Spring has Sprung

Thunderstorms rolled through night before last, and we got about 1.25 inches of rain, which happened to be exactly what we needed as water for the next week.  The weather is uncooperative enough for all gardeners and farmers that I like to give it credit when good things happen.

(Indoor Lettuce

Indoor Lettuce

I think we’ve finally gotten the hang of growing actual stuff inside and/or on railing boxes.  The production of lettuce and cilantro this time around has really perked up.

Harvestable Cilantro

Harvestable Cilantro

New cilantro

New cilantro coming up

Meanwhile the garlic is jumping.  We planted 40 s.f. of box in garlic this fall and buried it in leaf mulch.  This is our first stab at garlic, and the diagnosis is “so far so good”.  We’re hoping to get at least a years supply of garlic, but will adjust next fall’s planting accordingly.

Garlic jumping

Garlic Jumping

The remains of the winter lettuce and carrots are maturing rapidly.

Carrots

Carrots

Lettuce

Lettuce

The snow peas are putting out tendrils and growing like a crazed yeast culture; we put up the trellises on them this past weekend.  The sugar snap peas aren’t doing quite as well this year, for some reason the germination rate on them hasn’t been nearly as vigorous as last spring.

Snow Peas

Snow Peas

The blueberry bushes and apple trees are leafing out; the fig bushes have nice buds on them and the stems are showing signs of being ready to start lengthening.

We have a dozen logs inoculated with mushroom spore – oyster mushrooms and shitaki, and they’re slung on a hammock of the same green plastic-wire fencing we use to guard the raised boxes from random animal incursions.  No mushrooms yet this spring, but we’re hoping.

One of the most frequent questions we get when someone sees the garden is, “Don’t you have deer and other varmint problems?”  Herds of whitetail deer cruise through the creek bottom at the back of our lot.  We have rabbits that live out there who come up into the yard to graze in the early morning and at dusk.  Between the dog and the little fences and the occasional plastic netting we throw over a box we don’t seem to have much of a problem, actually.  The dog roams inside her invisible fence, which includes the garden area.  We’ve watched the rabbits hop right between the boxes while crossing the yard, and we’ve never seen one stop and try to investigate a box.

The worst animal problem so far has been neighborhood cats.  Any box near the perimeter of the yard without a little fence is a potential litter box target for them.  Deer have come in and nibbled a couple of times, mostly when we are out of town and the dog isn’t out regularly.  For some reason early last fall, they decided to come and nibble the haricot vert vines, which I’ve never seen them do before.  A hen turkey ravaged the one box closest to the woods which had broccoli planted in it, and dug a roosting hole.  We put netting over it, and she sat off in the bottom and cursed us for a week or so before deciding to move on to live somewhere else.

The new boxes are set and filled, we’re surrounding them with mulch.

Placed and filled

Placed and filled

Mulching

Mulching

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2 Responses to “Spring has Sprung”

  1. kitsapFG Says:

    The garden is really progressing nicely! I think the best deer and critter repellent is a good dog patrolling the property – assuming the dog is not one that digs up the beds. Unfortunately, our elderly old dog passed away on New Year’s Eve day and I am expecting to start experiencing increasing critter invasions.

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      She *mostly* stays out of beds, though an empty bed is apparently a temptation. Also, we now have 2 separate lemongrass plants, because she wanted one for herself to nibble on.

      And thanks for your comments! We’re still at the new blog writer stage of going “is there anybody out there….?”

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