Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bulbs, beets and asparagus

The past week has included temperatures in the 20s which means the plants are growing quickly!

Most of the trees and shrubs are leafing out and the lawn is starting to look quite green. Around the south side of the house, the oregano is back again this year.

In the back we put in the potatoes (blue caribe), carefully digging around the patches of violet and the few stray bulbs.

A few of the seed potatoes were big enough to cut so Jess was tasked with this. Apparently my knife-use supervisor was a bit too aggressive ("I know how to cut a potato, dad.").

In the front yard, the garlic is up about six inches, the onions are starting to poke through the soil and the first of the beets are germinating. No sign of the carrots yet but they are always slower.

The last of the tulipe tarda are flowering and the rest of the bulbs are getting big enough that the should flower in the ext three weeks.

We got off our bikes on Thursday night to look for wild asparagus. Jess spotted last year's seed heads and the shoots were up 8 to 10 inches. This is about two weeks ahead of schedule--which would be about where I think we are elsewhere in the garden.

The peas and rocket I planted in the cold frames are doing well. Looking at the forecast, I may pull the glass off this week as I will need to set a trellis in place for the peas to climb (they are about 3 inches high and will need some support soon). I think we'll wait another two weeks before planting the beans but we might drop in some leaf lettuce seed this week.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring flowers

April is fast slipping away and we've made a fair bit of progress in the yard. Many of the perennials are up early, like these violets. I've also moved a bunch of daylilies around and fiddled with the soil in a new bed.

Since quite a lot of stuff just kind of has to wait a few more weeks, I've been cleaning up a bunch of winter debris and tonight we'll have a fire to burn a bunch of twigs and branches.

Last weekend we did a bunch more seeding, including peas, rocket and radishes. The stuff in the cold frames has already germinated. The trees in the valley are also starting to leaf out.

Around the front we got the onions in as well as the carrot seeds. The garlic has also been growing and I suspect we'll have an early harvest.

There is a bit more shade in the back. I've been weeding (mostly crab grass and purple bell flower) and the rhubarb is just coming up. We have some strawberries to move this weekend.

I'm also hopeful that we can get some seed potatoes this weekend. I'd like to put in caribe blue as those did really week last time.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Beets, peas and Jerusalem artichokes

Early spring continued this week with temperatures as high as 20C. The bulbs are coming up in the garden which will add some nice colour soon.

I got ambitious this weekend and dug up the Jerusalem artichokes on the side of the house. Five plants yielded about 35 artichokes. We plunked 29 back in the ground (in a slightly sunnier place in the hope that they would flower this year) and roasted the other six. They have a turnip-like texture (fibrous!) and taste a bit nutty or earthy. Maybe halfway between a turnip and a potato? Interesting enough and fun to have an early harvest.

Jess and I also finished prepping the front bed and put up the bean trellis. This involved work with the sledgehammer. She looks pretty cock-sure here but the process of driving the stakes was a bit stressful. Controlling a ten-pound sledge requires me to pay a lot of attention and I'm twice Jessica's size. The trellis itself is vastly more plumb than the picture suggests (I must have had the camera on an angle).

We then planted some early beets because the soil was warm. Around back we also planted some peas and arugula in a cold frame and did some more work on the beds.

Lots of early plants are up including this violet (that has infested the garden).

After a long bike ride yesterday I went back to work on the south side of the house and pulled out a bunch of orange daylilies to make room for a bean-bed. This was hard work! I ran across lots of worms and bugs in the leaf litter, including this ladybug.

We have a tiny bit more early seeding to do (peas, make some kale) and quite a bit of weeding and general clean-up. I'd also like to get some onions in the ground but it looks like we missed the early shipment of onion sets so that sounds like a next week project.