April 5, 2019

Poised For Planting

With our official last frost date still several weeks away, we're finishing up the winter garden and getting ready for spring planting.

Violets are blooming everywhere

We're still getting a little more lettuce and claytonia for salads, but the carrots were starting to get those little white growth roots so I pulled the last of them.

Last of the fall planted carrots

One oddball!

The garlic is just beginning to die back.

Winter wheat is doing well. It will be ready to harvest in June. We planted it with clover so it looks really happy.

Wheat with my crabapple blooming in the background.

But we didn't plant a lot this year, so I'm doubting it will be a full year's supply. Still, something is better than nothing.

Here's a closeup of that crabapple.

Crabapple blossoms

I have planted a couple of things. One was seed potatoes in pots. I've heard of this, but Mike at Living Prepared posted a really nice tutorial which got me motivated to give it a try.

Eight seed potatoes at Walmart for $3. Mike used supermarket potatoes, thoroughly washed, and his are growing just fine. I may try some of those too.

Potatoes haven't done well for me for several years, so I'm hopeful about this!

Peas are just breaking through too!

Hopefully it won't get too hot too quickly (a real possibility here). That's usually what puts an early end to my early garden. It would be nice to enjoy fresh peas in salads for awhile. Still, the chill is keeping me from jumping the gun on things that might get frostbit. Instead I've put my planting energy to spot-seeding the pastures.

I let the goats graze the paddock down first. Then I seed the areas of bare
soil and cover them with barn cleanings. This method has worked very well.

So that's it so far for planting. It's a hard time to be patient, but getting caught by a late frost wouldn't be good. So while I wait, tell me what's happening in your garden.

Poised For Planting © April 2019 by


Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

We haven't been able to locate organic non-gmo seed potatoes this spring. I'm sort of worried. The store said they ordered more, but I need time for them to grow eyes too.

Leigh said...

Kristina, have you thought about trying organic grocery store potatoes? I know they aren't supposed to "work" but it might be worth a try. Interestingly, my WalMart seed potatoes were labeled "non-GMO," which was what prompted the impulse to buy them.

Ed said...

Up until reading your post, I always assumed potatoes were one of the easiest vegetables to grow. We've always had some in our garden and they always produce. How much is dependent on the weather. Too dry and they don't produce many and too wet things start to develop early rot. I wonder if it just gets too hot for them down that far south.

Retired Knitter said...

I LOVE the look of those carrots. Actually I really enjoy getting veggies that are not the traditional colors you see in the grocery store. It is not so common here - carrots are orange - end of story! :-(. When we get into the summer season, then you might find some interesting colors in farmer's markets. I hate summer, but I love the produce from summer.

Leigh said...

Ed, that's a good question and something I puzzled over. The first year we planted potatoes we planted 10 pounds and harvested 120. For the next several years I could only harvest about the same amount as I planted. Talk about discouraging. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, do consistently well for me (unless deer kill them by continually eating down the vines). Weather could be a big part, for sure. Also soil fertility which we've been working on. We have rainwater collection now too, so a good drink during a dry spell will help.

Leigh said...

RT, I admit I'm sold on the Cosmic Purple carrots! They have done really well in my soil and are so fun to show off. Grated they give a purple tip to the shreds.

Not much of a fan of summer either, especially our southern ones! But you're right about the produce. :)

Mama Pea said...

You know you make me laugh so often when you ask what's happening in my garden! :o) We got a covering of snow over night so my nearly snow-free garden areas are now back into shivering mode. Seriously, I do enjoy hearing about what's going on in your garden this time of year (and all times) because it helps to understand how very different our climates are and yet we can all grow a certain amount of our food. Most seasons! Your little violet patch is beautiful.

Sam I Am...... said...

Love hearing about what you're up to. I used to have crab apple trees lining my driveway on my little acreage and the drive would be covered in white and some pink...it looked like snow.
I haven't tried potatoes down here but thought I might this year so I will go read your friend's tutorial about it as containers are the only way I can garden here.
I haven't checked if my peas are up yet but they might be after the rain we had. Kale isn't up yet and I think as it warms up my lettuce from winter will probably give out but that was the greatest...having lettuce and greens all winter long.
You're ahead of me on most things. Your carrots are beautiful and those violets are amazing!

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, if you reported your garden was up and coming this time of year I'd think the world had tilted on its axis! LOL. At least you don't have a winters-worth of weeds to compete with everything you plant. ;)

Sam, you can't beat fresh greens all winter long! Hopefully you won't heat up as quickly as we do. It's disappointing to have things bolt so quickly in spring.

Rose said...

Oh, you are so making me miss gardening...digging potatoes is like opening presents. Always loved that even as a kid.

KathyB. said...

Wow, your winter garden is doing very well. The snow just melted away in our veggie garden this past weekend. We're looking forward to planting a lot of new things, but boy oh boy, your garden seems to have fed you pretty mush right up into the new planting season !

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, I intend to try sweet potatoes this year. And take one more swing at corn and tomatoes. I have to get it right some year, correct?

The Wykeham Observer said...

I looked at seed potatoes today and they have really gone up in price. My Norland reds did really well last year, so will try to find those. If not, I have some really sprouty white potatoes from the store in the basement that I might try. I have used russets that way in the past. I think they are non-GMO. I always throw on a big load of rotted white oak leaves before planting. I think they are high in acid, and the spuds like that. Maybe it's a wives' tale, but it works. Phil

Powell River Books said...

I have lots of volunteer pansies from last year thanks to my chop and drop mulching method. I transplanted them from the blueberry and bean container into deck pots. Not a one died! I still need to pull some carrots and beet, and my kale, but the bees are loving the yellow blossoms so I'm waiting a bit. - Margy

Leigh said...

Rose, yes, digging potatoes is fun! I always likened it to hunting Easter eggs. :)

Kathy, I am fortunate to have an early planting season. On the other hand, our mid-summer heat can be a garden killer! LOL. Learning to adapt has been a challenge.

TB, I hope so! I tend to give up on something after several years of fails (like the potatoes) but every now and then I'm willing to give them a new try. I wish you success in you growing ventures this year!

Phil, seed potatoes have indeed gone up in price, which is a definite deterrent. I like the idea of planting sprouted potatoes from the pantry! And we do have plenty of white oaks, so maybe a nice rotted leaf mulch will be my key to success!

Margy, sounds like you've had great success! So nice to live in an extensive growing season, isn't it?

Woolly Bits said...

we've had a cold spell just now, so I didn't do all that much in the garden... bought some ready tomato plants - and need to keep them well covered in wrap etc. in the greenhouse! from your pix I can see that you're far ahead weatherwise - no flowers on our fruit trees yet, other than cornelian cherries and berberis! and I've grown potatoes in pots and growbags for a while now - that way I usually escape blight, though the harvest isn't as big as it would be in normal soil (provided there's no blight or I'd spray - which I don't). hopefully we do get some spring weather and don't jump from winter directly into a heatwave like last year!

Cockeyed Jo said...

We planted our potatoes, garlic, and onions last month. So far this month has been beets, lettuces, spinach, carrots, and peas. More to do today. Cockeyed Jo

Goatldi said...

Let me think. Well tree wise I lost a bare root pear and apple to the horrible conditions in the air with the wildfires in July through August. Lost a four year old plum to bore despite precautions female the male lived and is looking better . Loosely translated means not dead yet. Myer lemon is trudging ahead despite winds, rain, snow, rains and hard freezes. So is a year old Peach which gave me a surprise of four yummy peaches last year.

Planted 23 garlic and after the floods and snow 5 are growing currently. Lost two blueberries and two rose bushes. Again I attribute it to the horrible environmental conditions due to the wildfires and then the freaky winter we have had. But thank God we didn't burn and prayers to all who did.

I have 12 tomato starts , half cherry types and half a slicing size . Both heirloom. 6 spinach, 6 broccoli, radishes coming up , red sweet onions in a six pack, chives, catnip and seeds for more radishes, carrots and bush beans. All tucked into my green house but if they don't hit the ground soon it could be a redo.

It is still storming here. Warmer which is good but still lots of rain. Need good weather to get my raised bed up and going. I do have a early variety of strawberries aplenty. If the flowers are truly indicative of what is to come I should have a generous crop for my table. But everything is tentative at this point. For here as in the rest of the country it seems as if nothing is "normal" anymore. In soooo many ways.