Back in March, I was all excited about my garden and starting seeds. I thought my over-wintered cole crops might produce an early spring harvest. Everything was going to be sunshine and rainbows.
Ok, so it’s western Washington, I knew sunshine was iffy. What about the rest you ask? It’s been a mixed bag. While I had a healthy supply of broccoli for about a month, I did finally pull out the storm-ravaged plants that had stopped producing. As for the brussel sprouts and cabbage, when they started bolting, I cut them off at the base, too. But before I tossed them in the compost pile, I decided to nibble on a leaf to see if it passed muster. They tasted great, so I wound up with some for coleslaw and a bag for smoothies. I’ll admit, I did really want a beautiful round head of cabbage.
All may not be lost. I’ve put in a few transplants I picked up, and remember how I cut off my failed crops at the base? Well, they’ve started to sprout new growth. You can look at that as a bad thing, since I’ve already planted new vegetables around them, or you can say I’m getting a second chance. I’m just going roll with it for the moment.
And now, let’s talk about those seeds I started. Well, the idea of mixing seed starter soil and worm castings may seem smart in theory. You have better moisture retention and more biological matter. But I know my worms, I should have seen this one coming. They have a hard time digesting tomato and squash seeds. My tray of lettuce seedlings was filled with some unnamed squash. It could have been cucumber or watermelon, but my bet was on butternut squash–knowing our eating habits. The thing is, squash has a notoriously wandering eye and will cross-pollinate with anything. That being said, I decided not to give these seedlings a premium spot in my walled garden and planted them along the driveway.
I don’t know if it was lack of water or simply animals, but I don’t think any of them have made it.
I did learn something recently, potato leaves are poisonous. That’s probably why they do so well in the garden annex. I have a few starts from last year pushing up along with some blue and red potatoes I picked up at the hardware store. When I was there, I saw some shallots and thought I’d give growing them a try. Shallots tend to be pricey, and experts always recommend growing expensive vegetables to save money in the long run. I was expecting an onion-like sprout, but these are so much more fun. I do like fun surprises.
On a happy note, two of my kiwi vines are growing like crazy. Me and the MR thought the third one had died, but I’ve seen new growth in the last few weeks. When I thought it was dead, I took a close look at the tag and saw that it was a female. That’s especially good news, since I know I bought two females and a male, so I’m hoping for fruit this year. I know, I know, I’ve said the same thing for the last two years. I’m hanging onto hope.
We’re also looking forward to some good crops in the orchard. Trees were blooming at the right time, and no late storms or frosts. The strawberries, currants, and pears were covered in blooms, I’m crossing my fingers.
I’ve got my pea trellises up and have a spot for the bean towers. I saved a few bean seeds from last year to try. Apparently, seeds from a particular spot will grow even better in that microclimate. I know what my dad meant when he said farming’s a gamble.
Our local farmer’s market opens this week, it’s probably a good thing we don’t have to rely on my garden and orchard to provide. I ran across a few containers of our blueberries in the freezer this week. It does make me smile; there’s something to be said about the pride of growing your own food. When company visits, I’m planning on apple pie from our orchard.
How are things in your garden? Direct seed? Transplants? Grow your own? Enquiring minds want to know.