Saturday, April 26, 2008

No Comment

Okay, actually I have comments! We got 8.5" and the temperature is to be in the mid to low 20s (F) tonight. Good news is that it shouldn't last long and thaw out next week. The bad news, I have to wait to see how my seedlings outside have fared. Here's some progressions from (04-23-2008, 04-25-2008, 04-26-2008) that is Wednesday, Friday evening, and today - Saturday.

Chives looking good on Wednesday.

The snow started Friday night.

Today. The chives are there, see?

I was just getting ready to post my proud pictures of peas sprouting and that Spring is looking good.

Here's the seedlings, good things they're small.

There were coming in nicely on Wednesday.

Aww, so cute poking above the snow Friday.

Umm, they're under there somewhere (Saturday).

One more progression to prove I did have things growing...

Here's the sugar snaps, kohlrabi, and radishes.

Closer look, sugar snaps are here.

Kohlrabi is there.

Today (Saturday) they're under there.

So, I hear that peas, lettuce, spinach, and such are cold hardy. I'm glad because it will be cold a few days. I think that the snow may help to insulate things and the plants probably knew what they were doing. They didn't grow a lot yet, so I think that's also to their advantage. I think they were waiting for some sunny, warm days before really taking off.

Oh yeah and the tulips :-)

PS: Snow images seem to take up much less disk space. So much uniform white!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Rock!

We have a happy rock! This pet rock has been passed down from my mother. I loved it as a kid and now it smiles even on the cool and wet Monday morning when I took this picture. Just as well, I'd rather work on a cold wet day than miss gardening on a nice sunny day. My wife saw this huge coffee cup in the store - it turns out to be a planter, so we had to get it.

Blooms other than crocus are just on the verge of showing. A couple sunny days should do it!

Apparently I don't have to be ashamed to love my dandelions.

I wasn't really prepared that the nasturtium emerge with such energy (after 6-days). They were bursting out of the plastic greenhouse cover.

Recently Sprouted:
  • From 04/05/2008
    • Sugar Snap Peas (4/21, 16 days)
    • Snap Peas Sugar Ann (4/21, 16 days)
    • Shelling Peas Strike (4/21, 16 days)
    • Radishes (4/21, 16 days)
    • Swiss Chard (4/21, 16 days)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rabbits, Vegetables, Spring - Oh My

Wow. It's been a nice few days and a great Saturday. Friday afternoon we came home a took a stroll around the perimeter. Oops, rabbits. I spotted evidence they have been in the tulips and crocus. We were walking the dog, so I plucked some of her loose fur and scattered in the bed. Maybe it will help?

I can't complain too much -- the last couple years they have only destroyed one plant that mattered. Although we never get tulips on the North side of the house (that's the rabbit run). Our vegetable garden is safe because 1) It's located near the house and 2) It's watched by Dakota our fear inspiring husky. Okay, actually she's a big baby and I think the rabbits just taunt her from the edge of the yard. As you can see Dakota loves that she can lay in the grass now that the snow melt has dried.

We have seedlings sprouts from a 04/05/2008 planting: leaf lettuce, bibb lettuce, spinach, and I'm pretty sure one pea.

Actually these were sown before our almost last snow. I figured the snow wouldn't last and I wouldn't have to water them in -- a gamble, but maybe it will work out. So, that's 14 days germination time for the lettuce, spinach, and kohlrabi. I won't count the peas yet since it's one sprout. To my surprise the radishes haven't broken the soil yet.

The seeds that germinated indoors from 03/26/2008 seem to be doing okay. I transplanted the lettuce and swiss chard in a container outside. That just leaves four tomatoes that are really taking off now. I will have to pot those up a couple times before they will make it outside. Also there are two cinnamon basil plants -- they're look fine and really smell like cinnamon!

The Planting Update:
  • Today (04/19/2008) direct sown
    • Sugar Snap Peas
    • Echinacea
    • Kohlrabi
    • Carrots
    • Snap Peas Ann
    • Bibb Lettuce
  • 04/14/2008 started indoors in 9-cells
    • +Echinacea
    • *Cinnamon Basil
    • +Nasturtium
    • +Lavender
    • +Johnny Jump Ups
    • -Parsley
    • +Wild Flax
    • *Purple Alyssum
    • On 04/19/2008 (5 days) + some emerged, * fully germinated, - no germination yet
  • (04/13/2008) direct sown
    • Sugar Snap Pea
  • 04/12/2008 Transplanted seedlings from 03/26/2008
    • Leaf lettuce
    • Bibb lettuce
    • Swiss chard
  • 04/05/2008 direct sown
    • Snap Peas Sugar Ann
    • Shelling Peas Strike
    • White Kohlrabi Hybrid
    • Radishes
    • Swiss Chard
    • Spinach
    • Leaf Lettuce Mix
    • Bibb Lettuce

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bugs and Blooms April 15

Hi. I decided that I should post some of the things "blooming" in my garden this month. It is funny because I didn't have a blog last year, but I did take photos on the 15th. For other blooms and blogs from April you should go to May Dreams Gardens: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April 2008. As I was getting my photos I spotted the little guy above.

The first is my favorite of the moment, a purple colored crocus. I think the yellow pollen is a nice contrast, especially in the full-sized version.

Next, more crocus -- hey it is North Dakota in April. Two different yellow varieties and a white. I noticed the first bloom of the back yard is also forming (the rest are in the front). I think that the crocus are behind some this year. Last year there were more blooming on this day.

Here are some tulips still growing up. They look ahead of last year. I like the color of the red one.

Hyacinth buds are just coming up.

Also some Allium in the back.

A representative of the rest of the garden is this fern from last season. Give the garden a week or two and it should waken more.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Cleanup Officially Begins

I think that it's official. Spring cleanup has really begun here. The neighborhood was out today raking the grass, sweeping driveways, and vacuuming. Oh yes and plenty of family outings. As you can see I decided to rake some of the yard -- the places where snow was piled just get so much dirt and gravel.

Dakota (that's an original name for our dog isn't it) enjoyed Saturday as the sun had melted the snow we got Friday. I decided that I could get some peas started in the garden today. I should have more planting and Spring plans recorded here in a few days.

In the morning of Friday we found that the weather station indicated snow, because it was white. We were lucky enough to be in a corridor that only got a couple of inches this time. Others were not so lucky with this storm and got over a foot more.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spring Won't Wait Long

It seems that the Spring season will not be stopped by weather. Well, there are some signs of life outside. Here is a strawberry plant and a returning plant in my wildflower plot out back. It's actually felt quite nice outside lately, especially when it's nice and sunny. These early spring days are nice before the heat of summer comes. I also got some early season weeding done while the soil is wet enough to get the invaders out easily. Plenty of time to spot friends such as Lady Beetles barely stirring from hibernation and Earthworms improving the soil.

I thought I would include a photo of one of the lettuce plants that have kept me company indoors since the late winter. I planted a crop in a 9-by-12 inch plastic storage container. In February it kept the gardening bug quiet. Now, when I know I can't stomp around in the soggy yard I can stop by to check on them and harvest some leafs now and then.

A note to myself of some topics to look into on a bored day: Companion Planting, Crop Rotation, Cover Cropping, Inter Planting, Succession Planting, Natural Signals, Growing Degree Days, Permaculture, Intensive Planting. If anyone has any good pointers about a topic, please leave me a note.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Well, I don't know if the crocus I mentioned yesterday was anticipating but the weatherman was right. This just completes the déjà vu sequence. It's not so much the 6" 12" (probably more) of, well, the "s-word" - but the fact that all that white will reflect the heat for a while. So, our temperatures will be a bit lower again.

That's the way it goes here. I'm glad I started growing some lettuce and radishes indoors. I think that experiment worked. Just enough to satisfy the itch before anything can be done outside. Plus I get to munch a leaf now and then.

Updated: Our official total was 6". Guess that's better than 12" anyways.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

First Crocus Bloom 2008

Hey, I got my first crocus bloom of the year! I spotted this one in the front just beginning to peak out April 3 and got a shot of it open April 4. My photos from last year show a full set of blooms on the 15th. So, this year has a chance to be similar in timing. But, that's the only bloom so far and the last photo is from today (April 5). It's closed, I hope that isn't an agreement with the weather forecast...More on that maybe tomorrow.

So, is there some gardening signal that says I can plant very early spring crops when the crocus are in bloom? Well the timing will be close -- if you go by soil temperature it's pretty close. At least I can make sure some things are ready to go. Below is a photo of my makeshift pea lattice. I will see if it works. I also have some varieties of peas that only get a couple of feet tall, so those shouldn't need support.