March 31, 2011

more spring fever

it's too early in the season to plant much of anything, but there's still been a lot of work to do. I've been in the garden intermittently all winter, so fortunately I didn't have much weeding, but I planted winter rye and clover as overwintering cover crops last november, and those had to be clipped and tilled under a few weeks ago so they had time to die off before new plantings went in. and that shit was hard work. I planted a cover crop on the recommendation of portland parks & rec, who suggest that or mulching to prevent weed growth in the winter. of course, it turns out I was in the garden through the winter so I totally could have prevented the weeds by hand. you also plant a cover crop to add organic matter to the soil, but I think this might be the last year I plant it, or at least the last year I plant so much of it. it was basically like weeding x 1000.

after/before (with a kale divider)
a before and after shot (with the after section on the left). this was the remainder of my kale bed, so the cover crop was sown around it, which meant I planted about 1/3 the amount of seeds in this bed than I planted elsewhere. it still took me a good hour to till it.

those blasted cover crops
a mostly-tilled section of the fully-seeded cover crop bed

I overwintered brussels sprouts (just pulled the last ones up a few weeks ago, and still have to dig out the stalks) and kale, along with most of my herb garden. the lavender, which was already very sickly, didn't make it, and one of my sage plants may not either, but on the whole, everything is trooping through.

thyme, bronze fennel
thyme and bronze fennel

sage: healthy + unwell
one healthy sage, one sick sage

hello, cilantro
newly-planted cilantro

this year was my first dabbling in perennials, since this is the first time I've had a garden long enough! I planted a smattering of tulips and hyacinths -- and maybe crocuses? I don't remember, but if so they haven't emerged yet -- on the border of my garlic bed. and they grew! the garlic started growing in the middle of winter and look at it now. yay garlic:

garlic scape-lets

hyacinths look like wee baby pineapples.
my hyacinths emerge

I also went ahead and planted one row of lettuce, along with a lone arugula. I planted the first batch of italianischer seeds; we'll see how they do. planting from seed terrifies me (because I'm afraid nothing will grow, or I'M DOING IT WRONG) but I've been trying to take the edge off the terror by telling myself that I'm an intrepid gardener! you don't get to be intrepid much of the time so I like the idea.

the first lettuce of spring.

and my raspberry plant charmingly went from a bunch of dead-looking reddish vines to a budding little thing in the course of, I kid you not, three days.
hi, I'm a raspberry

(I'm pretty sure that raspberry plant has designs to take over the whole bed, but thankfully I like raspberries)

so next on the agenda is to build a trellis for the peas and pole beans. I bought some supports the other day but once I put them in the ground I realized they're likely too spindly, so I'm going to try again with stouter wooden supports. the pole beans can't be planted yet but the peas can go in any time so I'd like to get the trellis in by the weekend. and the peas. and I should mix in some compost. and then I'm gonna sit in the middle of the plot and think grow, grow, grow.

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