Monday, 18 April 2016
Annual and Perennial Food
We've been busy prepping the main annual garden beds and although it's a bit of work, it pays off in abundant harvests from a resilient, water harvesting garden that requires almost NO work once it gets past the seedling stage. It's a bit hard to see in these evening pictures, but to follow up from my last post, the beds are all top dressed with compost and the pathways are refilled with wood chips.
We seeded peas and buckwheat as green manure crops (which are just now sprouting) so hopefully we'll get 3 or 4 weeks of growth out of them before we slash them back, water them and let them rot in place under a protective covering of mulch. Only then (late May), will we seed the main garden and plant out some seedlings.
In other areas around the property, I've been busy removing encroaching grass and smartening up edges here and there. I've planted out a few cauliflower seedlings recently (as an experiment) to see if the weather holds and we can net an early harvest. Today, I need to get the cold hardy greens OUT of the greenhouse and into the ground. Our weather has simply been too warm (very early in the season) to keep them in the greenhouse. Yes, it's early, but part of growing is responding to weather and trying different things. If I lose them to hard frost, oh well, there's more coming up the ranks anyways.
In contrast to the annual plantings (which are always more work), around front in my microclimate hot spot, the chives are thriving and strawberries are putting on some serious growth. There's also Good King Henry and Sorrel (which are both coming on gangbusters).
Below, is my favourite Springtime flower (Pulmonaria). It is the VERY first plant to produce a bloom for me and for that reason, I love it so (so do the bees!) :) Behind it, the grape vine is coming to life with Anise Hyssop at the root zone (another favourite for hardiness and a delicious fragrance).
We've picked Sorrel (immediately above) once already and by the looks of it, there's more ready in a few days. I'm aiming to add to our perennial offerings this Spring - Chicory and Bloody Dock will grow here plus of course Asparagus but given it's a long wait to get anything edible from it, I was unwilling to invest in/plant any last year with our pending move. We aren't giving up just yet, so I'll wait on the asparagus, I think.
For fun, in contrast, here's a picture of the same area last summer :)
I can't wait for abundant, riotous growth!