Captain’s log: March 9th 2019

It sprinkled off and on, but it was warmer and clearer than I expected so I sprang into action. I was hoping to see a movie this weekend, but I can always see a movie in the rain- can’t effectively garden when it’s pouring so the silver screen can wait.

I have moved the mint thunderdome and succulent pots from the former home, and now they’re elsewhere in the garden. The thunderdome got a trim- hopefully that will promote more mint growth in spring.

There’s the new home of the terra-cotta succulent pot and the little purple pot. Eventually the succulent pots will go in front of the house but thats a while off.

Why am I moving everything around?

So I can place my new fabric bed where the other pots were of course!

I really have to update the map of the garden…

It took all the soil I had left to fill it, plus mulch on top. It will be a while before my Joi Choi seedlings are big enough to be transplanted outside, but I wanted to make sure the bed was there when I needed it. This is in a semi-shaded area of the garden which doesn’t make a ton of sense for mint but makes good sense for things like Bok Choy.

They wait.

In other seedling news the greenhouse seeds seem to be doing ok, but the stems are a bit spindly. I might have to transplant the sunflowers to larger plastic pots soon- but as I used up all my soil it will have to wait. I was planning on Wednesday being the soil day for the new beds- but it looks like I’m going to have to go tomorrow first for 2-3 bags for other garden use.

In really good news it looks like the potatoes are doing well. The one on the right had some scary damaged leaves which had me anxious about blight- but it seems to have rebounded. I’m quite happy with it.

The baby romaine lettuce look amazing…

The last remaining Bok Choy looks more than a little eaten. It’s going to get eaten either today or tomorrow- but I need to get some more soil to level off the area in preparation for zucchini.

The radishes in the mixed bed have come up- but the purple peas have not. It looks like once again the over-much rain has caused the baby peas to force themselves up too early and not develop good roots.

I really want my purple snap peas.

So I’m starting some indoors!

I’m not taking any chances, I want my peas!

I’ve already harvested most of the harvestable chard- and tonight I’ll do the same to the arugula. That’s because the soil temperature in the back has finally reached bean temperature. So these plants are going to get ripped out in favor of green beans soon enough.

Swiss chard!

Speaking of harvests, I’m starting to get some great carrots when I thin.

I over-sowed a bit when I planted the carrot bed- my bad. But it’s hard to regret it when the thinnings are so delicious. That middle one is a yellow carnival blend carrot, I’m surprised it got that big.

Finally, the rosemary has decided it’s spring. It’s flowering all over, and has begun to attract the first bees. I couldn’t get a picture but the whole time I was working in the garden today I was followed around by a big fat bumble bee. That’s really good news for tomatoes later on- bumble bees are the best pollinators for tomatoes.

Wednesday is the big soil day- but tomorrow looks like it’s going to my first opportunity to get pole bean sets if they’re available this early.

Spring is coming, and I am ready for it!

Re-organizing the garden and potting up the new plants

Well potting up the mint- the chervil goes into the herb bed.

It’s a happy little herb. It’s gonna be sunny, cold and (hopefully) dry for a while, so I’m mulching everything well to avoid moisture loss.

I’ve moved a lot of things, including the lovage that was against the east wall. It just never sprouted, so I folded up the tables and repurposed the lovage pots as the new mint pots.

Yes this completely invalidates my updated garden map.

This is strawberry mint, one of my favorites from the thunderdome. It’s living around my future tomato pots, as I want to intersperse my plants as much as possible to resist bugs.

This pretty kid is pineapple mint, one of the funny varieties. Smells fantastic though- I anticipate good tea from this guy.

I also moved the sorrel to a shadier spot. Now that the days are lengthening- the north part of my garden is getting more sun, too much for Audrey 3 here.

This was a good day’s work between the mowing and the planting- the garden’s only going to take more work as the days get longer. Here’s hoping the soil gets warm enough for bean seeds soon!

Organization will set you free- or making the side shed of doom less doom-y

Against the east wall of my garden is a little half shed that holds soil and other things.

The problem is the other things really- including rusted tools, an old chimney starter, broken buckets and spiders.

So. Many. Spiders.

This morning was actually clear, as the latest rain storm won’t start til tonight, and I though maybe I could tackle the side shed.

Note to self: I have to eventually tackle the main shed too- but that’ll take a few days so I’ve tabled it for now.

Here’s how it looks now that it isn’t full to bursting with things I don’t need. I moved the old charcoal and grilling stuff to the main shed, and I recycled the old rusted tools. I actually found some good stuff that I’m totally gonna use- it just didn’t belong in this shed.

All the various pots and old vases I can use as pots are now living under the work table so they don’t fill up with water and become mosquito factories. I found three old plastic pots of a good size that mom bought years ago that were well preserved in the shed- I have plans for them!

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The stake graveyard next to the shed got a good weeding, and I’ve made an inventory of my stakes in preparation for April. Not pictured on the other side of the green bin is a few old rusted tomato cages that I’m gonna try to restore in time for them to be useful. I actually have a fair amount of stakes- the problem is what I need for my beans is trellises… I have some thinking to do.

Mind you the Gerry-rigged system I used last year with stakes and netting was good, just not very reusable.

On the left side of the shed is fertilizers and mulches now neatly arraigned in a shed that has been swept of cobwebs-

So. Many. Cobwebs.

And on the right side is my various soils, including a full bag of worm casings and seed starter I didn’t even know I had!

This is why I have to stay organized!

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I did a light weeding around the shade herbs next to the bench- but I don’t know why I bothered, it’s just going to pour for 4 days.

I have a crazy idea for this area though- I might grow blackberries against the fence!

Nice perennial plant that grows wild in my area, and the vertical growth will save me room. I’m eyeing my dad’s old scrap wood pile to see if I can cobble together a bed against the concrete with some elbow grease- but it’ll be a while before I can do anything like that. But still…

At least I know for a fact blackberries will grow here- walking home from school as a kid I’d pick and eat them as they grew on an outcropping a few streets down from me. I’m still pretty nervous about my future cucumbers and how they’ll do in this climate- but blackberries are a no brainer!

Gotta batten down the hatches now. Storm’s coming.