As winter comes to a close, our minds have been focused on the spring season ahead. We started the new year (January first to be exact) off by refreshing unplanted beds with a broadfork. To say we are eager to get spring started is an understatement. New seeds have been planted and are hanging out under the lights of our DIY seed rack. We even have plans for the expansion of garden beds mapped out. Before we can fully jump into the spring swing, we wanted to show you how the winter gardens shaped up for us.
The alpine strawberries that were planted last summer thrived over winter. They didn’t fruit, but there were a few flowers and significant growth over the season. Since they are hardy (and we have had wimpy winters), we didn’t even cover them with a frost cloth.
Though our delectable strawberries didn’t need any assistance staying course through the winter, we did setup cold frames and frost cloths for other parts of the garden. We went 50/50 and covered one raised bed and side bed, while the mirrored raised bed and small side bed were left uncovered. The results were as to be expected.
The asparagus that wasn’t covered went dormant (though now we are seeing spears reemerge), and the asparagus that was secure under a cold frame all winter kept on trucking. Though, now that temperatures are rising again we are seeing stronger spears tower inside.
Elephant garlic that was planted last fall is moving along nicely (both what was protected by the cold frame and what has been growing uncovered). This type of garlic that can easily be mistaken for leeks should be ready to harvest somewhere between May and July when the leaves die back.
We even had a little arugula reseed from old plantings and it has begun to flower. Instead of pulling it, we decided to let it flower and reseed this spring. We’ll see how it goes. Gardening, it’s all trial and error.
Last but not least we have swiss chard that blew up inside its cold frame. They bring a smile to my face each time I see them.
While we watch nature spring back to life and wait for our seedlings to grow, compost building remains our biggest chore. I’m starting to loath aspects of our current property such as the mass amount of oak leaves and constantly falling sticks. It’s bittersweet as they are the backbone to our compost and wattle fences. Every year I think we will outsmart the trees that shade our gardens and stay ahead of the fall game, but I have yet to feel victorious. This year we had something unexpected that has kept us from conquering the overwhelming leaf situation in a timely manner, but we’ll share more on that “interruption” next week.
Psst– We spilled info about that interruption aka big beans here.