Saturday, April 11, 2015

Garlic, beets, onions and kale

The temperature came way up this week so Jess and I started seeding the early plants. Out front, the garlic we planted last fall has started to emerge. This is helpful since I only vaguely recall (aided by some nazca-like lines I scratched in the dirt) where we planted these. 

We also put in an early crop of beets. I keep hoping for a year where we're able to do a double crop; perhaps this will be it? Nice to see Jess reading the seed packet before plunking the seeds in the dirt ("Hey, there are instructions on here..."). I will be happy when the city comes back and re-sods the boulevards.

In the back we spent one evening adding a small lift to a retaining wall on one garden bed to level out the soil and increased the plantable area. Then Jess dropped about 150 yellow storage onions in. We made it to February on stored onions this year before shifting to some that I dried. With 50 or so walla-walla to eat in the autumn, this should hold us through next winter. I'm blown away at the amount of produce we use cooking from scratch.

The one cold frame I started this year has some kale in it that has germinated. Looking back over the past four years, we're pretty much on track. The ground is a bit more frozen than previous years but the bushes and trees are a bit further along, with the lilacs and the elms starting to bud out.

One of my autumn projects (over wintering carrots and beets in damp sand so they would produce seed) was a bit of a bust. The yellow carrots were too wet and putrified. The yellow beets went the same way, although the red beets were pretty solid and, but for the rotted yellow beets, likely would have been good. We'll try this again in the autumn with only red beets. I ended up dumping both buckets in the raised bed in the back which is now giving off a ghastly "dead coyote" smell.

This weekend we're off to get some sheep manure and may plant some more beets. I have also been scoping out the carrot and tomato beds to get a handle on how much room we have. Jess has decided we need to clean up a couple of perennial beds this year so that is the summer plan (she wants to grow corn next year). I will also do battle with the thorny black raspberry canes.

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