Because both Kryz and I work full time during the week, the weekends are our busiest gardening times. The unseasonably warm spring we’ve been having so far means that we were able to get a lot done in the garden this weekend. And we weren’t the only ones working hard in the garden – quite a few plants were already showing new growth and buds! I just hope that a late frost doesn’t destroy all this early progress. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the forecast in the coming weeks in case we need to add some protection to our early sprouts.
Here’s a brief overview of what our weekend looked like –
- Alpine Strawberries – We started these plants from seed last year, and by August we were picking berries. Alpine Strawberries are a much smaller berry than the traditional berry most people are used to buying at the supermarket, but the flavor is far more concentrated. While you will rarely be able to pick more than just a handful or two at a time, these powerhouse plants will produce from early summer through the last frost. It seems our Alpine Strawberries got the warm weather message because they are breaking right through their winter mulch with some gorgeous new leaves.
- Garlic – This is our first year planting garlic. So far it looks like the mild winter and warm spring have stimulated a lot of growth in these guys! Garlic is planted in the fall and overwintered under a thick bed of mulch. In the spring they send up their green stalks and continue to grow until they are harvested mid-summer. Hopefully what is growing underground looks as good as what we can already see.
- Bunny Fence – We added some chicken wire and fence posts around 2 of our raised beds to keep the bunnies out. Last year they were very good at finding all our cabbages and peas and chewing them to the ground. We tried adding chicken wire to the bottom of our existing fenced backyard, but the bunnies out smarted us and went in through the gates! This year we decided to plant their favorite veggies inside individually fenced raised beds in hopes of foiling their evil plans. Now if the bunnies manage to jump this 2′ high fence, I think we will have to resort to more drastic measures!
- Cabbages – The cabbages that we started indoors were ready to head outside, so we got all 24 of them in the ground this weekend! Kryz has big plans to make our own sauerkraut this year. These cabbages fill up a majority of one of our bunny protected beds. I love how neat and organized our little plants look right now. I hope they look this good in a month or two!
- Lettuce, Spinach & Kale – We also direct sowed some greens in another of the bunny protected beds. These seeds can be planted fairly early and with the warm weather, we hope to have home grown salads in a few weeks.
- Peas –The remainder of the cabbage bed and part of the “greens” bed also contain peas. We planted these last weekend and are just starting to see some sprouts today. We have a trellis planned that will span between the two bunny protected beds to provide a support for the peas, and later beans. We are working on the plans for the trellis now and will be sure to document the build process to share.
- Onion Transplants – Our onion transplants also made their way into the ground this weekend. We started these from seed indoors in early February, so we are happy to see them going into the garden. This is our first time starting onion from seed, so we are trying to document the process to learn what works, and what doesn’t! Throughout the garden we are using the Square Foot Gardening method this year. This cardboard spacing template made planting much easier. More about that in a later post.
Perhaps the best part of the weekend was the help from our favorite little mini-gardner. She only pulled out 2 onion transplants and managed to confine her digging to her own sand box – not Mommy & Daddy’s garden beds. She also had lots of fun filling up her watering can to help make sure the new seeds were nice and wet. I’m not sure why she thought her shoes also needed to be watered, but it’s best not to try and understand the mind of a toddler.
Overall it was a very productive weekend. We just hope this warm weather holds and we can get even more done next weekend. Hope you had a great garden weekend too!