Saturday, February 28, 2009


Our warm weather yesterday melted out some of the beds. The nice blue green mat is my dianthus that I grew from seed years and years ago. Last year I cut it back to make the new garlic and onion bed above.

The unknown softneck garlic that I planted poked up right after going into the ground in fall. They have lots of leaves coming up now. The hardnecks are barely starting to peek through the earth.

My sage is beautiful right now. I cut it back in the spring before its new growth starts. If I don't do this it gets huge and takes over. It has a week or two before it gets sheared. On second thought I can see some new growth already on the plant. I have work to do.

My French thyme is the first of the thymes to be uncovered. French thyme is my favorite of all my thymes. I find it much more flavorful than the English thyme, but I grow that too. The English thyme is reliable. It doesn't die, grows profusely and can handle getting sheared way back for large harvests. My harvests from the French thyme are much smaller.

As I was scoping out the garden, I started trying to take the snow off of my plastic row cover that failed last winter. I wanted it to get propped up again. It turns out the top 3" of snow are really snow, the bottom 3" is all ice. Some of it came off easily and some had to be chipped. One of the covers has been unearthed. The hoops won't straighten up since they are frozen into the prone position. I did prop them up just enough with rocks to provide a layer of air underneath. The broccoli seems quite dead. The chard is just missing. I can't even tell where it was before. I'm hoping the roots are still alive and it will reemerge, but I doubt it. The old lettuce leaves are all brown, but the inner rosette is still green and alive. Whoo hoo! I'm psyched.

So I had a very happy moment communing with my lettuce. I enjoyed the moment. Today is another story. Today my weatherman let me down. We have not one but two winter storms headed our way. Tomorrow's storm starts off as an ice storm then just as it starts moving out another storm will get here and dump lots of snow. My nicely melting beds will have another blanket.

Also since it was the first thaw since the snow started in December and I have a 100 pound dog, lets just say I had a messy chore in the back yard. Next year I must remember to dig more than one doggy composting hole in the fall. I really need two or a massively huge one.

I'm still happy. My lettuce survived the winter. Now it just has to survive the freeze-thaw of spring and I'll have early salads. Whoo hoo!


  1. Hooray! Those early salads sure do taste great. Now you just need some sunny days and mild temperatures! I'm wondering if I'm crazy for packing up to head home so early. At this moment, it's 60F here and only 31F at home!

  2. I hope the weatherman is wrong cause he's calling for snow for my area on Monday. :( I'm ready for winter to be over already...oh well. Thanks for the link about the dogging composting hole, I'm going to look into that for my yard. I don't have an 100 lb dog but with my two small dogs it would still be a great way to recycle their poo.

  3. Sorry to hear about the storms, Daphne. I know your wanting much better weather- I'll be sending warm spring wishes your way! I love the silvery leaves of the sage- just beautiful!

  4. Hurray for melting snow! Our warm weather is done and it is freezing again but looks like warmer weather next weekend.

    I will have to look for french thyme, I always plant the english and is dies on me. The sage looks like it is just waiting to be stuffed under the skin of a chicken breast with some feta.

    Did you see Chiot's Run spinach that over wintered in Ohio? I hope to have sucess like that this coming fall & winter.

  5. Annie's Granny, I sure need some mild days. The first four days of this week are going to be 10 degrees below average, then we get a slight warm up to 5 degrees below average :/ I'm sure we will unfreeze someday. I'm thinking June. The one good thing about packing up now to move is that you get to start most of your plants at your WA home. Those lovely tomatoes are going to be hard enough to transport.

    perennialgardener, you are welcome. I love the system and is pretty easy to do if you don't mind digging holes.

    Tessa, thanks. I need all the well wishing I can get for this weather.

    Dan, don't do it. French thyme is only hardy to zone 6. They would die up north. And the spinach from Chiot's Run is fabulous. I want to be able to grow spinach. It hasn't grown well in the past, but I should try again.

  6. I don't know about you, but as soon as the snow thaws and I see new growth, I get a rush of adrenalin,AKA spring fever, and I want to get out and start planting right away. This year is the hardest yet, due to having a brand new garden plot to play in, and waiting for the right time to drop the seeds into the prepared beds. Patience is what I need Sighhhh!

  7. To bad it is a zone 6er, although I have grown many zone 6 perennials. I think my main problem with herbs is they rot due to the freeze & thaws we get. Maybe I should overwinter them in the coldframe.

  8. Hi Daphne, wow, that is impressive that your lettuce made it! I tried a fall sowing of sugar snap peas that grew nicely but had no flowers and no pollinators even if they did. I don't even know if they need pollinators to make pods or not, but anyway everything is dead, even the parsley and chard. Hooray for your row cover and communing with lettuce. Hope you had a stimulating conversation!

  9. Hooray for spring!! We are being teased with this thawing business! That sage looks beautiful with its silvery leaves! I can't wait for fresh salads from the garden...

  10. keewee, Oh I'm like that too. It still takes a while after that for the soil to be ready to dig, but seeing the soil really makes me want to go out and plant.

    Dan, you are just like me sometimes. I keep trying to make my hardy rosemary survive the winter. It never works. I haven't tried a cold frame though.

    Frances, Nope peas don't need pollinators. It is too bad they all died though. I'm so thrilled that my lettuce is still alive. Or was. We are getting predictions for single digit temperatures again this week. I've got my fingers crossed.

    Liisa, me either. I really want yummy lettuce. The stuff from the store just doesn't compare.