Thursday, April 10, 2014

Over the Fence

Last year one of my neighbors asked for a rhubarb division. I gave it to him, but told him that it wasn't really the time to split rhubarb and it might not live. It didn't. Yesterday our soil was thawed out (I do have one shady corner that is still frozen about 7" down, but most of the garden is thawed) so it was a great time to dig up the rhubarb plant and split it.

I put the division into a bucket to give to him. He lives just over my back fence. But as we say in New England, you can't get there from here. There are no gates in our fence on that side of the house. We have thought about it, but have never put one in. So I had to go the long way around about two or three blocks. It seems so silly for it to be so long since our back yards touch. I told him when he was done with the bucket he could just toss it back over the fence. At least it could take the short route. He later emailed me to tell me it was planted. I hope it grows well for him.

Then it was on to planting. Yesterday I did the Asian greens bed. I prepared the soil and planted those early starts. From left to right I have bok choy, tatsoi, and mizuna. The bok choy is smaller because when I seeded it, I seeded it in the wrong cells. It was seeded with my parsley. I decided to let the parsley grow and reseeded the bok choy. I'm hoping that in a month I'll have a good harvest. The rest of the bed was direct seeded with bok choy, tatsoi, mizuna, and choy sum. I do have some transplants growing upstairs. We will see which is bigger in a couple of weeks. I might just use the transplants as I suspect they will be better than the direct seeded ones.

When I was done I put a netting row cover on it. Now they just need to grow. Grow little babies. Grow!

Last fall when my daughter came to stay with her dog, I wanted to be able to bring him into the garden. But dogs of course love dirt. And they love eating organic fertilizer. So I put up some bamboo and string to tell the dog where not to go. My daughter's dog is very trainable, but I found he does need a visual clue when he gets excited. He could easily jump over it, but it is just enough to remind him. I used some old bamboo that was breaking and small. I didn't like it much as all the sticks are of different size and some were sharp where they broke.

So I replaced them with some old stakes. These stakes used to be next to my beds. They were to keep the middle of each 4'x8' from expanding due to the pressure of the dirt. Well the reality is that the stakes never touched the side of the bed after the first year. So they weren't really doing anything. Yesterday I pulled them out and used them to hold up the string. It looks much better now doesn't it? I didn't have enough stakes for the whole garden. The west bed in the circle garden still uses bamboo, but all the other beds at least are nicer.

I had plenty of time to do more yesterday, but today is supposed to be a gorgeous day too, so I wanted to save one of my beds to dig up. Really the weather is supposed to be gorgeous and above normal temperatures for the next week. We might get some rain on Friday and maybe Saturday morning which would be nice. But other than that it will be mostly sunny and warm. We went straight from winter to late spring weather. It sure makes planting easier. Usually I'm out sowing and planting and freezing my butt off. I remember so many spring days planting spinach in a down coat with frozen hands. Planting with a light wind breaker and a sun hat is so much nicer. I just hope the soil in the spinach bed is all defrosted today.


  1. I always love the photos of your garden...Winter, Spring and Summer...even Fall...they are perfect and so neat. The idea of the visual to keep the dog out is genius...I wonder if it would work for my garden crazy chickens...nah...they're not that smart! :)

  2. Your garden is so nice and neat!

  3. I'll definitely be putting up some stakes and twine! Nothing more appealing to a dog than an empty planting bed full of fluffy dirt!

  4. Your stakes look so nice and I love your daughter's dog. What a nice behaved dog! We have had a little nice weather but suppose to get a couple chilly days again so I haven't planted that much. Good to be outside cleaning up though. Nancy

  5. I want to try growing choy sum this year and I was wondering when you harvest it. Do you harvest right before it blooms or before it gets flower buds?

    1. I tend to do it when it is in bud but not in bloom. Though I'm not too picky.