Friday, May 23, 2014

Baby Steps in the Garden

So, so, so much to do out there, but I'll drive myself straight into the looney bin if I focus on what's not done rather than what is done.

I got the strawberry patch ready for the season today.  Old debris cleaned out, spring weeds pulled, and wood shavings spread for mulch.  Papa Pea hauled away the corn stalks we had used for winter mulch on the bed.

The plants don't look like much yet (picture taken from a second story window), but give them a couple of weeks and they will become lush, little bushes.

Our strawberry patch used to occupy twice as much space in the field garden, but last fall I took half the plants out.  (As you can see, nothing else has been happening in the field garden yet . . . except for the healthy growth of some weeds!)  The berries on the plants I tore out were getting small, and the plants needed to be replaced.  (I put in those original plants in the spring of 2009 so it's understandable why they were worn out!)  We're going to get by with just the remaining number of plants this year.  We're wanting to move the strawberry patch, but haven't made the decision as to where so I didn't want to order any new plants yet.

I made enough strawberry jam last year to keep us going for another year (at least), and I think this year's harvest will give us enough berries for fresh eating, a pie or three and several quarts for the freezer to use in smoothies.

I also got one raised bed planted out today.  In it I set out transplants I had started inside of lettuce, kale, arugula, and mizuna mustard.  I also had room for spinach seeds and more kale seeds.  Now I'm hoping the good weather gods smile on us, and this first bed gets off to a good start.


Sandy Livesay said...

Mama Pea,

Take it slow, your garden will eventually be exactly the way your want it in no time.

I have all kinds of strawberry plants which have provided me with a nice harvest. I have a question for you, do you use sure gel when making your strawberry jam?

Sparkless said...

Your gardens are looking good. Mine are full of weeds so even if you are behind you still are doing better than I am. Maybe we'll plant some veggies next week.

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - My garden will be exactly the way I want it in no time? From your mouth, m'dear, to the gardening god's ears!! ;o)

My strawberry jam is nothing but the berries and sugar. It's always on the "runny" side but it still stays on toast! I try to keep our foods as simple as possible and find our berries are sweet enough that I don't need nearly as much sugar as a recipe calls for . . . which is better for us anyway, right?

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Yep, that's always the race every spring . . . trying to get the gardens shaped up/planted before the weeds take over. If only everything else grew as rampantly as the weeds, huh?

Anonymous said...

'Glad you are both feeling healthy and your garden pix prove it! My greenhouse finally dried out and I'm getting some greens in this weekend. Plus I am trying for the first time an experiment, something that I learned from the internet: homemade seed tape for row crops. Making the tapes is a good way to use up those housebound winter hours and dreary, cold spring days. If these tapes actually succeed and sprout, it will be revolutionary for gardening in short seasons. Just plop the tapes into furrows, cover and water-- that's the theory, anyway. Wish us all luck as I'm passing this idea on throughout the neighborhood.-M

Anonymous said...

Looking good! Take it one day at a time :)

Mama Pea said...

M - I've read of the homemade seed tapes (especially handy for the small seeds like carrots and lettuce) but have never gotten around to trying them. I'll be eager to hear how you do with them. Good luck!

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Stephanie! But how come those "one days" are never long enough? ;o)