Thinking about veggies

A taste of Spring this weekend had me taking a look at the veggie garden last Thursday, as I thought it would be an ideal time to get some seeds into the ground. Before planting though, it was time to review what was already here.


I think I might need to rename this area -- which I currently call the "veggie garden" -- to "The Shambles". Much more appropriate right now with its falling-down fence and general horrible appearance.



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This is the first time I've taken a close look back here since early December I think, so this was really kind of exciting. What would the kale look like?


I hadn't covered it this winter as it had been so mild for the most part, and it's interesting to see how different plants fared. Some were virtually untouched by winter:


Others were touched very hard, possibly killed:


While most had a mixture of green and brown...


...the important parts of the plant still being green.

I suspect that all of these plants will be fine, and probably have grown a bit since these photos were taken -- I'll check them later today and post a comment.


Although the current state of the fencing wouldn't keep out a determined deer, I used this longer bed as storage for many of the perennials that didn't make it into the ground before winter:


What a mess!


They were all upright when I last saw them, so either this was due to heaving (repeated ground freezing/thawing cycles), or critters. I suspect it was a combination of the two.

The plants here are all very hardy so are doing fine, even if they're not all in their desired orientations!

Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip' looks ragged but is fine

Silky Aster raring to go!

One thing I noticed in this bed...


...was that I missed quite a few garlic heads last year!


The third and smallest bed in the fenced area was left empty and clean over the winter...


...in anticipation of receiving the first seeds of the year:


I took the relaxed approach this year and just sprinkled all three of these seeds throughout the bed. I'll thin once I see what germinates. I'm planting these earlier than usual since we transition from spring to summer so early, and these do best in cooler temperatures.

I sprinkled some coriander/cilantro seeds in with the kale and where the volunteer garlic is growing -- I'll plant more in other beds too. It bolts so fast here I like to have many, many plants if possible.


Since I'm looking around back here, let's end with a couple of observations. First, this is the best time to see how I let this groundcover bamboo get out of hand last year:


Because it topkills every winter it's so easy to see right now. I'll very soon rhizome prune and pull out the escaped bits. (Pleioblastus fortunei)

The pond is not surrounded by lush greenery, but still looks quite nice...


...at least right now.


I do need to fix that tear near the edge so the water level can get a couple of inches higher, and I will probably wade into the pond this spring and get some of the muck out. That's the plan at least.

Another couple of weeks and things will start awakening!


I hope to have the fence finished by then, and have most of my rhizome pruning done. We'll see how that goes...

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Mark and Gaz  – (February 22, 2016 at 11:56 AM)  

Interesting to see that some of the veggies seemed to have saile through fine!

outlawgardener  – (February 22, 2016 at 6:08 PM)  

It's nice to know that there are others with unplanted perennials left from last year. Your garden is ready for spring!

Charlie@Seattle Trekker  – (February 22, 2016 at 11:38 PM)  

Spring is definitely on it's way; it is going to be a fabulous year.

Lisa  – (February 23, 2016 at 5:56 AM)  

"The Shambles" - ha! The seed packets were calling out to me at the store this weekend, but I refrained from buying any, knowing I needed to inventory what I already have first! But the itch is real!

Alan  – (February 23, 2016 at 8:13 AM)  

Mark/Gaz: it's been mild, but kale is quite cold-tolerant anyway.

Peter: glad to hear it! Why do I feel like I did nothing in the garden last year?

Charlie: Fingers crossed on both!

Lisa: Maybe I'll hang a sign over the gate! I'm going to try and resist buying many seeds this year... stay strong!

Renee  – (February 23, 2016 at 7:59 PM)  

Interesting how some the kale didn't get touched by the frost, while others did. How long do you keep your kale plants?

Alan  – (February 24, 2016 at 7:09 AM)  

Renee: I plant in the fall and harvest in the spring. Then they go to flower and I pull them to make room for summer veggies.

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