Monday, March 19, 2012

80's in the Middle of March!

Week of March 12th and we hit 80° twice, unbelievable weather. Were not supposed to see this kind of heat for another 45 days. Should be planting peas, potatoes, and onions, but I haven't even tilled the garden yet. My seed potatoes and onions aren't even scheduled to arrive for another two weeks. Still have too many non-garden chores I am trying to finish up before full on garden season begins. So this "Late-May" type weather is killing me. I'm simply not ready for it yet. What makes it worse, is that I am convinced that we will not see frost again this year. If I was ready, I could have vegetables in the ground a whole month early. Wouldn't that be grand. But alias I am not ready, and everything in due time.

The garden itself is definitely showing signs of life. I have uncovered the Garlic and Shallots as well as the Strawberry patch. The hay I used to protect them all winter was beginning to deteriorate underneath, so I felt it was import to get it off the plants before they to began to suffer from the hay rotting on top of them. The garlic and shallots seemed no worse for the ware, but the strawberries were beginning to be adversely affected. They lost about 10% of their previous fall growth. As this is my first year with them, I do not know if this is normal, or if using straw instead of hay would have been a better choice.

Strawberry Patch with winter hay protection

Garlic and Shallots with winter hay protection removed. Remember, if you are going to grow garlic and shallots, although you grow them as annuals, they must be planted in the fall. Over the winter months the ground freezes and then thaws over and over. They require this freezing and thawing to "bulb".



Horseradish will reproduce for thirty or more years. It can be planted in the fall or spring. The initial root you plant is about 8" or so long and about as thick as a pencil. I planted mine last spring, so the following are what they look like after one year.

Erosion over the winter exposed the tops of my horseradish. That allowed me to see how they are doing which is great. I covered them all after inspection, as I do not think it is a good idea to allow the tops to be exposed long term.

I actually dug a small piece up and made cocktail sauce with it. It was wonderful. I plan my first major harvest this fall.

Winter Wheat cover crop in main garden. I will till this in when it reaches about 8" high in another two weeks. This help add structure to the dirt

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