April 5, 2018

Garden Assessment

We had too cold a winter this year to have a winter garden. Some years our winter weather is mild and things grow well. Other years, forget it. I never know for sure, so I always plant in hopes of a nice winter harvest. After Dan's accident at the end of January, our typical seasonal routine was put on hold, including planting an early spring garden. I told myself it probably didn't matter anyway, because we got so much rain. Now it's time to prepare for summer garden planting, so I spent some time the other day assessing what needs to be done.

Cabbage-collards were my only green to survive the harsh cold.

These are also called heading collards.

Then we got a streak of really warm days and it decided to flower to make seed! Even so, the young leaves are tender and tasty in a salad.

I had planted two beds of sugar beets last fall, but had less than half of them made it. These are a first for me, for goat feed and to try my hand at sugar making.

Sugar beets.

The cluster above needs to be thinned out and the few others need to be mulched.

A few random radishes made it.

Multiplier onions survived and are coming along.

No onion bulbs yet.

And my garlic is beginning to die back. Harvest soon.

Outdoor bed of garlic.

A year ago last January I planted garlic bulbils in the hoop house. Here they are now.

Hoop house bed of garlic.

I'm happy they've done so well, especially since they've undergone some neglect from time to time during hot weather.

Plantings in the hoop house were slow growing but survived better than what I planted outdoors. We currently get several salads each week.


Chickweed has taken over 2 beds in the hoop house.
It's good in salads, salves, and for chickens.

Corn salad. It's trying to bolt too, but is still tender and tasty.

Miner's lettuce. These are volunteers! I planted two rows
outdoors but only one plant survived. Glad to see these!

Arugula is going to flower.

My fall-planted Savoy cabbages froze out. We like them,
though, so I bought a 6-pack at the feed store to plant.

All in all I think my garden did fairly well despite the snow and cold. We don't have a surplus, but we're still harvesting a few things to eat.

The next couple of weeks need to be spent in soil prep for summer veggies. Along with that comes the question of whether or not we'll get enough rainfall for everything to get a good start. It's always a guessing game, isn't it?

Garden Assessment © Ap 2018 by Leigh


Mama Pea said...

Oh, gosh, our seasons throughout the year are SO different! I'd be such a novice trying to begin gardening in your location. It would be like starting all over again. Sad to say, you face as many challenges as I do up here near the tundra(!), and Mother Nature doesn't always play nice. Right now I'm salivating over all that gorgeous looking greenery you do have!

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, every time we've moved I've had to do just that - start all over again with gardening. And I'm always learning! LOL

Mark said...

It's exciting to see the garden posts starting to come up! What you have for winter did pretty well in the grand scheme of things. Late this month or early next to get anything in the ground for us, but I hope to get some clearing done soon.

deb harvey said...

most interested in the sugar making to come!
still snowing off and on up here but sun is out today, at least for now. northeast ohio.
wind will blow you away though

Susan said...

I can hardly wait to get out to my garden and get it ready for planting. I am going to repurpose my hoop house that I used for raising meat chickens into a greenhouse this year. I just can't go all winter without greens!

Ed said...

After two weeks of no snow, we have it in the forecast for the next several days. I'll just have to watch your garden grow for another few weeks!

Mike Yukon said...

That's quite a variety you grow. I'll have to keep an eye on what you plant this year and especially the different fertilizers used for each type of plant?

Leigh said...

Mark, yes, it's a sure sign of spring when garden posts start happening! It's especially interesting because we're all in different stages depending on our location.

Deborah, every spring I think how nice it would be to have a wind turbine! But it's about the only time of year we get really good wind. I wish I'd gotten more sugar beets, because I'm sure it takes a lot of them to make sugar!

Susan, how great that you already have a hoop house to convert to a greenhouse! I'm hoping to use mine as a shade garden this summer.

Ed, I have to admit I'm glad to be done with snow, and we don't get near as much as you do.

Mike, just compost, although I do toss down some lime or other minerals occasionally, especially phosphorous. My garden tends to show signs of phosphorous deficiency.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi, I think we are all tired of this up and down weather this year. I have planted a few cold weather things under my protective cover but nothing up yet. You are getting a lot of nice salad things. Nancy

Leigh said...

Nancy, we have very much enjoyed our salads! I wish there was enough so we could have them every day, but I'm not complaining! I hope your plantings do well. Everything seems slower to get going when it's cold.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Your garden is thriving! I have wanted to plant miner's lettuce for a few years now. Our spring has not yet arrived, and I am anticipating chickweed, purslane, nettle, and more.

Leigh said...

Kristina, those wild greens are a real treat. You've reminded me about sheep's sorrel. Gives a nice lemony tang to salads. It's coming up too so I'll have to add it next time. I really like the miner's lettuce. Very cold hardy and nice flavor.

Quinn said...

It snowed again today.
I've bought a tiny "portable greenhouse" about 6-foot square, and when it warms up a bit I will assemble it and try to start ALL my veg and flowers from seed this year. I'm also hoping to establish a permanent soft fruit patch - either raspberries or strawberries - once I figure out where to put it and can hire my Occasional Helper to do some of the prep work with me. A lot of exciting plans this year!
But meanwhile...more snow.

Lynda said...

Good to see that your multipliers are still doing well. They will begin bulbing up for the small onions after they have shot their stalks up. Wait until they have plumped up and start to separate in the clumps, then pull. At that time you can replant from the bulblets on top of the stalks.

Leigh said...

Quinn, I can't imagine getting more snow! But it does sound like you have some exciting garden plans this year. Hopefully it will all fall easily into place!

Lynda, yes! My multipliers have done consistently well for a number of years now. So much better for me than globe onions. Planting the bulblets is a good idea.

Lynda said...

Or, of course, if you just leave them there the stalks will flop over and plant themselves, if soil is soft enough. But you can make many more clumps if you control this part

Leigh said...

Lynda, there's definitely something to be said for self-seeding. I have a few areas in my front yard that have mostly herbs, but have become sort of a "walking" garden, since they tend to not stay put!

The Wykeham Observer said...

You have more unusual varieties than I do. I need to branch out a little. So far, I've only started canna roots and dahlias in the house. I tried this because they didn't bloom last year until almost September! Tomorrow hope to get my plum tomatoes started inside.

Leigh said...

Phil, I don't do a lot of indoor plant starts because I don't have good sunlight. I'm really hoping we can mange a greenhouse someday! I think for greens, especially, there are a huge variety to choose from. A couple years ago I decided to experiment with more cold weather varieties and discovered some really tasty ones. It's always fun to experiment.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

So much green over your way, so jealous. More snow predicted for Illinois tonight but Keith are I are planting some anyway. He did keep lettuces and spinach alive all winter under a couple plastic barrels but I'm ready now for VARIETY!

M.K. said...

Considering the crazy/cold winter, I think your plants did well! We got in spring greens, which has been nice. Otherwise, like you, I had onions/garlic and a few volunteer kale plants overwinter. I'll be glad to see consistent warm days. I'll be interested to see you make sugar from those beets!