Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Taking Stock

Spring has finally sprung here at Lee's End Eden (what we affectionately call our lot).

Not that the beds look a lot like it is really spring yet. But it was a beautiful sunny day yesterday with a high in the mid 50Fs. So it was nice to walk around the garden seeing where I stand. Well the beds are not unfrozen yet. But some of the beds are defrosted to 9" deep. They aren't good enough to plant and turn over yet, but it will be just a couple of days now with the weather being warmer. Maybe I can turn over the soil on Friday and get my peas and favas in? I can always hope.

I also checked out my overwintered plants. The kale is looking pretty sad. I'll have to get in there and get rid of the dying leaves. But it has started to perk up already. I won't eat any of those old disgusting leaves. But the new leaves will be good. There isn't a lot of time for them to grow in the spring before they bolt and this year they will have even less time this year with things thawing out late. But hopefully I'll get a good crop.

I've never had the spinach look quite this bad before. But again as it grows it will perk up and I'll only eat the new leaves. At least it has mostly survived the winter.

I have a tiny patch of self sown mache. There really isn't enough for anything like a salad. But once the lettuce starts it will add to my greens. In a really small way.

The garlic has started peeking out from under the soil. It won't be long until they are really growing fast.

One of the plants I worry about every winter is the rosemary. Rosemary is hardy to zone 8 usually. I live in zone 6. So I planted two "hardy" rosemarys when I first came in. The Hill Hardy died the second winter. But the Arp still lives. A year and a half ago I layered the plant by sticking some branches under the soil. Last spring I cut those branches off and planted them around the garden. I now have three Arps. I figure if one dies maybe one in a different spot will live. The plant above is the original plant. I have another that looks much sadder by my rhubarbs. And yet another that looks pretty good by the foundation. The rosemary above always has the same side dead. That is the side that is always into the winter winds. I ought to cover it with some burlap to protect it over the winter. I'm guessing if I did, I wouldn't have much die off.

The cilantro that was sown between the kale died. Which isn't too surprising. It only lived one year and that year was the year without winter. But by the foundation a few cilantro plants have survived. Hopefully more will come up as I love my cilantro.

After last winter all my sage but one had died. So last year I planted three more plants. I never seem to have enough sage. I'm almost out of what I dried from last year. This year all four plants seem to be alive. I'm very happy about that. I need more sage. I'm surprised at how poorly it grows in this garden. At my last house the sage wanted to be a 2'-3' bush. Here I'm lucky when it hits a foot. But since they all lived, maybe they will grow bigger this year.

I also checked on my rhubarb. One of my neighbors wants some rhubarb in their garden. So I'm going to dig one up and split it. I've noticed that it is already coming out of dormancy, but the ground there is still frozen. It is almost thawed though. So I'll keep checking. When it is diggable I'll get that done.


  1. Re the Rosemary: why not take some cuttings and pot them up so that you can take at least one indoors during the Winter?

  2. I love watching a garden "wake-up". My garden has lots of survivors...since we didn't have a real Winter...rain this week and possibly next.

    1. I've tried that in the past, but I'm a failure at indoor rosemary. They always seem to die on me.

  3. The crocuses sure look like spring! I have a seed-sown sage here that sounds like your 2-3 foot ones. I always have to give it a heavy pruning in spring. But another one I bought isn't nearly so vigorous. I'm thinking I need to start another one from seed. I'm afraid I lost our Arp rosemary last winter. But I may give it a bit longer and see if it has any life in it.

  4. Have you eaten kale buds? They are delicious cooked lightly. I've never been able to overwinter rosemary either. It's so frustrating because I love the look of big rosemary bushes. I'm waiting for the day when I can install a big glass green house and grown them in oversized pots.

    1. Yes I love kale buds. I'm still hoping for lot of leaves though. This is when I freeze a lot for the winter. Not to mention the early greens for spring.