought 4 lattice panels and plan to mount those to screen the under deck area from the neighbor. We have some leftover cans of deck stain and sealer in the garage. I need to look and see if any of that is still useful, and either use it or toss it.
I bought 8 shaped concrete planting box corners and the cedar boards needed to build a new raised bed. Will need DH's help with the power tools, once the weather warms up. Not sure how we're going to raise the soil level with healthy strawberry plants already in the ground. Digging them usually kills them.
used the broad fork on part of my garden. Meant to get some sprouted potatoes in, but then the chickens needed stuff that was more pressing. Maybe today?
I also am getting a quote from a friend on having her do starts so I can sell little portable herb gardens at a farmers market
I'm trying to figure out how to move a tub with horseradish in it. We also need to add at least 4" of dirt to the tub, and some manure. Not sure how when the plants are growing in it already.
Need to do more research and try again to figure out why I can't grow radishes. So frustrating.
I'm buying all our plants this year. I just don't feel like dealing with starters.
We salvaged metal shelves a few years ago. We set them on top of one of the 2 metal shelves that came with our GH, but now want to split the salvaged ones into 2 and make 2 'hutches' from all 3 sets. I'm kind of looking forward to that, to see if it can work. This is how the shelves are configured on the back wall now. If we split the gray shelves, the top shelf on each new hutch would be low enough to put plants on, making more space in the GH.
Maggie- I like the idea of selling starters at the farmers market.
SD- What a lovely greenhouse!
I haven't planted anything yet. I usually have to wait until mid or late May due to the cold. I tell DH that we have 9 mths of cold weather but he keeps disagreeing. One year, I planted heirloom tomatoes and they started to ripen in October. Then the snow came.....Snow arrived in September 2020 and it's still going....
We have a short growing season here, too. The GH adds a few weeks. The pic was taken well after frost last yr. We aren't very good gardeners but we like tinkering around in there. That's why I want to get the back wall reorganized.
We have chives peeking out in the sink garden already. It's early, but still nice to see green.
Pics from last weekend. Got the water barrel upright and hooked up.
You can see the new lattice panels leaning against cinder blocks. The old, rotting ones in the background need to be gotten rid of.
And there's this lovely spot, which is high on my list for cleanup.
At least 4 different hoses, the black one needs repaired, and it's hard to tell but there's pavers under all the leaves. Only half the trellis got attached a couple years ago, so I need to get the rest of that out, cut, and put up and then paint the whole thing. Preferably before the clematis comes back. Hoping to clear this out this week.
I had a look at the vegetable garden and nothing is up yet but the garlic, which is growing like mad. We need more warm days and rain.
Improvement, I'd say. Found a total of 7 hoses. I haven't checked but some of them are undoubtedly damaged. Also found a bag of old leaves which had composted in the years since they were stashed there. Laid a few of my salvaged bricks in the corner to improve footing.
It's finally getting warm enough to get into the garden. The overnight temps are finally getting close to staying in the 40*s. The garden coordinator sent around the email to see who is still interested in coming back for the season. I already let her know that I was planning on coming back. Apparently, we've got a higher number of people on the wait list this year, looking for a plot. I think the pandemic has spurred people's interest in gardening again, the whole "Victory Garden" mindset. That's a good thing, in my opinion, though.
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