Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Getting Behind

In posting not in doing the work. Since my last update on Thursday I've done a lot of things. I finished turning the other compost pile over (about a cubic yard). My townhousemates, husband, and I weeded the whole yard and spread 2cuyds of mulch.

The herb circle had its bricks redone so the newly planted sage would have some space. Also in the last year I layered some new plants off of the rosemary. I just pulled some branches down in spring and covered them with soil and a rock to keep it from coming out. This spring those branches had roots on them. I moved them to other spots in the garden. This way if one dies another might live. This year all the ones by the foundation died. Maybe next year it will be somewhere else. Even hardy rosemary is barely hardy here.

I planted up all my zinnias and cosmos. I have two beds they go into. One is my rock wall garden which is where the road enters our property. Technically the rock wall garden is not "our" land. It belongs to the private road which dead ends at our house. Since it is a private road I am required to keep up the land as the abutter of the land. Which means I use it to grow fruit mostly, but I do add in flowers. The other spot is a small spot along my garden fence near the driveway. I mixed the cosmos and zinnia together. Two zinnias for every cosmos planted. You might also notice the basil in that flat. I planted them too. It is a bit early for basil, but it has been so nice recently. Hopefully they will survive. That was the last of my seedlings I had grown. I'm thinking of direct seeding anything else I need. But I may change my mind on that.

I noticed my kale was starting to bloom. I picked all the blooms off for a spring treat. But I also chopped down all the Blue Curly Kale. I left the bottom parts of the stem which will hopefully try to grow out again.

I froze most of it. Yup I just get finished eating my frozen greens from last year and I start packing them in again. Most of my kale that I freeze comes from my kale in the spring and not in the fall. I'd love to have at least 30 packets frozen. Each packet is about 1/4lb of kale or one serving. I do have some more kale out there that I didn't chop down. I'll probably process that variety once the chopped down stubs start to show some green on them. I still want to be able to eat a lot of fresh kale this spring. If I'm lucky I'll get a lot more greens. If I'm not the plants will just try to send out scraggly flowers.

I decided that I would move the asparagus bed. I'm going to kill the plants in the existing bed. There are only 3 out of 22 still growing so it won't be hard. I don't know if it is a virus or water issues or something else. I'm going to put the new asparagus plants that I ordered where I had planted my blueberries. I moved the blueberries to one section of the rock wall garden where the asparagus had been.

I still have a lot of linear feet along the fence as the old asparagus plot was rather long. Caroline, one of my townhouse mates, requested it be a green wall. So I'm going to espallier some fruit trees. There are three 8' sections to fill so I did some research and picked out three trees. The pear is a Honeysweet which is self pollinating which is required as I'm only planting one. There are other pear trees in the neighborhood, but they really aren't that close. Then I picked out two apples. I wanted easy care ones for this section as they will be along the fence and won't get as much airflow as ones I have planted in the yard. I wanted a Macintosh for applesauce so got a Macfree. The other is a Liberty. I tried a Liberty at the farmer's market last year as I was thinking about one. Both are Macintosh type apples. Both are resistant to scab, cedar apple rust, mildew, and fire blight. Hopefully they will do well here.


  1. Your herb circle looks great! That is a lot of packages of Kale to freeze. Does just you and your husband eat all that? I hope your trees do well. I would love to have a couple apple trees but afraid I might have to use chemicals and would have to get dwarf ones for my small space. Nancy

    1. My husband won't touch it. So it is just me eating this.

  2. I'm in compost mode also. I emptied one bin and spread it around. Then I turned one cubic yard bin into another and filled the empty one. Now I'm going at the oak trees which desperately need some trimming and thinning and I'm grinding up the trimmings to make yet more compost. Oy, I feel like the compost queen.

    I love your circle herb garden, if I had a spot I would copy it! But I'm still searching for a place to grow sage where it doesn't die. Rosemary is no problem, it grows like a weed and I have to plant it where it won't crowd everything else out. Everything else has to be planted where the deer won't eat it.

  3. I lime the herb circle. I also enter to growth a variety of herbs but I don't know what to do with most of them. It is awesome that you have garden greens all year round! That is my future goal.

  4. where are you getting your apple trees? do you have a catalog source you use? will you get bare root or a balled tree? are these fruit trees you're going to train as an espalier?
    I absolutely love kale and mustard greens! I really envy your ability to grow these. Apparently I just haven't learned when to start my seeds or when to plant. I noticed that you have your spinach under cover... Should I cover my kale and mustard greens? when you picked the flowers off your kale how did you prepare them ?

    1. I ordered the apples from Miller and the pear from Stark. I've bought trees from other places before. I just knew the varieties that I wanted so bought from those that had them. All three will be trained in an espallier.

      I cover my kale over the summer as it keeps the caterpillars off of them. But it isn't necessary. I sauteed them in some butter. I don't usually use butter to saute my veggies but they were a special treat.