Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Gardening Begins

Last Saturday was such a beautiful day that we couldn't resist getting into the garden!  With the raised beds we built last year, everything warmed up earlier, and there was so much less preparation to do as well.  J spaded in some compost and leaves that he had insulated the beds with over winter, and we were ready to go.

Some seeds were left over from last year, and some needed replenishing.  So off we went to Apache Seeds on the west end.  Because it's kind of our spring tradition!  They have what seems like miles and miles of seeds to choose from, actually quite overwhelming unless you have a plan first.  They organize seeds by supplier, then by category.  You have to know what you're looking for!

They also sell bags of seed potatoes, and onion sets and flower bulbs in bulk - you scoop up what you want into little paper bags.  Kia talked me into letting her choose a few white gladiolas and Ry couldn't resist morning glory seeds.  Rz fell in love with a seed packet picturing colorful hollyhocks and added them to our basket.

Then there are the gardening tools, and rows and rows of pots...

I was enchanted by newly potted, Strawberry Red Rhubarb plants, and on the spur of the moment purchased three.  Two got dug into a bare patch by the fence in the back, and one will fill out an awkward corner of the flowerbed in front of the house.

Our Kia girl is self appointed guardian of the strawberry bed.  She sings to the strawberry plants and hovers over the bed daily, watching for signs of blossoming.  

We were excited to find that some of our kale plants had taken advantage of the warmth of the raised and leaf-insulated garden beds to survive the winter and resume growing already! After planting the snap peas and the shelling peas, dill, gai lon, Chinese kale, beets, cilantro, radishes, and two types of onions, we convened by a bonfire and roasted sausages for supper.  Kitchen stays cleaner that way!

Monday the lettuce, swiss chard and more kale seed was in the ground.  Now we wait again for the weather to be more stable, and we will plant beans, corn, cucumbers, sunflowers, nasturtiums, zucchini and cauliflower.  When it gets REALLY warm, we can transplant the started tomatoes and put out the bell pepper and jalapeno plants that we kept alive in the south window over the winter.

This is the season when apartment living seems unthinkable!