Friday, February 26, 2010

State of the Garden

Over the last two days we have had pouring rain. Last night was particularly bad as the winds were gusting to about 60mph. I kept hearing branches hit my roof. The oak trees in the back yard stretch their branches out over the house which is great for shade in the summer, but not so good in a wind storm. Anyway the rain washed most of our snow away. It seemed a good time to go out and see how things are growing.

The first thing I noticed was the first little shoots of garlic poking up. This variety, an unknown from the store, is always the first to come up. As you can see by the acorn the shoot is still short but it is very thick.

The mache has a couple of clumps that look the same as they did in the fall. So far it seems quite hardy here without protection. I didn't get much germination last fall. Maybe more will come up this spring. You can tell how small they are by the little seeds that lie next to them. Those are dill seeds that scatter themselves around the garden.

Then I saw something Thomas is familiar with. I have a little vole or mouse hole in my garden. I often get these and occasionally see them during the summer. Usually they are voles. Unlike Thomas I've never noticed any damage in the garden. So I wondered. How was my spinach under the row cover faring?

It seems untouched by voles and has over wintered well. Now I wouldn't eat that spinach, but it will be putting on new growth soon. In about three weeks I'll be sowing my spring spinach which will be eaten in May, but I'm hoping this patch will give me an early crop.

I also left in a couple of bunching onions to see if they would overwinter this year. Some years they do fine. They still seem to be alive. Their outer leaves are mush, but the inner ones look alive. The kale seems ragged, but not dead. Maybe it will put on new growth in the spring too. I can always hope.


  1. I found 7 of those holes in my garden yesterday. So far, whatever is digging has missed any of the plants, but it's still irritating.

  2. Oh wow, you're seeing dirt, how lovely ! We got 2 ft of snow these last couple days. I'm jealous ! (High temps and sunny today though so there's some meltage going on, thank goodness).

    Good thing whatever's been digging is uninterested in the crops ! I see fresh greens in your plate pretty soon ! :)

  3. Gosh, 60 mph winds are pretty bad! Armadillos are my only varmint to deal with, and they dig like crazy.

  4. It's lovely to see new growth, even if the plants are small at the moment!

  5. ah-oh...hopefully all of the rain we've gotten lately has driven whatever dug that hole away. I don't know about you, but our neighbor experienced a lot of tree damage from the high winds.

    Glad to see the spinach survived! You'll be harvesting in no time!

  6. A little trimming up of the damaged outer leaves and some sunshine will have that spinach taking right off again.

    Sorry to hear about the foul weather you have been experiencing. We had a heavy rain event today but nothing like the wollop you guys have been getting.

  7. No mouse holes yet here, but I'm sure there are rats around. Good overwintering stuff.

  8. Ribbit, I always get them when my soil has been dug recently. And this bed was double dug last year, so I expected it.

    Miss M, wow 2' of snow. I'd have to go shovel my roof with that.

    EG, some places got 80mph gust, but not here.

    Jan, it was

    Thomas, we had lots of branches fall, but not big ones, just smaller ones. I'll have a lot to pick up in the spring.

    kitsapFG, I'll probably trim them up in a couple of weeks.

    Stefaneener, we only get the rats with pretty tails (squirrels). They are quite fat this winter. Last winter was the winter without acorns and I didn't see them all winter long. This year they are happy and fat and making noise on the roof.

  9. Looks like you have some nice overwintered crops. Given a good spring they should be harvestable pretty quickly. The snow cover really helps get things through. Many things I grew didn't far so well with out low snow fall this winter. Of course now we have lots of the white stuff! All that rain you got ended up as snow here.

  10. It's so nice to see someone's garden with some sprouts. Ours still has at least a foot of snow hanging on--but I did get some forsythia in that is starting to open and some pussywillows.

  11. Sorry to see that the mache didn't germinate well for you. At least the little seedlings made it through the winter. My volunteer mache always seems to do better than the seeds that I sow, I'm not sure why. I you still have some seeds you might want to sow more now, I suspect they germinate better in cooler weather than warm. The spring sown plants would probably catch up pretty quickly. My volunteers like to come up in late fall after the rains have started, but even they take their sweet time sizing up.