The early spring blossoms have faded, but the garden is still growing by leaps and bounds. Here is a little snapshot of what’s catching my eye on the homestead in mid-Spring.
Several new perennial herbs have been planted – either in ground or in pots. Springtime is a great time of year to plant them, as the temperatures are still cool and we get good seasonal rain to help them become established. Herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano and marjoram will stay evergreen in our climate and tolerate some drought once established. I planted a mix of mint in pots, as these guys tend to be invasive, taking over any area you plant them in the ground. The mix includes a common mint, chocolate mint and orange mint varieties. I’m excited for some refreshing coolers this summer!
The highbush Blue Crop blueberries, which get about 5′ tall when mature, are covered in fat, white blooms. Meanwhile, our evergreen low-bush Sunshine Blueberries, which only get about 3′ tall, are at the end of their blooming cycle. You can already see tiny berries beginning to develop in their place.
The strawberries came up about a month ago, but are just blooming now. Juniper is keeping a close eye on this edible groundcover. She’s already dreaming of strawberry shortcake and has her basket all picked out for when we start visiting u-pick farms. Beware that strawberries tend to take over where ever they are planted as well. We are okay with them becoming a dense groundcover, but many people prefer to contain them in pots instead.
Our raised garden beds are already getting fuller and fuller each week. I transplanted the broccoli and kale I started from seed. I direct sowed lettuces, arugula, peas, beets and carrots. They are just starting to pop up from the soil.
The onion and shallot sets I planted last month are growing like mad! The potatoes are about 3-4″ above ground in their trench. I will wait until they are a little taller before filling the trenches with more soil. In general, I let about 4″ of green stay above ground. This double-dig method should yield a bigger harvest, as burying more of the greens will encourage the plants to produce more tubers (i.e. potatoes).
I had just enough daylight left last night to pot up our tomatoes that I started from seed indoor. The Brandywine tomatoes in particular are very vigorous. I’m not quite sure how I’ll be able to keep all these guys clustered under the grow light until late May. Since space is such a premium inside, I may decide to transplant them out to the beds early and cover with greenhouse plastic. That should keep them warm enough to keep growing outside.
Spring is always a beautifully hectic and energy-filled time of year. I would love to hear how your spring garden is growing too. Tell me about it in the comments below!