Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Garden Portrait - 04/27/2011

The garden still looks pretty bare at this point:

you can just barely make out the newly planted blueberry bushes in front here.
The dead looking sticks to the left of the blueberries are our new raspberries
(currently not looking too promising)

The stakes and twine are serving as stand-ins for the fence we're planning to put up this year. Nothing too big, just large enough to keep out the free-range neighborhood dog(s) who insist on walking through freshly planted beds or to serve as a slightly more inconvenient barrier for mischief makers who pull out pepper plants planted close to the sidewalk. We're thinking something picket fence sized but with a horizontal design rather than the typical vertical one, which we think would be more in keeping with our 1960's ranch house.

We really like the current open quality of the garden, and judging by the disappointment that we sensed from the neighbors when the fence was mentioned it seems they do too, but it's a bit too open right now. The plan is to design a fence that will protect the garden but still allow it to feel accessible and friendly because Charlie and I both enjoy how many of our neighbors stop to chat with us when we're out there working and would hate to lose that.

The type and size of fence we're considering won't do anything to keep the deer out unfortunately. May have to come up with a secondary plan for that situation.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Garden Update - April 22, 2011

(sorry, no photos for now but I'll update later - I wanted to get this blog post written while I was thinking of it since waiting until I have everything ready usually results in not having time to write the actual post)

Sometimes the hardest part of getting a blog post together (for me anyway) is trying to come up with a snappy title for the post. You can see how hard I worked at it for this post.

But I had to move past that limitation because there's a lot of garden accomplishments to post before I lose track of them. I'd already forgotten about a few Add Imagethings I've gotten done this month and had to go back through my impromptu Facebook posts to refresh my memory.

New to the garden this year are some perennial fruits and veggies.
Charlie and I have decided to forego corn in the garden, it doesn't really do very well for us here and takes up a considerable amount of space for not a lot of food in return (in other words, the ROI is not worth it). So in the front garden space formerly occupied by corn, we have:

12 Raspberry plants (all planted 4/10/11)

5 blueberry bushes (all planted 4/9/11)

and 2 wine grapes (still to be planted)
Zweigelt Grape
Burmunk Grape (Raintree - no link available)

The wine grapes were an impulse purchase of Charlie's and there were some rather ::cough:: extended negotiations involved in deciding where they could be planted.

Another impulse purchase by the garden guy while wandering the greenhouse at Raintree: Marionberry plants. I have no idea where we are going to put those. (I thought accountants were supposed to be the obsessive, pre-planner personality type?)

In the narrow garden bed that runs along the sidewalk there are 25 newly planted Jersey Supreme asparagus crowns. I planted them on 4/8/2011 and there are currently just a few skinny spears poking up over the initial 3 inch layer of soil used to cover the crowns.

I have dedicated one of the raised beds at the back of the garden to 28 Tri-Star Strawberries. The bundle was for 25 but apparently a couple of tiny bonus crowns crept in to the bundle.

Back in February (2/18/2011, I believe), Charlie planted out some potatoes. They were our harvest from last year that had gotten sprouty in the basement. The leaves are up and ready to be covered up again soon.

Once again our PNW weather has been exceptionally cold and wet so I haven't gotten a lot of planting done, but here's what I've got in (all seeds from Territorial Seed Company):

Planted planted 4/5/11
Sugar Star Snap Pea

Planted 4/10/11
Candy Sweet Onion
Copra Storage Onion
Salad mix (my own random mix of last year's lettuce and herb seeds)

Planted 4/15/11
Red Bull Storage Onion

I also planted a new Crimson Red rhubarb start but it seems to have died. I'll be following up with Territorial Seed on it as it looked a bit sad when it arrived but I gave it the benefit of the doubt and planted it out anyway. My other established rhubarb plants look great so I don't think this new plant's untimely demise was due to bad weather for rhubarb. Hopefully Territorial won't balk at replacing it.

Today we are having more traditional PNW spring weather. It's only 39F degrees right now (at 9:10 PDT), but the forecast is for sunny and 58F degrees today. I'll be out in the garden!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Belated Garlic Update

During a (much overdue) cleaning of the office, I found my empty garlic bags that I'd stashed in there, and then subsequently forgotten about, so that I'd remember to blog how much garlic I'd planted.

I also neglected to log my total harvest last year but the we used a lot of garlic from the garden in last year's pickling production and just general eating before planting the remainder out in Fall 2010:
Chinese Pink: 9.25 oz (early)
Broadleaf Czech: 11 oz (mid-season)
Italian Late: 1 lb 2 oz (late)

I only bought 8 oz of each variety in Fall 2009 so I think we had a pretty good rate of return on the garlic investment.

My plan is to buy a couple more varieties this coming fall.