Saturday, May 2, 2015

Let the Gardening Begin!

I caved.  I gave in.  I succumbed.  I planted in the garden today.

And the weather is predicted to be so nice for the next week that I didn't even put a cold frame over the bed I planted.

As usual the first seeds that go in are ones that will give us some fresh greens to make into big bowls of salad with such nutritional value you just can't get anywhere but out of your own garden.


Now is that gorgeous or what?  (Okay, not so much right now, but I'm imagining what it will look like in thirty days.)

I planted this one whole raised bed in four foot long rows.  One row each of Scarlet Frill (a mustard I can't get enough of), spinach, kale, arugula and mizuna mustard.  Two rows of radishes and six rows of lettuce.  If that won't make a yummy salad, I don't know what will.


You may recall I really pushed Mother Nature this year (in northern Minnesota anyway) and planted my Sweet Pea flower seeds on April 15 when it was still really cold.  Sweet Pea seeds supposedly should sprout in 14 to 21 days.  This is day seventeen and you can bet I've been giving the soil beneath the trellis the oogle-y eye nearly every day lately.  This morning?  Sigh.  Still no sign of my little Sweet Peas poking through.  Barren ground and trellis shown above.


But then tonight as I was putting away my gardening gear . . . wha . . . wha . . . what's that?  Lookee, lookee!  Two little shoots that made the supreme effort to push on up through the dirt today.  Now with the rain forecast for tomorrow, I may see a bunch more of the little green guys by tomorrow night.  Looks like the Sweet Peas may be a go after all.


Papa Pea was busy in the garden today, too.  He finished spreading compost and did quite a bit of cultivating.  The Pumpkin Patch is shown above.  Said Pumpkin Patch is going to be, I'm pretty sure, turned into the Strawberry Patch this year.  I won't be able to fit all of the 200 plants I have coming in that one area, but it will hold a good bunch of them.  The rest will go (somewhere) in the Field Garden.


This is the Field Garden which along with the Pumpkin Strawberry Patch is now ready for planting.  Soon, soon, won't be long now!  ("Soon" being defined as in about a month when the new strawberry plants arrive and it will be safe to plant a good portion of my other crops.)  The lighter patch you see in the picture above is my remaining "old" strawberries which we hope will (not be too old to) give us enough berries for fresh eating this year.


These are the three containers, about one cup each, of fresh frozen chives I have left from my winter's supply.  They still look pretty good, don't they?  They freeze so well and add so much color to lots of different dishes all winter long.


As you can see I made it with plenty to spare because I certainly could be cutting fresh chives right now if I didn't still have these frozen ones.

There was a while a couple of weeks ago when I had serious doubts that we would ever get spring weather, but it has finally arrived.  Time to truly switch gears and get outside to play in the dirt.  Yippee!

29 comments:

Sparkless said...

Your garden looks fantastic! Not a weed in sight and the soil is raked so neatly. It's like and OCD person's heaven! LOL
I'm going to have to try freezing our chives this year. Such a great idea.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

What fun - planting at last. Your big strawberry patch sounds wonderful. I love the sweet Violets in your header. I can almost smell them from here.

Sue said...

I'd use up those frozen chives and leave the fresh ones to bloom for the bees.
Everything looks ready to go. Just hope Mother Nature cooperates. We're terribly dry---think DUST--so it's kind of miserable out here right now. Please send your leftover rain................

Content in a Cottage said...

Your garden is gorgeous. Doesn't it feel good to be outside again? xo, Rosemary

Freedom Acres Farm said...

Always exciting to get going on the garden again each year! Your photos always inspire me! We have our cole crops, potatoes, onions, a first planting of carrots, and the peas in so far. Happy planting!

DFW said...

I just love your garden. Trying to convince hubby that we don't need all raised beds & to try a couple of patches of old fashioned harrowed dirt for corn & the like. So glad you are finally getting dirt under your fingernails.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Well, I made a real effort to have the garden(s) in as good shape as I could (weedless) going into winter so I have had very little to do on that count this spring so far. Staying on top of it is soooo much easier than playing catch-up!

Mama Pea said...

JoAnn - Hubby is a BIG fan of strawberries so I have to try to keep him happy! The blog header photo is one taken by my daughter. She's the talented photographer in the family!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Aren't chive blossoms beautiful? I do always let them bloom before cutting them down. And I keep a little bouquet of them on a small shelf in the bathroom. Kinda smells slightly onion-y, but the blossoms are worth it! We need rain here, too. Hope we both get a good soaking soon.

Mama Pea said...

Rosemary - I do like the weed-free looks of it all, but I'm happiest when it's all green and growing! Being outside in nice weather is SO different than other times of the year. Even working hard physically, coming in bone tired and dirty feels wonderful, doesn't it?

Mama Pea said...

Freedom Acres Farm - Wow, you're so far ahead of us. (But who isn't??!) Seeing your garden take shape is always energizing, isn't it?

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Oh, yes, I think there are some crops that it would just be impossible to grow in raised beds. But then again, they work so well for other crops. The best of both worlds! Yay for gardening, yay for warm sun on skin, yay for dirty fingernails, phooey for biting insects! :o} (Saw my first mosquito yesterday!)

Mark said...

Your beds and field garden look wonderful! At their best mine never look that good. And you are a bit ahead of me here in Indiana. I had high hopes of getting the bulk of my garden in this weekend until I got 'water emergency' call-out from De. I'll have a post on that tomorrow, but much of my weekend gardening time was spent with a shovel getting the septic system back in operation.

Amy Dingmann said...

Looks great, Mama Pea. We also planted this weekend. Everyone was saying "it's too early!" I explained I was pretty sure that if the farmers around us with huge fields though it was okay to plant then it's probably okay to plant. They have WAY more money invested in their fields than I would even know what to do with. Here's to a great growing season ahead!!

Lisa said...

Your garden photos are always drool-worthy, as I am so jealous of even your barren-ish soil! Yay on the sweet-peas! I like the way you've got a salad altogether in your raised bed. So glad you've been able to get your hands in the dirt!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Yippee!!!! I can see you doing the garden dance, lol......

Your sweet peas are popping out nicely. For the life of me two years in a row I've planted peas, some come up but that's it. They won't grow any further, obviously I must be doing something wrong.

Kristina said...

Wow! Sounds like you got a really good start on planting. That's great! We expect rain so I hope to see my peas popping up soon too. I'm glad you peas came up with your early planting.

Susan said...

We can't help it, can we? And who can blame us, after our six months of winter. After reading your post on Saturday, I went and got some Sweet Pea seeds. I am hoping they will be companionable with my trellised beans.

Mama Pea said...

Mark - Oh, no! Not the dreaded septic system emergency! Not too much worse than that. No wonder you didn't get the garden work done you had planned on. It's early yet and it'll wait.

Mama Pea said...

Amy - Well, that's just it . . . every darn spring season is different and we just have to go with whatever weather we're given. Take lots of pictures of your garden for all of us to see.

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - I almost always plant a "salad bed" as soon as I can. Then wait. And wait. And wait. It's never eating size soon enough!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - You're right, doin' the happy garden dance! I wonder if some little critter is snarfing up those delectable green pea shoots before you even see them?

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - We're supposed to get rain the last half of this week, so we're concentrating on doing all we can outside today and tomorrow. But the rain will help the rhubarb, garlic, Sweet Peas, my salad bed, etc. Bring it on!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Oh, that would be a visual loverly sight if you had Sweet Pea blossoms peeking out among your pole beans! Pictures, please, if it works!

Nancy po said...

Wow and no snow! :) It was high 70's this weekend and we planted most of our veggies, some seed, some starts. Looking good!

Mama Pea said...

Nancy po - We had two days of temps in the 70s also. Cooler today but still it felt wonderful to be working outside. Nothing planted yet but my Sweet Peas and the one raised bed of salad fixings.

Erin said...

Yay! The beds look awesome and you are ready! I'm jealous looking at those raised beds and am mourning my old ones, as my new field garden looks like a dried up riverbed, ever after some amendments and tilling and using the fork for turning. Can't wait to see those sweet peas!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - You can't fool me, girly-girl. Your garden will be a showplace before long. And you know I'll post the obligatory picture of the first bouquet of Sweet Peas!

Nora@SunnyDaysWithMyLoves said...

So jealous! I love my garden so much and look forward to it every year, but we're in the middle of moving and I can't plant one this year! :-) Enjoy yours!