Monday, April 21, 2014

Dare I say it?

If I put away the snow shovels, will I jinx the weather? We had a couple of below freezing nights this past week, but the worst of it seems to be behind us now. The forsythia doesn't believe me, but the daffodils sure do.

Hopefully will become rabbit and woodchuck proof

My SO and I spent several hours outside Saturday, him working on the garden fence, me planting potatoes, potting up broccoli seedlings (note to self: don't plant the cool weather vegetable seedlings in the same flat as the warm weather ones) , and generally puttering around in the yard.

Adirondack Blue and Red seed potatoes

Items of note: some of the plants that wintered over in the garage are recovering, specifically the thyme and catnip; the hops rhizomes I planted in a big container have (surprisingly) sprouted; the redbud trees are budding. I even swapped out the flannel sheets on my bed for percale. Now *that* is a sure sign of spring!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

You can't make me

I refuse to take another picture of snow. I. Just. Refuse.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The squirrel thanks us

At first, I was dumbfounded to see a squirrel in the bird feeder. Then I realized the new garden fence provided him a leg up. That's okay - bird feeding season is almost over.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Baby steps

The weather has been fairly temperate recently (except for the wind), so the garden is progressing appropriately. The onions are hanging in there, presumably putting down roots, as the tops look less than stellar. The garlic and rhubarb have made an appearance....

This past week, I planted peas, snap peas, spinach, lettuce, and radishes. And the daffodils are in bloom.

One problem with gardening in raised beds is perennials have a tougher time withstanding the winter weather since their roots are not deep within the earth proper. So far, I have not had a problem with garlic, which I mulch heavily. Last fall, I neglected to mulch the the asparagus and strawberries, both of which look not-so-good this spring.

I'm not happy with the strawberries anyway - the everbearing variety didn't everbear - so I am replacing them with a June-bearing variety. In all fairness, the strawberry bed probably did not receive enough sun, so it will also be relocated.

The asparagus may have bit the dust, as it is showing no signs of life. I'm not very experienced with asparagus; maybe it is too early? Regardless, I decided to plant more asparagus, a purple variety, which I did yesterday. I also gave the 25 new plants more elbow room room than I gave the previous 20 plants in the current bed. The new bed is also in a sunnier location.

In the never ending battles against rabbits and groundhogs, my SO is helping me build (and by "helping", he is doing most of the work) a garden fence. The idea is to run hardware cloth from the bottom to prevent digging and chicken wire from the top to prevent climbing. There will also be no posts set in the ground, so I can move the fence if need be. (I seem to change my mind a lot about the yard.)

Under the oh-ye-of-little-faith category, I am happy to report that all the indoor seedlings sprouted, with the exception of the 'Abe Lincoln' tomatoes, which I replanted yesterday.

I was planning to plant potatoes and transplant blueberries today, but "they" are predicting snow a few days from now. My gardening muscles are suffering a bit, but not as bad as I expected. Although the back of my neck felt like it was getting burned yesterday, it's not.

How does your garden grow?

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Last fall I claimed to have seen a partially albino robin. Some scoffed, but the little bugger (or his cousin) is back AND I was able to capture some (not very good) photos. I had to take these through (dirty) windows because this guy was very skittish. Have any of you seen anything like this?

Is that a worm I hear?

Saturday, April 05, 2014

A little worried

Last weekend I started some seeds indoors: broccoli (late, I know), tomatoes, peppers. The broccoli seeds have sprouted, but no sign of life from the rest. These are the seeds that were delivered during the polar vortex. I hope the bitter temps they may have experienced in transit did not kill them. I'm going to put a little heat under them, to see if that helps.

I am also fretting about plant deliveries because, during a brain fart, I decided to be out of town in late April. Pinetree responded to my neurotic fretmail by shipping the rest of my order the next day. I didn't notice that, besides Irish potatoes, the order includes sweet potato slips; if the latter are hurt by the chilly temps as they travel, it will be my own damn fault. I also contacted Stark Bros. about the blueberry plants that were supposed to be shipped in March; they are on their way. That leaves only some ground cherry and pepper plants from Seed Savers to worry about.

Otherwise, I've been trying to achieve a little yard clean up. Not easy with cool temps and frigid wind and alternately pelting and misting rain. This weekend promises to be sunny, or so they say. Around here, you can never tell.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

It's April and I may be a fool

The onion plants were making me nervous. When they arrived, the ground was still frozen. I gave them a drink and put them in the garage, where I figured they would become accustomed to the cold. But the past few days it has been not so cold. Despite their roots being exposed to the air, the onions were trying to grow. So this afternoon, I transferred them to the garden proper. It feels early, but now that I check my (poorly kept) records from last year, I see I am in the ball park: April 1 vs. April 6. Close enough.