Garden Journal

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I was originally going to title this post, "All Dressed Up and No Place to Go." When we had our first snap of warm weather a few weeks ago, I ran right out and made three raised beds (I'd made the fourth last fall.) I filled them with some soil and compost and... now I have to wait.

We were enjoying weather in the fifties and even in the low sixtes, but it's gotten much colder again, especially at night. My sources tell me that it's not too early to start planting things like peas and lettuce -- "plant as soon as the soil can be worked" -- but I'm still nervous about doing too much planting. I am terrified that I jumped the gun on the rhubarb -- I found some on March 12 and planted it that very afternoon, just in time for the cold weather to come back. I am anxious for the survival of these roots. When I planted them, they had a few little stems coming, maybe an eighth of an inch thick; the weak little leaves withered but the stems themselves seem to be hanging in there. I mulched them with leaves for the coldest nights; I just checked them and all of them still have good turgor in those little stems -- and one of them has a few leaves getting ready to come out. The rhubarb plant from last year is doing great and has plenty of fat stalks with big green leaves coming up.

I have also planted peas and mesclun but I haven't seen any germination. The garlic I planted last fall is doing fine, and I picked up some more from the garden center for a spring planting.

I am delighted with the success of the seeds I started inside under a grow-light. Almost all my eggplants have germinated, and some are starting to get their first true leaves. The parsley and geraniums are coming up too. I tried starting lettuce and broccoli indoors and I'm not sure how good an idea that was; they are leggy, and flopping all over the place. This week I must start the tomatoes and basil.

The flower bulbs are coming up now too -- not quite as precisely choreographed as I had hoped, but then I do have spring fever. The crocuses are all up, untouched by deer or squirrel, and the first daffodils have bloomed. The outdoor hyacinths, in white and deep blue, are coming too -- the first buds are starting to open.

In the next few days I want to check the schedule and start hardening off some lettuce seedlings to transplant outside and start doing some direct sowing: lettuce, mesclun, corn salad, parsnips, and carrots. I'd like to find some little gadget to help me plant the carrots and lettuce -- the seeds are so darn tiny!

This is a picture of my vegetable garden. Yes, I know the bed frames aren't quite level, and if I could go back in time I go to last spring and say, "Don't waste your time double digging! Make raised beds, and space them at least 24 inches apart! Don't bother with the brick paths, they are a pain to level and you'll have drainage problems!"

The back bed by the fence is the rhubarb bed, and if you look closely at the corner you might see the rhubarb from last year coming up. The green stems in the front fence-side bed are garlic. The pink strings are marking off one-foot squares to help with plant spacing. That bed will be the future home of the parsnips and carrots, I think. The back left bed is where I planted the peas and will be the home of summer lettuce, and the front left bed -- the sunniest -- will be for spring lettuce and then for tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic. But I keep changing my mind about where I want to put the tomatoes.

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It's going to be such great weather today, "AM showers" aside, I wish we had seeds or whatever else you stick in the ground! Maybe we can buy some and plant some rhubarb in that little bed next to the deck stairs over the next few lovely days. Maybe we should plant some peonies in your honor as our garden consultant...

I was looking for a comparison for our cat lying in a fluffy ball on the rug and managed to discover via Google that there are apparently flowers called "powder puff" and "cotton ball." The poweder puff was kinda cute...

Di Fattura Caslinga: Pansy's Etsy Shop
The Sleepy Mommy Shoppe: Stuff we Like
(Disclaimer: We aren't being compensated to like this stuff.
Any loose change in referral fees goes to the Feed Pansy's Ravenous Teens Fund.)

Pansy and Peony: The Two Sleepy Mommies