Felt like Saturday morning was our first day of spring! The skies were clear and the air was warm. To contrast that with the evening and all day today – we’ve set rain total records again! Yep, 1 ½ inches in less than 24 hours. But the few hours where the sun shone, it felt like the heavenly days I’ve been waiting for. I guess you can’t really appreciate sunny days if you don’t get rainy ones!
Fortunately, I found the spirit to get up early Saturday and play in the garden. The morning project was the potato garden. Two weeks ago, I cleared some scrub brush and leveled the ground. I had really good luck with the ‘wild’ potatoes that came up on the compost pile that I figured I’d make it a little more official. Thus, two weeks ago, I moved a large pile of compost, setup a fence that was to now receive a couple hundred starts!
As you can see, it’s pretty simple. I picked up 50 feet of 5 foot high fencing that almost circled the entire area. I came up about 4 feet short and, well, figured that would be where the gate goes. The fence posts where cuttings from a couple of the small trees I needed to remove. I sharpened one end and drove them into the ground to make them good and solid. I’m sure they’ll hold up for the area is pretty sheltered.
A week ago, I took the potatoes that I’d stored in the garage refrigerator and placed them in flats on dirt in order to get them ‘thinking’ about growing. It worked great! The spuds that were a little soft, firmed right up and the eyes started to grow. Some of them even set out some roots. Looks like they were more than ready to get on with their lives.
If they do well, I’ll get: German Butterball, Yellow Fin, Red Pontiac, Purple, Katahdin and four other types that taste great, but I don’t remember the names of. I’m really hoping that the German Butterball an Yellow Fin do well for they both have such a great taste and look. Everyone that’s had them absolutely loves them.
I’m also totally excited for the raspberries! Last year I bought Southern Bababerry and Anne raspberries plants. I went all out and built raised beds, but the deer walked by a couple times eating all the leaves off the stocks leaving bare twigs. That shouldn’t happen this year for I’ve fence them behind a 5 foot high wire fence.
The best part is that the new starts are coming up thick, strong and healthy! The Anne stocks that were skinnier than a pencil last year are now thick like raspberries plants should be. Check this out.
In the above picture you can see the old stock behind the new one. That old stock only grew a foot tall. The new ones that are coming up should get at least 5 feet tall!
The Bababerry plants are doing great too! Last year’s plants where thin, but they grow a few feet tall. This year, I’ve got at least two very healthy starts from each one. I expect these plants to get the full 6 to 7 feet as the season progresses.
The other surprise that I got last year was a ‘wild’ raspberry plant start that came with some strawberries that I got from my sister. The one start that I nursed in order to get it to stand up 3 feet tall spawned 10 new starts! I have no idea what the berry is like, but I’m sure I’ll find out this year!
Even though the season has been unusually cold this year, I’m on to my second planting for the cold frame.
The previous starts have all been transplanted into the garden and they’re starting to take root.
There must be 200 green lefty plants nicely spaced around the garden. I’ve got two types of kale, collards, two types of spinach, red and green chard, red beets, and salad lettuce. Even with all these plants, I’ve still got nearly 4 beds worth of space left. I figure what’s in the cold frame should just about fill in the remaining space – except for tomatoes. I buy those every year.
Every once in a while I get a surprise plant that comes up.
This year it was a beautiful bleeding heart in the middle of the raspberry patch. These plants are so delicate that normally they would have bloomed and died by now. Not this year.
Can’t wait to blog showing mature plants. Hopefully that will only be a couple months away!
In any case, I just wanted to share. The trees are blooming out so there is a great feel of spring in the air. Getting my fingers dirty sure helps me feel grounded. I loved eating greens out of my garden all last year. Hopefully, these year will be just a fruitful!