February 03, 2018
I had to pull up a 10' row of 2' tall snapdragons this spring in order to plant peas along the trellis. It seems a shame but they were only eye candy. Peas are one of natures edible candies. It reminded me of the saying that the definition of a weed is any plant that's growing where you don't want it. I've got kale that's a weed this year. It's a solid 2' tall row along the outside wall of the greenhouse that is shading the Perpetual Spinach that overwintered on the inside. It's gotta go so I'll pick all the leaves and put them in gallon sized freezer zip lock bags and then pull up the stalks.
All the kale overwintered so I've got four more rows. It was a mild winter. The pond didn't freeze over for the first time ever. Regular spinach can be direct seeded February 5th so get your row prepared. It, like most veggies, doesn't do well with wet feet so if you're planting in a low spot mound up the soil a bit and plant on top of it instead of in a furrow.
February 04, 2018
We've had such a mild winter that the artichokes didn't die back. They are the same size as they were last Fall, so I'm looking forward to a bountiful Spring harvest. Spring has really popped this year. I've already encountered a bumblebee, mosquito, water stridder, and one of those big fuzzy golden flies that like to spend their summers on cow patties. Buttercups are blossoming, Indian Warriors are poking up, and Shooting Star leaves are visible. The garlic patch looks healthy, with straight, dark green stalks, and no empty spaces.
The onion patch on the other hand is sporadically empty. I'll blame the bulbs, unless they were the kind that should have been left until spring to plant. I got a bag of sets that I wasn't familiar with but went ahead and planted them anyway. I guess I'll go ahead and plant some spring onion sets now, but make sure they're not going to be in the way of a corn patch.
February 05, 2018
I was surprised at how well the Brussels sprouts overwintered and picked a big bowl of them. While cleaning them I discovered that tiny slugs had worked their way up into them and I needed to shred each sprout to remove them. What a disappointment. Threw the whole batch away and reflected on how contrarian Brussels sprouts are in my garden. I plant two spring plantings a month apart and a Fall planting all around different spots in the garden trying to give them the optimum conditions for producing tight sprouts. Every batch in every location seems to do something different every year. I never get a bountiful harvest like with tomatoes.
Picking a big bowl full of tomatoes every three days in the summer makes me smile. They are all a little under ripe and have minor flaws when I bring them up to the kitchen, but by the next day they are all perfect. Don't know how that works but have noticed it multiple times. Your local garden center will be having broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage starts available next week so now's a good time to prep those areas. Weeding and raking the areas now ensures a more pleasant planting experience.