Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Spring is Coming


     March 3, 2021.  A glorious day, high of 57.  Snow drops as indications that spring will soon burst upon us.  A forecast of days to come, without rain.  Maybe not as warm as today, but beautiful none the less.  The snow drops are the earliest of my spring bulbs to bloom, easily beating out the crocus and daffodils.

    Snow drops are part of a group of plants known as ephemerals.  They have a short growth season, often in early spring before trees leaf out.  They take full advantage of early spring sun light, then die back to nothing as trees leaf out and block the light.  These snow drops self seed, so the patch gets bigger and bigger for the spring spectacle.  I have crocus, wood hyacinths, and grape hyacinths which are also ephemeral, and should bloom in a couple of weeks.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

A bit of Paradise

                                                        February 25, 2021

       A bit of Paradise in February.  Still with snow outside.  Cindy and I brought a small Bird of Paradise plant home from a trip to Hawaii in 1986.  It apparently did not mind it's trip back east, as it has thrived and now bloomed for many years.  It starts blooming in December, and continues for months on end.  This year had only two blooms whereas most years there are five.   It loves to spend the summers outside, but only well away from frost dates.


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Lettuce starts update 1/5/2021

Mixed lettuce from seed 10/17/2020

      The lettuce starts shown above were started from seed on October 17 of 2020, with the intent to
move the small plants to a cold frame to winter over.  This pot was outside and survived a low of 26 
degrees on December 7 th.  By mid December this and a second pot were moved to our single pane enclosed porch.  
      Yesterday on 1/4/2021, I painstakingly moved tiny thick stemmed chinese mustard seedlings that had hair like roots from a wet paper towel start of maybe a week prior wetting.  Pak Choi seeds were also sprinkled over dirt yesterday.  Today I also started six Golden Treasure Pepper seeds on the damp paper towel method.  Pepper seeds take me forever to germinate, and are also slow growers, hence the very early attempted start.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Planting Garlic in December

      I have heard a saying about planting garlic on the shortest day of the year.  Well I am pretty close to being that late so I am hoping for the best.  I would certainly expect a great crop of green garlic.

      At the bottom of the northern most tomato trellis I planted almost two dozen Russian Red garlic cloves from my last year's harvest.  These were some of the largest cloves that I saved especially for next year's crop.

      In the new tomato trellis near the middle of the garden, I planted one dozen Music cloves from last year's harvest.  These were premium cloves that will hopefully provide next year's seed stock.

      This bed at the park was heavily planted by casting cloves on the slightly disturbed soil.  The dried grass clippings were then lightly spread over the seeds.  It felt good to be out in the garden today.  And the forecast for next week is wintry cold, so I am happy to be done with the garlic.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17th Harvest

      I have not written a post in so long, I may not remember how to do the picture pasting.  At least the garden did not forget how to produce.  But on October 17th, this picking is getting to be near the end. Maybe frost will hold off some more.

      Wow, what a haul for the middle of October.  I had great success with the peppers that I grew in the compost pile at the park.  The elevated peppers did much better than those in the ground, and also better than those in pots.  Will certainly repeat that experiment next year.

       Here is everything spread out.  The cubanelle peppers are on the left as well as the one orange cubanelle on the right.  The near to the last of the large tomatoes are in the upper middle, with the chocolate cherries just below them.  The pretty red balls just below the cherries are sweet cherry peppers.  New to me this year, they have kind of a smoky flavor.  I have kept some of the abundant seeds for next crop in 2018.   On the right are four bell peppers.  The long yellow peppers are sweet, and similar to banana peppers.  Sorry to see it all the fresh produce nearing an end.
      The ten day forecast shows no indication of frost, so there just might be a chance to pick summer veggies into November!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Early, Early Asparagus

      I have heard that the mostly mild or even outrageously warm weather this winter has our area about a month ahead of normal seasons.  And yet, it was still a huge surprise to see asparagus spears breaking ground in late February!  By early March:

March 3, 2017

      The purplish or pinkish spears are just barely visible in this planting.  In this next shot of a different hill the spears are more easily seen.

March 3, 2017

    With a few more days of nice weather, I might have enjoyed the first taste of asparagus in early March. But alas, winter has moved back in.  While the asparagus roots are perennial and can survive weather to zero or lower, the shoots above ground are quite tender, and will be killed back in freezing temperatures. The forecast for this morning was supposed to be 22 degrees, so yesterday I went to the park to cover the baby asparagus with shredded leaves. Tomorrow morning lows are supposed to be around 16 degrees. Bad, bad weather for brand new spears.

      Ah, hopefully that will be better.  In a couple of days I will gently peel away the leaves and look for some of those scrumptious first spears.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Perfect for Pansies

      A large chunk of the old Beech tree at the entrance to the Bellevue Park community gardens broke off, showing the necessity to take down the whole tree. Turns out it was rotten in the center to a height of about ten feet.  The inside was filled with beautiful black dirt, probably the result of years of squirrel goop and nesting leaves.  To some enterprising gardener, it presented the perfect opportunity for a stealth raid to plant some pansies before the stump planter was cut down.  Hopefully the park people will leave the new gardening statement standing.

February 24, 2017
Brightens things up a bit after a cloudy winter