Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Garden Update 2010: In the Beginning

It's time to plant again already! Time has flown by, of course living in Zone 7 is helpful too. Two weekends ago I cleared out all the unmulched leaves from the garden beds (and stuck them in the compost pile) and planted Dwarf Gray Sugar Snap Peas, Rainbow Swiss Chard and Scarlett Nantes Carrots, all from Seed Savers. Our temps dipped a little low last week (not at or below freezing though) so there wasn't a lot of activity out there. However I did discover our neighbor's outside cat was using my raised beds as giant litterboxes. Now I love animals and I have three inside cats myself but I wanted to murder my neighbor's cat, not only does it poo in my garden but it terrorizes my backyard birds too.

This weekend I fixed the poo problem by getting a roll of chicken wire from Lowe's and covering each bed with wire. It's actually something I usually do anyway until the plants get too big as a means of discouraging the squirrels from digging up the newly planted seeds.

Since it was a little warmer this past week the peas finally sprouted and I saw teeny, tiny beginnings of the Swiss Chard. I've never successfully harvested peas, they've usually succumbed early to fusarium wilt but I'm hopeful this year. I've also never planted Swiss Chard so I hope to have a nice crop. As far as carrots go, the first year of my garden I did have a small harvest but last year my seeds never germinated. I've planted a new variety and maybe I'll get another carrot harvest.

My parsley and chocolate mint, which I planted two years ago, survived the winter again, new growth is starting and I'm sure once the temps warm up and stabilize the mint will take over the herb bed again, it's practically invasive.
Our back yard is beginning to look a lot like spring too, the quince is in full bloom, as is the bridal wreath (Spiraea prunifolia) and a few narcissus, lovely!

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