February 26, 2014

Late Winter Garden Tour

After our snow earlier this month, spring arrived!

Katy and the bed of daffodils at the top of the garden

Other than those glorious daffodils, however, there's not much to show. The cold was so severe this winter that everything in the garden either died or went dormant. Still, the garlic is beginning to recover (if you can see it for all the leaf mulch).

Garlic bed of 100+ cloves planted last fall. 

The strawberries are waking up.

My hopes of getting strawberries is that they produce before the wiregrass does.

Some things I thought were goners are starting to make a come-back:

Siberian Dwarf kale is putting out new leaves. I'm glad to see this.

Two collard plants made it,

as did this cabbage-collard plant.

And of course I'm still harvesting Jerusalem artichokes.

Besides the cold, other problems have included renegade chickens unmulching the beds, particularly the Speckled Sussex. These have since been wing clipped. Also deer cleaned out all my beets: red detroit, sugar, and mangels. Gone, every one. To protect the newly sprouting mesclun planted last fall, I decided to try this cattle panel laid across the bed in cattle guard fashion. Hopefully it will deter deer from venturing into the bed.

Cattle panel will hopefully protect the mesclun planted
with the multiplier onions. For a little while at least. 

At least until the greens get tall, do you think?

I'm also pleased to report that planting has commenced. So far I've planted Wando garden peas, purple top turnips, purple plum radishes, and more lettuce. Something new, ramps

Sammie and my two little ramp plants. He was
determined these were destined to become toys.

Ramps are a native Appalachian onion, similar to leeks. They are shade lovers and I eventually hope to have a lot. I started with two which I planted in a pot. I figured that was the best way to keep track of them to begin with. For anyone interested, there is more information at NC State University, "Cultivation of Ramps".

All I can say is, it's good to be back in the garden again.

Late Winter Garden Tour © February 2014 


Laura said...

The deer will reach right through the panel to get what's underneath. I've watched sheep and goats reach through them with their whole head fitting through the holes! If horns are involved, they get stuck. Always. Rather maddening to have to cut one end of a cross piece to get the stupid buggers out!

Izzy said...

I'd about give my right arm for that bed of daffodils! Spring is definitely in the air. I think I have a hen or two that may be going broody. Their spending extra time in the nesting boxes.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, ramps. We have them running wild here in WV. Every year, big 'ramp dinner benefits' are held in every community that always draw in a huge crowd.
I'll be interested to see how well your panel works, we can't find anything to keep the deer out of our plants.

Anonymous said...

So glad to see I am not the only one getting started. Love your daffodils! Mine haven't all budded yet, but should pretty soon. Really makes you love spring doesn't it?


Renee Nefe said...

Maddening when the critters make you feel like Mr McGregger, isn't it. All your hard work going to feed the parasites. ;)

Hoping your deer deterrents work.

Lynda said...

Your daffy' s are beautiful! Mine bloomed in December and January! I could not believe it!

Wonderful to see how much of your garden is coming back...and someday I'm going to try a ramp...read about them and I'm envious. I've used the cattle panels to keep the barn cats from using my garden beds as potties...I don't have to worry about deer.

Quinn said...

Always SO heartening to see new growth, isn't it? Ahhhhhh.
I'll be interested to see if your cattle (deer) guard idea works. Easy fix, if it does!

Mama Pea said...

Wow, your winter is so short. (Or is it that mine is sooo loooong?) ;o)

I will live vicariously, garden-wise, through you and Stephanie (Caffeinated Homestead) for a few more months!

I'm beginning to realize (okay, I'm a slow learner) that the reason I don't look forward to spring and the start of the gardening season is because, for some reason, I'm not fond of the whole inside seed starting process. Once I'm out in the actual garden, though, I love it!

Leigh said...

Laura, sounds like my success then, will depend on how well the deer like lettuce. :)

Izzy, I'm sure your daffodils are on the way! Interesting you have broody hens this early. When Tractor Supply carries a breed I'm interested in during their chick days, I'm always wishing for a broody hen. So far mine only seem to be interested in brooding during summer.

Ashley, hello and welcome! Before I moved to the Appalachian area, I'd never heard of a ramp. Amazing how popular they are here.

Stephanie, it's hard not to be out after our long freezing cold spell!

Renee, that is so true! Seems doubtful the deer deterrent will work, but something is better than nothing (at least I hope so).

Lynda, now that's a good use of cattle panels! I'm thinking it will help keep the chickens from scratching things up too, even if it doesn't deter the deer.

Quinn, I was so happy to see those little plants! I'm hoping to try for more beets, so I may need another way to protect them. Must think on that.

Mama Pea, I have to agree with you about indoor starts. Mine have been miserable failures so far because of lack of light. If I had the space, I could set up a table and grow light. Or build a greenhouse!

Sarah said...

Leigh- I've got to admit I'm jealous!!!! We're so far from flowers or anything else green I'm afraid. We're back in negative temperatures when you count wind chill. Sammy looks like he's giving the ramps a very bored what are you here for look!

Julene said...

Your daffodils are amazing! Too bad you can't eat them! I've never heard of Ramps. It makes me wonder if they aren't out in the West? It is good to see Spring coming and celebrate the newness that unfolds! I'm going out to look at my strawberries!

Ed said...

Geesh! It is -6 F up here and snow still covers the ground. Can you tone it down on the spring pictures!

Well I guess I know that spring is on its way. Tell it to hurry up before it passes you!

Michelle said...

I'm so jealous! I am ready to start planting and getting some baby chicks, but it was 14* here this morning, so I have to keep waiting a while longer. Love you daffodils. They are my favorite flower!

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Had to google ramps! the equivalent here is Ransoms (also known as wild garlic) which grow wild just about everywhere here in England. We are lucky to have them growing along our river bank and in the copse across the road.
I welcome them in the spring and use the leaves in salads and stirfries, though not the roots, as I like to leave them just to flower (pretty flowers, also good in salads) it is also called wild garlic.
The veg overwintered in our gardens are Brussels, beetroot, perpetual spinach and jerusalem artichokes (of course!) The garlic that I planted on bonfire night(Nov.5th)is through and about three inches high.
We only have snowdrops flowering here at the moment, but there must be something else flowering somewhere as the bees have been flying and coming back with their pollen baskets full of orange pollen.
One of our gardens was dry enough to rotivate this week, so we have made a start, though we are not convinced that winter has finished with us yet!
Happy Growing wishes to you!

Sandy Livesay said...


Your daffodil's are gorgeous, I'm so jealous!!!! We are expecting ice and more snow this weekend.

I can't get outside and start planting. I've started .......or shall I say, I have things ready for me to start my greenhouse inside but this weather has me a bit lazy and not motivated to start.

I'm happy you're able to work outside playing in the soil :-)

Bill said...

The cattle panel over the lettuce bed is a great idea! I hope it works for you. We struggle mightily with keeping deer out of our gardens.

I am so ready to start putting things in the ground...

Willow said...

So great to see Spring coming on in your neck of the woods ... so far no signs of it here in New England.

Unknown said...

Wow, spring for you and snow still for us. I can't wait for signs of spring here in NY! Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Leigh - you'll love ramps :-) And I'm jealous of those daffodils! Anxiously awaiting spring here in WV.

Debby Riddle said...

Cool you are growing ramps. I remember reading about them in Foxfire, are you finding any ginseng?
What kind of layers are the Speckled Sussex, I had one, that gave me nary a one, lost her this winter, but she was a hearty little thing in other ways. She was purchased in May, rather than March, I hear March purchased hens are more productive.