Six on Saturday: March 31

Real Spring, gardening-type Spring continues to hover in the distance, lingering down South perhaps.  There are hints here and there: swelling buds, the return of the robins, emerging bulb foliage.  Rain has been almost continuous, but at least it’s not snow, although according to the experts more of THAT is on the way.  Sigh!

To find six interesting things to show has been a challenge, but here goes.  #1  This is the very LAST of the carrots grown last season.  That’s not too bad, after all tomorrow it will be April Carrots last of  but it tells me that carrot production needs to increase this year.  #2  Normally, there would be a few salad greens needing to be thinned, so the first salads would be appearing from the potager’s beds.  In order to accomplish that this year, it took a bit of “cheating.”  I’d noticed a few stray Dandelion 1 weeds in the potager a few weeks ago.  Normally, they would have been eliminated immediately (No weeds are allowed in the potager!) but dandelions are delicious, and they were about the only bits of green, so they stayed.  Today, during a break before it rains again, they were harvested  Dandelion because in the super-saturated soil they pulled easily for total root removal.  They’ll make a great salad, slightly wilted with a bit of bacon, onion and cider vinegar.  It’s too wet to do much of anything else, but weed pulling is easy right now.  #3  I’m dying to sow peas, although with the forecast of low temps in the mid-20’s for the next ten days, there’s no rush.  The daffodils say “No rush” as well and are very slow to open this year.  Daffodil not open  I’m just delighted to see a bit of their color appearing.  A fully opened daffodil indicates that it IS time to plant peas, so it’s getting closer.  #4 While I’m waiting, I potted the dahlias that arrived from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, all shades of orange of course:  “Karma Corona,” “Sylvia,” and “Tour de Monde.”  If you don’t know Brent & Becky, they are adorable people, devoted to their family business.  Visit their website and if you’re in Virginia, visit their bulb shop and lovely gardens.  Dahlias planted in pots  #5 Since last week’s “Six” the rhubarb has emerged  Rhubarb 3-30-18 but before you are too impressed, this is only one out of 6 and so far the others are no-shows, and realize that the largest leaf shown is not even as long as my pointer finger!  Last year at this time they were football-sized leaves!  And lastly, #6 since there isn’t much happening outside, and all the potted amaryllis have finished blooming I am happy to see that a new young hibiscus has a bud.  This was a gift from a supplier at the last Garden Writers’ Conference.  Hibiscus compressed  I think it is called “Tango,” but I’ll need to look it up.  It’s a tropical, so will stay in a pot on the patio all summer and come back indoors to brighten my days next winter.  That’s my “Six on Saturday” to end March.  Last year there were rows of crops and tiny harvests beginning in the potager, but not this year.  Hopefully, shallots, onions, peas and salad crops can get planted soon, but with two days of snow in the 10-day forecast, I won’t hold my breath!  Happy Easter to ALL!

Thanks to The Propagator for hosting this meme.  Check out all the “Six on Saturday” contributors from various climates by clicking on the link.

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About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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21 Responses to Six on Saturday: March 31

  1. Island Time says:

    Hang in there! Spring IS on its way! Was feeling thwarted here on the west coast too, but all of a sudden spring is here and there are too many things to be done all at once! I was interested in your starting of potatoes in pots….the Propagator was also doing this….I assume the spuds are left in the pots right through to harvest, can you confirm this is true? Looks like an efficient way to grow spuds and a good way to not “lose” them in the garden beds. Happy Easter to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • carolee says:

      Yes, they stay in the pots, adding soil as they grow like “hilling” them if grown in rows. I’ve moved to this method partly because space is at a premium, but also because it’s getting harder for me to dig deep to plant, and then dig again to harvest. I’m planting 3-4 pots every couple of weeks, and when the potatoes are harvested the soil can be emptied into beds. Our beds are so water-logged that planting potatoes or anything else is impossible. This way, potatoes can at least get started at a reasonable time.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Island Time says:

        I like the sound of this method and intend to give it a try. This will be a good way to keep track of the few fingerlings that I’ve got left over from last year’s harvest. I am still searching around for lost potatoes, multiple varieties, from last summer’s garden, trying to find them before they start growing again where I don’t want them to grow anymore. I’ve got a great-aunt in England who grows her spuds in big grow bags; I thought that seemed a good idea at the time, to conserve on space. Going to give the pots a go! Thank you for the info! Have you got spring there yet? Happy Easter too!

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      • carolee says:

        Best of luck. I think you’ll be happy with potatoes in containers, whether it’s bags or pots. No, it’s sunny right now, but snow coming in tonight, so not spring yet.

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      • Island Time says:

        Thank you. Sorry about your snow; cold and windy here today, though sunshine too. Snow not far away though; I think you are right about spring!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie Graves says:

    That dandelion salad sounds very tasty. Spring is coming slowly to Maine, too. We are in the throes of mud, worse than I’ve seen in a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bcparkison says:

    tango is going to be a knock out .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dandelion salad? It is the first time that I heard. Definitely will try. We have lots in the allotment. It has been raining here since Friday, will continue. 😦

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    • carolee says:

      Dandelions are extremely edible and versatile in the kitchen. Another dish is to slightly wilt the greens using a bit of hot bacon fat, add diced boiled potatoes, diced hard-boiled eggs (this is great for after Easter!) and a bit of cider vinegar. The blooms fully open can be dipped in beaten egg, then in crushed cracker crumbs, and then quickly fried until golden brown in butter. They taste rather like fried mushrooms. Can you tell I grew up on a farm, that my parents struggled through the Depression, and I hate to waste ANYTHING? Just be sure the dandelions have not been sprayed or treated in any way. You can also just snip them into a tossed salad for a bit of highly nutritious dark green and great texture. They are great for your helping cleanse your liver, among other things!

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  5. John Kingdon says:

    I read your blog a bit. Sometimes “like” a post but rarely comment. But for some reason I find you strangely addictive. A bit of calm in this somewhat chaotic world. Just wanted to say that. Here dandelions are allowed to grow free in the springtime. The bees love them. Then, when the heads start to turn to seed, I remove them (just flick a cigarette lighter under the seed head and voila). When flowering’s over, my chemical free dandelions are lifted, The neighbour’s tortoise gets the leaves. I watch the little clouds of seeds spreading in from the farm next door. And I am happy that next spring the cycle will repeat itself. The bees will be happy and my neighbour’s tortoise will not go hungry. I just pull up the little plants that develop through the summer. If you’re quick, before the tap roots develop, they pull up easily. Then, in the autumn, leave them be.

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    • carolee says:

      How interesting! I’d never have thought of using a lighter to eliminate dandelion heads, but with the thousands that I have, I’m not sure it’s a workable solution. We have a division here. My husband has the front lawn chemically treated so it is weed free. Behind the house is my world, a chemical-free zone, and there are more dandelions, self-heal, plantain, etc. than grass….just the way I and the bees like it! Hmmm. The more I think about it, the more I like it, but I don’t think a cigarette lighter will work (and I’d have to buy one!) but maybe the torch-thing I use to thaw out pipes attached (with duct tape?) to a hoe handle would work. I have back issues so bending over is not always an option. I’m happy you find my words calming. We all need that. Blessing, and Happy Easter! And thanks for reading.

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  6. Love the treatment of dandelion here. Will be trying your recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tanya Kohl says:

    Happy Easter! Good luck with your garden!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A. JoAnn says:

    I’m with you, this weather has been disheartening. I did manage to get some debris picked up in the garden. My daffodils haven’t opened yet, either. Let’s hope that it’s soon!

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  9. I always found dandelions a little bit bitter, do you or is there a different way to prepare them?

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    • carolee says:

      The younger, the less bitter. Once they start budding they get more bitter, and even more when they are flowering. I use them raw early, then cook them more as they age. When they are quite bitter, I just snip them in with other greens. And, adding more seasonings like onions or garlic as they get more bitter helps, as well as changing to a cream-style dressing rather than an oil and vinegar type.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lora Hughes says:

    Since you’ve not said otherwise, I assume you eat the root as well? My father (a depression teen) ate greens but I was too cool for that & never noticed what parts he ate.

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  11. Love your garden, your gardening and your love of gardening. We gardeners have our gardens despite he wacky spring weather.

    Liked by 1 person

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