Garden Log 4-29-07

April 29, 2007

Last week was wet and cool but the weather has improved greatly and it’s beginning to feel like springtime here in Central Pennsylvania.

The Red Buds and other flowering trees are in full bloom, the grass needs mowing, and I’m finally spending more time tending the garden.

What’s Growing in the Garden? 

Young Rhubarb PlantFortunately the hardy vegetable plants that were set out a few weeks ago survived the sudden cold spell with no damage and are growing nicely. There are lettuces, cabbages, broccoli, kohlrabi, and globe artichokes transplanted and established in the raised beds.

The seeds of Oyster Plant have germinated and look like tiny twigs and blades of grass protruding from the earth. So far there’s no sign of any growth from the parsnips that were planted right next to the salsify.

Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, and Ornamental Alliums 

I planted two varieties of fingerling potatoes today, Purple Peruvian and La Ratte, a yellow fleshed fingerling with a firm waxy texture. I also transplanted chard seedlings and sowed seed of an assortment of greens including Red Giant Mustard, Tuscan Kale, Komatsuma, and various oriental greens.

The garlic plants are continuing to grow in spite of evidence that something has been disturbing the bed and digging around the mulch of shredded leaves that is in place. I plan to start feeding the garlic plants within the next week or two.

Allium PlantsThe flowering alliums are actually larger and look healthier than the garlic plants. I lifted the bulbs from a separate bed last summer and set them in a line between two rows of asparagus. The huge purple flowers will offer a contrast to the lacy green foliage of the asparagus ferns.

Perennial Herbs Popping Up Here and There

Rhubarb plants have taken off and are already dwarfing the other plants in the perennial vegetable bed. The asparagus shoots are slowing growing as they attempt to wait for things to warm up a bit more. A procession of herb plants are awakening and one by one making their appearance.

Angelica HerbSome of the perennial herb plants that have returned include chives, tarragon, tansy, angelica, and lovage. There’s also plenty of dandelions and huge clumps of edible chickweed that are begging to be tossed into a salad or blended green drink.

Inside there are tomato seedlings, eggplants and peppers growing under lights. I’ll wait a few more weeks before I move them into the garden. This weekend I started seeds for other heat loving crops such as melons, cucumbers, and squash that will also wait until mid to late June to be transplanted outside.

Lovage Herb PlantI haven’t sighted any groundhogs in the garden and I’m hopeful that last year’s groundhog trapping efforts have solved that problem. On the other hand there has been rather obvious evidence that the skunks have not abandoned their claims to the back yard… as long as they stay out of the garden!

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