Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's a New Season

Nothing posted since November, but that happens in the winter.
The winter was not much of a winter and one of the results was that vegetables (like kale) that might overwinter didn't survive. Without a good snow cover they were subject to cold drying winds and freezing temperatures.
But I haven't been totally idle. Beyond making plans for what to grow this year I began starting seeds back on March 5th and 15th. Here are some of them out for a little "hardening off" before being planted.

The purpose of the screens (one was removed for the photograph) is to keep off cabbage white butterflies and their progeny - one of my nemeses last season.

Seeds are starting in the cellar, under lights, but there is other activity out in the garden. I did have some lettuce and a very small amount of spinach in cold frames. We have eaten two meals using lettuce so far. Most of my leeks and scallions survived the winter and we will be using some of them soon. The garlic is coming along nicely.

With the perennials, there are signs of rhubarb and some raspberries starting. The other day, while on my hands and knees pulling weeds (which survived the winter very well), I noticed the beginnings of asparagus. Now they will wait until we get some warm weather at which time they will shoot up. This is their 3rd year so we should get a few weeks of picking. Last year we only picked from May 2nd to May 8th for a total of 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.

Other early season activities included pruning the Concord grapes (I'm hopeful I did it right) and restoring fencing around part of the vegetable garden with the hope of keeping any neighborhood groundhogs away from the things they especially like.