This year, I'm making a very concentrated effort to participate in An Oregon Cottage's series - Tuesday Garden Party or TGP as we like to say.
If you are even remotely interested in gardening, preserving, homesteading, etc - you must check out this series. I've participated for three years (since the beginning - hi Jami!) and I cannot tell you how much I have learned from the participants. So, so much. So check back every Tuesday(ish) and link to TGP.
With that- let me tell you what is going on in my garden. Hi TGP'ers!!
This year is going to be very different from other gardening years. You see, I'm so sad, but we're moving from Salem. We don't know where we're going, but all I know is that it is very likely I will be leaving by summertime. What does that mean? Well it means I probably won't be planting a regular hot season garden like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and peppers (insert very sad sigh and frown). I decided to make lemonade out of these lemons and figure out how I could make the most of my limited time and space. On a side note, do you know how utterly SAD it is for me to leave this space that I have lovingly created? I adore my victory garden and I am so forlorn to leave it.
Anyway, this is what I have decided to do. explanations under pictures
I planted an assorted mix of cover crops in most of my beds last fall. I knew I would be moving, but I wanted to experiment with the technique for future gardens. It was a good success. The covers grew well over the winter and in early Feb., I cut them down. A week later, I began working the green crops into the soil. Now, in early March, the crops have almost completely composted into the soil. Success in my book!
Remember when Jami from AOG or TGP came and visited my garden last year? She was impressed by the size of my potted blueberry plants. Well, you simply won't believe how gorgeous they are looking this year - they easily surpass last year. This is the fifth year for the plants and they are loaded with buds about to burst into bloom. What's my secret? Who knows. But I do empty out my used espresso grounds in the pots, top off with peat moss every spring, and mix in compost as it becomes available. That's about it!
This past winter was pretty mild as we only had about 10 days of below freezing temps and absolutely no snow to speak of. That means I had overwintered Italian parsley (pictured above). I also planted garlic for the first time. They look pretty good to me! Anyone know when to harvest these?
I spent a whole Saturday afternoon in February (right before any of the buds leafed out) pruning and tying up my raspberry bushes. I followed this tutorial I found on the web and it is the best berry tutorial I've seen so I had to share. I dare say that my raspberries are looking amazing and I can't wait for the fruits of my labor (literally). I figure I'll get to enjoy a few berries and then the new owners can have a cobbler or jam courtesy of me.
Because of our move, I decided to explore the joy of container gardening. This way, I can plant some warm weather plants and take them with me when we move. The three big containers in the background are my blueberries. The smaller ones in the foreground are where I'm experimenting with planting potatoes. The green one of hte left is a pot made out of tarp-like fabric and planted with a russett potato and the red one is a resin pot planted with french fingerlings (my fav fav favorite potato to grow). I'm thinking about either hilling up with straw or peat moss. I'm not decided yet. Maybe I'll do both and see what I prefer.
This is the gigantic clematis that grows on our fence. Any day now it will burst into bloom and load up our yard with delicious spring fragrance (which will hopefully overpower the everpresent dog poo smell in our yard)
I also moved several strawberry starts from our front yard to one of the backyard beds. I normally use this bed for peppers, cucumbers, or tomatoes but since I'm leaving, I thought a nice strawberry bed would be nice for the new owners. I've been saving my eggshells over the past month and I sprinkled some crushed shells over the plants for extra slug protection (white sprinkles you see on top of the dirt). I noticed that at my local U-pick farm, they "hill up" their strawberry plants. I don't know the reason for this (easier to pick?), but I thought I would copy the technique and use a sort of mock hilling planting row. can you see that in the picture?
Since I know I WILL be here through the spring, I went ahead and planted salad greens, spinach, and beets. I had a dickens of a time with leaf miners last year on my beet greens and spinach. So I am trying a method recommended by my new best gardening friend - Granny from Annie's Kitchen Garden - where she takes simple tulle purchased from a fabric store and keeps it over her greens all season to prevent miners. You'll notice I haven't stapled down the fabric yet - that is because the seedlings haven't come up and I want to be able to get in there to thin them before locking myself out.
THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING TO READ IF YOU'VE MADE IT THIS FAR! I HAVE ONE LAST QUESTION FOR YOU GARDENING FOLK.
Why don't my daffodils bloom?
What I mean is, the first spring after I plant my fall daffodil bulbs they will come up with flower buds and bloom. However, every year after that, they only send up leaves and not any flowering stalks. Does this happen to you? I do wait for them to turn brown and die down before I clear them away in the summer, but still, no daffodils the following spring. My tulips come back every year and all my neighbors have daffodils that come back year after year in the same spots. Any ideas?
Well love you all and hope you are off to a great gardening start! Cheers. (This post has been linked to TGP)