Here’s mid-April’s “Six on Saturday.” I debated whether to post photos of flowers, but right now many people are feeling that food is of prime importance, so here’s six from the potager. After 4 nights of temperatures in the 20’s, combined with some snow off and on today’s sunshine is more than welcome. It’s sunny, 52 degrees but with a chilly breeze. However, the seedlings were eager to play outside for a while today. The breeze will help strengthen the stems, but I’ll have to keep an eye on them to not overdo it. They are still babies after all, and often don’t know what’s best for them!
The seedlings are smaller than usual at this point, but I got a late start with indoor seeding, and then the weather hasn’t cooperated much. Not worried though, as they will catch up quickly once the weather changes. I’ll begin planting into the raised beds this week, but some things will need protection since it will go down to 30F mid-week. Maybe I’ll wait till after that. Meanwhile, things already in the potager are growing despite the weather, despite the state of the world, despite all my worries. There’s already food to harvest, which is a blessing indeed.
I let dill self-seed in the potager’s interior borders, which are mainly edible flowers and herbs. However, this spring dill seeds are springing up in abundance in this raised bed of peas, which is west of the border. Usually our winds come from the west, but we must have had a strong east wind one day! I’m going to pull a bunch of them, snip off the roots and sprinkle them on a poached salmon & fettucine dish tonight.
The shallot bulbs that were planted April 2nd are rooting nicely and many are showing good top growth. I was especially happy to see this one doing so well, because it is one of the triple shallot bulbs I carefully divided to finish the final row. It doesn’t have as many layers of outer skin left, so I’ll be watching it to see if it is more prone to rot if we have another unusually wet spring.
The garlic stems are visibly thickening, a good sign. They are appreciating the layer of compost and sprinkling of lime spread the beginning of the month. I didn’t plant as much as usual, because in past years I’ve grown way too much garlic and not enough onions, so I’m working on a better balance.
Two years ago I began overwintering spinach, which has been a great success. Last fall a row of late-planted kale germinated, but it was too small to harvest before winter came. It was just left out in the open (Zone 5) and when winter ended (at least I hoped it had) it looked pretty pathetic. I almost pulled it out during the clean-up of the potager’s raised beds, but I didn’t. Happily, in the past week it has suddenly perked up and is growing lots of new leaves. I’ve been nibbling both kale leaves and spinach leaves whenever I go out to water in the greenhouse. Delicious!
This is some of the spinach that was overwintered without any protection. It has some yellowed leaves at the bottom, but the new leaves are as big as my hand and darker green than the photo shows. It will all be eaten before the peas need more space. The roses planted last spring are leafing out, the old parsley plants are giving plenty of new leaves, and the strawberry beds are looking great. Lots of perennial herbs are ready to use: chives, garlic chives, lovage, oregano, anise hyssop, hyssop, thyme, savory, lemon balm, and more. Every day I am thankful for the garden, the blessings it provides both in terms of food and interest, exercise, mental activity, and more. It is a haven, a peaceful place filled with bird songs and new life. I hope all of you are finding comfort in your gardens, large or small, in these difficult times.
For more “Six on Saturday” offerings, visit The Propagator, the host of this meme.