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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Harvest Monday, April 29th, 2013

The asparagus has started coming up. But this is actually bad news. I planted the bed two years ago. The first year 9 out of 22 plants died. So last year I replanted the dead plants. This spring only 3 plants have come up. Asparagus doesn't like this bed. So I'm going to have to switch around where it is planted. But I'll pick the measly little spears from the three remaining plants.

The rhubarb on the other hand is growing very well. My challenge is to keep it picked enough to slow the two plants down. If I don't they will block the air conditioner. Last year the most vigorous one wanted to be four feet tall. But razing it to the ground a couple times later in the year really helped keep it under control. As you can see I haven't picked much yet. All I wanted to make was a strawberry (frozen) rhubarb crisp. I have a small dish that can cook up about two servings. Without kids in the house a whole pie plate of it would be way too much to eat.

I picked salad greens and bunching onions two different times for salads.

When my husband was gone on a business trip I spoiled myself and bought some scallops. I had a nice scallop and asparagus salad for dinner. Yummy.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Berries and Compost

I knew last week that my berry plants were going to show up this week, so I prepped this bed for the blueberries. I had a cover crop growing here. Then I dumped the fall pine needles on top. Many of the plants were killed, but the ones on the edges survived. So I ripped them up. I didn't take them off, I just turned them upside down. They can be the mulch for my plants at the edges.

The two blueberries that were planted were Bluegold and Bluecrop. I also planted three currents - Pink Champagne, Jonkheer van Tets, and Rovada. I'm going to try to trail the Rovada along my white picket fence with just one main stem. It has long fruit clusters and I think it would be really pretty cascading down as it ripens. But I'm not sure it will work. But I just had to try.

My other chore for the day spreading the compost. Last fall I used all the finished compost up on most of the beds, but the other bin hadn't finished rotting down yet. It is much better this spring. It still isn't finished compost, but it is close enough.

For now I just spread it on top of the soil. I'll mix it in to the top layer of soil when I fertilize and prep the beds in May. In part of the bed that was to be covered I found some tiny lettuce seedlings. I transplanted them to the lettuce bed. I also had to spread the compost carefully around some bunching onion volunteers. I love my volunteers. Well at least until later when I'll have to weed them out.

I didn't get one bed done. It is the fava bean bed. I don't know why I didn't do it before they came up but I didn't. So I'll have to spread it careful today.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Canning Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes keep well in storage at 55-60F. Even my sweet potatoes that have all those insect tunnels in them. However they don't store well at higher temperatures. They tend to sprout. My basement sweet potato storage got up to 60F during the last warm day. So I figured that I'd do a batch of canned sweet potatoes. I didn't want to do all of them. I figure I can eat fresh ones for about a month or two more. But sometime in June they are all going to sprout.

So I went about chopping and peeling a lot of sweet potatoes. The traditional method is to put the whole potato in boiling water for a while. The skins slip off that way and you don't have to peel as much. But I needed to chop out a lot of flaws in my potatoes. So I just peeled with a peeler. In fact I picked the worst flawed of my sweet potatoes to chop up since I had to chop them anyway. Sweet potatoes are hot packed. So after rinsing the potatoes well I brought them to a boil before packing them in my hot jars.

I didn't know how much to chop up, but it turned out I did a good job of estimating as the above was what was left over after canning a full pressure canner of pints. That is 16 pints of sweet potatoes. I think a lot of people would use quarts for this, but my husband won't eat them, so it is just me. A pint is plenty for most things.

Only two pints didn't seal well. They are in the fridge. Do you notice the end jar that looks cloudy? I was wondering what would happen with the purple sweet potatoes. Right after canning they were very pretty. The purple color streaked through the jar. But after cooling they lost all color and are just muddy. Ick. I'm sure they will taste fine, but they don't particularly look pretty. They aren't pretty when I roast them either. They turn almost black. I've found that if I bring a dish to a party, I'd better have mostly orange ones in the dish as people won't even try just the purple without explanation. However my favorite in taste is Purple, so I'm going to keep growing them. At least the white ones turned a bit yellow so they blend nicely into the orange ones.

I still have trouble with pressure canning. I find the water in the jars siphon out. I let the canner cool down slowly to prevent it. But still it happens. Anyone have any hints? Next time I might just leave 1 1/2" of head space to compensate more. Or at least only fill up the veggies to 1 1/2" so any siphoning won't leave the food uncovered.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Harvest Monday, April 22, 2013

Whoohoo! Finally a harvest. My greens are getting bigger. The kale has put on new growth and is pickable. I have bunching onions ready to pick. These onions went to seed last summer. I sprinkled their seed in spots around the garden. Though the seed was from a hybrid plant I figured there would be plenty of nice onions from it. Some might be different from others, but they are just bunching onions. What would I care if they had different traits. The mixed greens (4 types of lettuce, mache, Fun Jen, 2 kinds of mizuna, spinach, cilantro) were put into a salad. I didn't weigh them separately. There was often just a couple leaves of something picked. I weighed it all together and put the total under lettuce. Close enough.

Two days later I picked again. Little baby leaves. I do prefer full grown lettuce leaves. I like the crunch and texture better. But it is still April. I'll take what I can get. Our spring was late this year and I really want fresh greens.

This is the salad I made. The beans were pickled. Kind of like a three bean salad, but with one type of bean. They were a nice tangy addition to the salad. I also put in some roasted sweet potatoes, both orange and purple. After the photo was taken I sprinkled on some onions. I had forgotten to put them on earlier and was thinking there was something missing. Oh yeah, the bite of the onion. In addition I bought myself an avocado to add.

Now I have to go and add up my totals and get it on the side bar. The weight might not be much, but I always celebrate the early harvests, no matter how small.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Friday, April 19, 2013

More Planting

Today is supposed to be a beautiful day. But we will be getting a cold patch next week. Even a day in the 40Fs. I wanted to get all my hardy plants out before the weekend. And I succeeded. All the smaller Asian greens and kohlrabi are planted in one bed. I didn't have enough plants to fill the whole bed which I expected. So I sowed more baby boc choy seed. This bed needs to be empty on June 1st for my sweet potatoes. They might not get full size by then, but they ought to be close.

I planted all my herbs except the basil. I have a bed where I put my miscellaneous greens. The parsley, winter savory and the sweet marjoram were put there along with the red celery. I had a lot of the bed planted in mache. Most of it was Golden Mache from Michelle ages ago. It grew well, but got way too leaf burned over the winter. So it was just weeded out and composted. But the regular mache (above from Emily) grew well and produced. I'm not picking much as I want the plants you see above to go to seed for next year.

I got a lot of little things done like weeding the spinach bed (finally done). I also spent time standing and staring at one spot along the basement foundation. I'm wondering if I ought to put in a tree to espallier. I've been growing sunflowers along the back. The cilantro is allowed to self seed there in the middle. And I have self seeding sweet alyssum along the front that grows into the brick path. I haven't been happy with the sunflowers of late. So I'm going back and forth right now. Apple tree, sunflowers, apple tree, sunflowers.

Now I just have this partial flat left which is flowers, basil, and a few extras. It has been outside during the day and inside at night. It might have to go back under the lights when the cold hits next week.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cleaning Up and Planting

I'll see if I can remember all the things I did yesterday in the garden. Probably not. Much of the early part was cleaning things up which involves the whole yard. I didn't do any raking. I probably should. But I do know that I took down a lot of the old perennial stems that litter the garden. I cut them down by half in the fall, but don't take them out until spring usually. In spring they just pull right out without injuring the plants.

Then it was off to the herb circle. The oregano was just starting to come up so I cut all the dead branches off. The two thymes were harder. The English thyme was the worst off. Most of its outer branches were dead, but not all of them. So I tried to cut off as little of the living growth while getting rid of the dead growth and still not taking all afternoon to do it. The French thyme only had a handful of spots that were dead so I didn't have to be as careful. Usually the death on the plants is the other way around. English thyme is more hardy than French thyme is. I had already cut back the old chives and garlic chives as I do that before they come up for the year. The last plant is my only living rosemary left. "Arp" survived the winter for the second year. Though I'm thinking I should cover it with some old remay if we don't get snow next year. Some of the branches were browning out. So I cut them all off. Then I gave the whole pant a haircut since it was getting very big.

The compost from the winter was starting to smell. It tends to get too wet in the plastic over the winter. Typically we layer leaves with the kitchen waste, but when the leaves freeze solid we can't do that. So it all just gets tossed in. When it defrosts it smells on the first warm day. It is my signal to take it out of the plastic bin and put into the pallet bins. Turning it over helps air it out and the wet spots are layered with some dry leaves. Even though it was a bit wet for composting, the worms loved it. The whole patch was a mass of worms. Since my compost piles usually aren't hot piles any more they have become more like worm bins as long as I don't let them dry out too much.

The next chore was to weed out the spinach bed. The "weeds" were some chamomile and Johnny Jump-ups. I never did finish the weeding as I got distracted with other things. But I did move some of the jumpups to line the edge of the fence. They will be pretty for a couple of months before they get scraggly and have to be pulled out. I also line the edge of my raspberry patch with the jumpups. I didn't need to transplant many as they often come up along that edge.

I noticed that some of my irrigation for the circle garden had split where the construction workers stepped all over it installing my solar. I tested the other part and noticed that where all the connections were the holes had loosened up. This is were the fitting connects into the pipe, so it is unfixable without replacing the main pipe itself. I don't want to do that every year here. It just isn't worth tossing all that plastic every year. So my irrigation isn't working out like I expected. I'm guessing the frost gets into it and slowly opens it up more and more as more water can work its way into the crack. I took it out removing all the fittings. Sigh. I haven't yet checked the one at the wall garden. I'll have to do that soon. I might just get some soaker hose for that part and a Y fitting to connect them. That way I can just remove the irrigation easily every year. That part I can't overhead water as it is 2.5' wide and more than 50' long. And hand watering just takes too long.

I planted out lettuce, celery, broccoli, chard, and my Michihili, Napa, and regular cabbages. Four of the best lettuce seedlings were planted with the onions along the fence. I'm going to let those four go to seed. I've got Little Gem, Paris Island, Red Sails, and Deer Tongue.

These were not planted today but were planted in March. I think I might be able to harvest a few outer leaves this week.

The very early Asian greens are ready to start picking at least the ones I use in salad - Fun Jen and mizuna. The first bok choy should be ready in a week. Or at least the green stemmed ones. The purple ones are struggling. We had a wind storm a while back that took off part of the row cover and it was flapping in the wind, or rather flapping on top of the purple bok choy. The poor things are trying to recover. I never did get to planting my later set of Asian greens or seeding more. But I'll get to that today I hope. But my back was starting to hurt so it was time to go in.

Then later in the afternoon the doorbell rang. It was my Bluestone perennial order. I had some ferns, hostas, and coreopsis to plant. We have a shady spot and I think not much but a hosta can live there, but maybe the ferns will too. Oh and I forgot that I divided up my bleeding heart and moved it there too. And dug out my Anise Hyssop (to toss, too many seedlings for a plant I don't really use, though it was pretty). I needed those two spots as this week my currents ought to show up and they are getting planted in the old spots.

All I can say is that it was a beautiful day and if my back had held out longer I would have worked in the garden all afternoon long. Today looks like it might be just as nice.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Harvest Monday, April 15th, 2013

Update: We are all fine. The explosions happened after my brother had finished the marathon so we were on our way home at the time.

Today is a holiday in Massachusetts. Not many other states celebrate Patriot's Day. It is a commemoration of the the first day of the US revolutionary war. Arlington where I live always feels left out since the battles took place here too and no one really mentions us much. In fact the Jason Russel House still stands in the center of town. It is where the bloodiest battle of the day was fought. But then again we don't have the reenactments they do in Lexington and Concord. My celebration will be in a different area. The Boston Marathon is always run on Patriot's Day. My brother is in town to run it again. I'll be out cheering him on.

Anyway back to the main theme of the post - Harvest Monday. Sadly I do not have a harvest, but I'm sure I will next week. I've been trying to eat from my freezer as quickly as possible. I noticed that I had some frozen soups still downstairs, so this week I had some for lunch. Above is a cabbages and pork soup seasoned with ginger and soy sauce. It is certainly one of my favorite soups. But without beans I always feel hungry after a couple hours. Those beans soups fill me up much better.

My dinners were pretty standard this week. This one was chicken roasted with basil (frozen from the garden), whole wheat rosemary bread which we dip in olive oil (dried herbs from the garden), broccoli (garden), and roasted purple sweet potatoes (garden). If you look at last week's dinner you will see pretty much the same thing. Chicken with a side starch and two veggies, one green, one something else. I think it has become a very regular meal. That isn't to say we always eat like this. But my husband hates fancy food, and I tend to like my vegetables fairly plain. Sometimes I try to go out of his comfort zone a bit to see what he says and usually he doesn't like it. And he doesn't eat veggies, so mixing them into the meal doesn't work. Add in my nightshade sensitivities and I'm starting to feel in a bit of a rut.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Solar and Seedlings

I had a little happy dance today. I got my electric bill today and I had no payment. Whoohoo. Our roof panels that were put in last month are doing their job. Technically the bill was $6.49 for the connection cost, but for some reason I had a net metering credit on my bill. I could have sworn they didn't pay you for the excess electricity, but just kept the balance on your account. But maybe I'm wrong. Or maybe it was some weird credit. I did get another weird credit. I got a storm credit. What in the world is that for? I think the state penalizes the electric companies when they don't get the electricity back up fast enough. However I never had any real outage here. So I guess I'm just confused right now.

My husband wrote me a widget to put on my sidebar and one for my desktop. It lets me see how much solar is being produced during the day. It isn't completely finished but it is a nice start. I was surprised that a widget hadn't already been written for the site. It seems like a small but nice thing to hand out to customers.

Cabbages, Asian Greens, and Celery

Today it is warming up again after a day that only got into the low 40Fs. We will get into the 50Fs today and later in the week into the 60s. It might even hit 70F. And it is the middle of April. That means it is time to start hardening off my main set of seedlings. I've got them outside today to bask in the partial sun. I think on Wednesday they will go into the ground.

I also seeded some zinnia and cosmos inside. I could have done it earlier but they both grow so quickly. I'm thinking they will only grow indoors for about 2 weeks once they come up and then they will go outside. I'm shooting for May 1st as a planting date. The cosmos was from Granny. I forgot how tall she said they would get. Maybe she will leave me a comment letting me know. I think they are shorter than the average cosmos and I can plant them in front of the zinnias. But I might have to intermingle them. I've done that with tall cosmos before and it looks very pretty that way.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Yesterday I didn't do much outdoors, but I did put in some seed. I seeded the rest of the peas. I was trying to do it quickly so of course forgot to put in the inoculant. Oh well. I guess I'll see how much better the other section of peas do compared to this one. I did notice one plant starting to come up in the previously planted peas. Just one. I hope I see them soon. I keep thinking they ought to be up by now. My spinach has started to come up and I think of them as slower germinators.

Japanese turnips were next on my list. I plant my turnips around my big Michihili cabbage. I give each cabbage a 2'x3' area as they get so big, but the space is a bit of a waste until the cabbage grows a bit. So I seed Japanese turnips around the outside. The turnips will ripen over quite while, but don't seem to be hurt when they start getting shaded by the cabbages leaves. Probably by then it is getting warmer and they like the shade.

The last seeds that I planted were radishes. I just planted them in a spot where the squash will be growing. They ought to be out of there by the time the squash needs it. The radishes all ripen at once. I'll get way too many at a time, but they keep well in the fridge. Last year they had root maggots destroying their roots. I wouldn't know of the root would be good or not when I cut into it. So this time I'm going to put a small row cover over them while they grow. I'll let them sprout first before I get it set up. I might have to go out and buy some more rebar and bricks. I use them to hold down the edge of the covers and I'm currently using all of it. I have just enough to hold down four row covers. Five was not in the plan.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Carrots and Mint

Last week I decided to redo one of my mint pots. I had Citrus mint in it and I never ever used it. So I wanted to get rid of it. I up ended the pot and tried to separate the roots from the soil. Then for the next week I let all the soil dry out so I could get more roots out of it. I didn't want this mint coming back. The mint I did want in this pot was my regular peppermint. I had that mint in a pot by the front door. I didn't like that mint there because it isn't a very pretty plant. It can get pretty scraggly. So now I have pansies planted in the pot by my front door which is much prettier. Yesterday I planted up the peppermint. It sits with the other two mints in the garden proper. It can get as scraggly as it wants there.

Then it was off to prepare my brassica bed. One half of this bed (an 8'x4' section) gets mostly cabbages (Michihili, Napa, and Early Jersey) with a few Brussels sprouts at the end. The other gets my broccoli and chard. You can see that I didn't have very many weeds over the winter. This is the first time that has happened here. The only green that grew this winter was my cover crops on a few of the beds and some weeds in the corner of the garden. I will have to get out to weed those, but it has been so nice not to weed this spring.

I have a pile of seeds that need to be directly planted in the garden. I decided the carrots really need to be planted today. They take a while to germinate. I was debating whether or not to add parsnips to this bed, but decided they ought to go farther down where I put my herbs. They will be in the ground for all summer and fall and this bed will get switched out to the smaller Asian greens for the fall.

I plant my carrots in rows 4" apart. Effectively I'm block planting them. But I like the rows because there is less thinning and I use less seed. Though seeding is a little more tedious that way. I covered them with an old doubled up row cover directly on the soil. In the past I've used burlap, but I don't have a piece big enough and a single piece of row cover is easier. Hopefully it will work as well. I'm just trying to keep the upper surface of the soil damp. Mother nature is helping me out with that this week. We are supposed to get rain every day for the next four days.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Harvest Monday, April 8th, 2013

No harvests this week, but I still have plenty of stores to eat from. I did clean out the excess of frozen goods. I figured by the end of April I'd have plenty of greens to pick. Or at least too much spinach to eat. So I handed a plastic grocery bag containing some spinach, kale, bok choy and some carrots to my townhouse mates. I probably still have too many carrots, but I haven't even planted any yet. Harvest of carrots is a long way away. I way over did the carrots, but I had so many sweet potatoes and squash that I haven't really eaten the carrots all that much. Sure I've used them in soups and whatnot, but I've had few real meals with them.

Instead the pile of squash and sweet potatoes were staring at me. Those I could see everyday. So those got eaten more. I still have six squash left. And a whole pile of sweet potatoes. Luckly the sweet potatoes will last a little longer. If I had a good storage space they would last 12 months. But I don't. My basement will get too hot in the summer and they will sprout. I wonder how many will have to get tossed. Maybe I should go through them soon and give some away. Not to my townhouse mates though. They know they have permission to come take some anytime they want. They have been enjoying them all winter long. I'm only planting half the amount this year.

I've been eating my stores at lunches and dinners. This is one of my lunches last week. The mayo is from the store, but the mustard was grown by me last year. And I used up the mache from last week's harvest. Sadly the eggs are no longer farm eggs. I'm stuck with store bought eggs until June.

Dinner is my typical. A green from the freezer and an orange veggie from my basement. I find it interesting that all the green things need to be frozen, but the orange things are storage vegetables. Yes I did freeze some of my carrots, but they do store for quite a while too. I think next year I'll do more freshly stored carrots as I used those up very quickly and didn't use up my frozen stash as fast.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spinach and Kale

Before I get to the garden, I want to talk about my blog issues. If you don't want to read about it, just skip down to the first photo. The first issue is that Blogger really has no help. If you are having trouble with your blog, you had better figure it out by yourself because they aren't going to help you. So I had to help myself.

I ran my blog through a program that detects malware, but it found nothing. If you look at the blog source code, there is no link to an unknown source. Which means it was probably some widget. However some of my widgets were put directly in the blog template (like statcounter). Just in case it wasn't a widget, I changed my password. I didn't think it really mattered as if you have my Google password you would probably be stealing more than just where my blog gets redirected to, but what the heck. Then I removed every widget from my sidebar that wasn't directly created by Google or me. Which means my new guests have no way of subscribing except copying my URL into a feed reader of some sort. I have no way of knowing how many people visit my blog from now on (old stat was 336K). And I don't have my weather widget anymore (sob). I'll add them back in if I've gotten rid of the problem. Slowly, one at a time. In addition I changed my template to get anything out of it that I hadn't noticed and also a couple of widgets. I'll fix up the template if the problem is gone.

I'm hoping my blog is now clean. I'm not sure what else to do if it doesn't work. If you get any redirects let me know. For the iPad I cleared all the history, cookies, and data in Safari, though don't know if it is necessary. So far no more redirects. But then again it only happened sometimes. I figure if I don't get a redirect in a week, then I'm probably fine and can start adding back widgets one at a time. I really hope the problem is gone since I haven't a clue what else I could do. But back to what this blog is about - gardening.

Monday was a beautiful day. It got to 63F. So of course I was outside. My first chore was to cover the newly seeded spinach bed. I watered it first as it was a little dry. The cover will make the spinach grow faster. One year I did an experiment and the covered spinach was ready about week earlier than the uncovered. It will also keep off the leaf miners when they come out in May.

My main chore was to clean up the kale bed. Most of the kale died over the winter. All of the Red Russian died and most of the Winterbor. The best of the Kale was the Dwarf Blue Curled kale. Some of the dead Red Russian kale stems were and inch and a half thick. They did not want to come out of the ground. So I had to chop them out. There were lots of dead leaves. This patch had a bad case of aphids last fall. I'll probably have to spray some insecticidal soap on them once it warms up a bit. All those old fall leaves have been disposed of, but the new growth is probably ripe for an invasion of aphids. In my last garden I never had aphid problems. I had lots of good bugs that ate them all. Here I seem to get waves of the bad and the good. And in general I have a lot more problems here in the city than out in the woods.

Yesterday and today have been very cold and windy. I've had to rescue my row cover once after the wind whipped it off. Tomorrow we are in for a warm up. We will be back into the 50Fs again which is normal for around here. Then I can get my first round of lettuce planted. If we get a really good day I could bring my tiny just sprouted plants outside. They grow much better with real sun.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Harvest Monday, April 1st, 2013

I finally got a spring harvest. I needed to clear out the onion bed and I had some mache there. Not a lot. 1.5 oz. But at least it is a harvest in early spring. I think my kale will be starting soon too. I'll have to get the winter yuck out of the bed and clean it all up to see what I really have though. Many of the plants died. Even my over wintered spinach is starting to grow.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, you can add your link in your comment below. Since I seem to have some widget that is causing redirects, I'm not going to have a Linky for now. If you still do get redirects without the Linky please let me know.

  1. Barbie
  2. Beautiful Sunsets
  3. Norma Chang
  4. Bee Girl
  5. Tasty Travels
  6. Food Garden Kitchen
  7. Diary of a Tomato
  8. Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs)
  9. SunBeachJewelry Garden
  10. Vanessa
  11. Michelle
  12. edible gardens-- point loma
  13. Fenugreek Love ( Grow Eat Northwest)
  14. Nancy Davis
  15. Lou Murray's Green World
  16. Gardening With Squidoo
  17. Mike R
  18. This Crazy Garden
  19. Liz - Suburban Tomato
  20. Missy Piggy
  21. Julie
  22. Mac
  23. Allison
  24. kitsapFG
  25. Nathalie