I spent a week in San Francisco and it seems summer arrived while I was gone. When I got back yesterday I hardly recognized the place. We had a few rainy days and some hot and sunny days, and then a little more rain, and everything really took off. The picture up top was taken just before I left. I took the next one when I got home yesterday. Everything has just about doubled in size. Continue reading
Well friends, the first of May is upon us and the garden is now in full swing. We had a beautiful, though windy, weekend and I spent most of Saturday and a few hours on Sunday working in the garden. Saturday was Spring Clean-Up day at the community garden, when the tool shed is cleaned out, the lawn mowers are tuned up, and the hoses are installed. Clean-Up Day is also the day when a couple of local farmers bring truckloads of bagged compost and bales of straw for gardeners to purchase. Continue reading
Things are really starting to happen now. The water doesn’t get turned on at the community garden until mid-April. Normally this isn’t a problem since we’re usually knee deep in mud this time of year, but our last significant rainfall was on March 3rd. This means ever since I planted my peas I’d been hauling a couple of watering cans and whatever containers I can find around the house to the garden each day, and my peas and spinach were getting just barely enough water to stay alive. I wasn’t sure if my poor little perennial herbs were going to make it. As you can probably imagine, the email I got at the end of last week announcing that the water had been turned on was pretty much the most exciting email I’ve received in a long time.
Now that they’re getting enough water, the peas are noticeably taller every day. I’ve enjoyed fresh spinach for dinner twice now. What a treat after a steady diet of kale for the past six months! I’m ready to not eat kale for a long time now. On Saturday I transplanted my lettuce, mixed greens, kale, and chard from the cold frame. I sowed beets and carrots too. I’m hoping to plant my leeks and onions this weekend. There’s still more brown than green in the garden, but now I have something growing in each of the beds.
St. Patrick’s Day is the traditional pea sowing time in the Northeast, though usually there’s a pretty good chance that the garden is still buried in snow this time of year. Lately the weather has felt like late May and the garden is ready to go. This year I’m growing two kinds of regular green shelling peas, Green Arrow and Laxton’s Progress No. 9, plus Sugar Snap and Blue Podded Shelling Pea. This last one was a last minute addition. When I went to the garden center on Saturday, I couldn’t resist browsing the seed racks and ended up picking up a couple more packets, even though I already have too many seeds. It’s a soup pea rather than a fresh-eating pea. I’m looking forward to making pea soup from homegrown peas next winter! Continue reading