Looking at the garden from a distance there’s not much too see. Nonetheless, I took pictures so you can get an idea of what’s going on.
The tall blue/green is winter rye. That’s where most of the tomato plants will go.
The low light green is mache flowering and going to seed. (It’s hiding the winter lettuce from view.)
The light purplish haze to the right are the blueberry bushes that are keeping the bumblebees busy.
The wheelbarrow of straw I’m getting ready to take into the garden.
The buckets of rain water I’ve moved to the entrance so when I transplant more seedlings I can fill the watering can without having to go over to the rain barrels across the yard. (I usually don’t water-in seedlings but it’s been a little drier this year.)
Below is my attempt at a photoshop drawing. Pretty bad drawing, but it still gives you a better idea of the garden layout than the photo does.
The garden’s approximately 40 by 60 feet. The beds and paths are permanent. There is a center path down the middle. And there’s a border of at least two feet from the fence (all the way around) so the beds won’t run right to the fence and so I’ll have room to walk.
The Unknowing Visitor
Folks who know only conventional gardening and end up on my property for one reason or the other are prone to thinking they’re looking at weeds.
A lady last year who saw my garden in April asked me a month or so later if I ever got my garden into shape. I just laughed and said “It was never out of shape.” I’m sure that puzzled her, but there was no point in explaining.
The fellow who is going to cut my grass this year was here about a week ago to cut for the first time. (My friend who cut it last year moved to Florida.)
Anyway – he glanced over and said “I see your garden’s like mine. I haven’t done anything either.”
What he did see growing, I guess he thought was grass or weeds. And the new seedlings of onions (over a thousand), lettuces, rapini, collards, beets, radishes, parsley, cilantro, cabbage and peas were too small to see. Even potato growth is still small and not visible unless you’re right next to it.
Below are some close ups of various things so you can see there really is something growing:
The endive/escarole lettuce is one I’d not want to be without in the winter. Even without protection it can make it through. But with a bit of protection you’ll be eating it all winter. I had planned some for bean soup like Lisa makes (you remember Lisa from this post), but every time I’d harvest with soup in mind, I’d end up eating it fresh.
Using Extra Seedlings
I ran out of space for onions before I ran out of seedlings. So I planted a few small bunches in various available spots. Being so close together they’ll stay small but will make nice sets for me to replant in the fall for spring onions.
Wow! Better than Lettuce!
I had an unexpected visit from a young friend (24 years old) yesterday about 45 minutes before dark. I picked lettuce while we chatted. As I harvested, he said, “Aren’t you going to let me sample some lettuce, Mrs. Martz?”
I couldn’t help but smile. I know he loves mache, but I didn’t realize he likes my lettuce too. After a dozen or so leaves of Winter Density and Sierra Batavia, he said, “Wow! that’s better than lettuce!” I replied, “It is lettuce.”
Of course, what he meant was – it’s better than store bought lettuce – which has no flavor at all.
I started Rapini (sorta like brocolli but doesn’t make a head) seedlings in mid February. I transplanted half to the garden the first week in March. The very next night was below 20 degrees. The Rapini had not even had a chance to recover from being transplanted. Needless to say, I lost it.
I left the rest of the seedlings (which remained in the jug) in the garden for the next couple of weeks and then transplanted to the place I’d lost the others.
This is my first time growing it.
I have three parsley plants growing from last year. Never can get enough parsley no matter how many I plant.
Happy Ending for Beets Planted in February
Started to plant these parsley seedlings the other day in a spot where I had sown beets back in February. Thought the beets were not gonna come up. I was surprised to see them up about an inch and looking great. Had to find other spots for the parsley.
The first beets to go in the garden were seedlings that I transplanted to soon. Lost them. Waited a couple of weeks and put more in. They’re doing great.
The first peas I planted were pre-germinated. They’re still just barely coming up. The other plantings of peas (4 total) the seeds were soaked over night and then sown. They’re all coming up as shown in the photo above.
Onions from Seed
I plant so many onions every year that I try to schedule transplanting with rain so I won’t have to water them with my watering can. No rain came this year. I still waited 3 days – hoping for rain. Finally gave in and did the task. The next day, I could tell the difference.
By the way, notice how nice and tall the seedlings are? So many folks promote the idea that seedlings started from seed need to be cut back. I NEVER cut mine back and they do wonderfully as you can see.
We had a nice shower tonight that was not expected. Tomorrow I’ll see a difference in these seedlings. It’s always fun to see the amazing growth that takes place after a rain.
From this view, you can see some garlic growing.
Still have the bricks in the garden that anchored the row covers. Also, I’m in the process of removing the hoops and concrete reinforcing wire supports.
Found the first asparagus today. It’ll be a while before I get enough each day for a meal.
Anything interesting to report about YOUR garden? I’d love to hear it, as would your fellow TMG readers.
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