Sunday, February 22, 2015

Garden Update - Planning Ahead for Spring

Can we all just take a moment of silence for the Winter that never was, here in Oregon?

The dream of skiing this Winter was quickly dashed when there wasn't enough snow to keep the resorts open. Also, for February, things are looking an awfully lot like Spring already. So I am ready to face the reality that my poor garden is in need of a makeover.

Has it really been almost 3 years since I had a proper garden?

There are a few signs of life coming through. The rhubarb is poking its way up through the ground despite being neglected. And there are also a few really hardy herbs that refused to give up despite last Summer's drought.

This rosemary bush in particular has really thrived in spite of being neglected since the baby was born. I also see sage and will just need to trim back these shrubs for the new season.

But, just about everything else needs to be sprouted or planted new.

I am excited at the opportunity to build my garden with raised beds exactly how I want it. I will still have some plants scattered outside the beds, like German Chamomile and Sunflowers, but our edible fruits and vegetables will be easier to car for in the raised beds I will be making.

I have already ordered our starts and seeds from Territorial Seed Company here in Oregon. In the greenhouse the kids and I will be starting our flowers and herbs shortly. I have a kitchen garden cloche ordered to help with early lettuce and salad mix plants transplants. Hopefully that will help bring fresh salad to the table earlier this year.

This is my garden plot, you can see the faint outline of the old garden area. Since the weather has been dry, I hope to start working and amending the soil soon. Then we can construct the beds over the top and start to fill them with loose dirt and compost.

I am so excited to revive the gardening posts here and have so much to share with planing, plant care, updates and of course our harvest and recipes.

This is a great time to start planning your own garden and ordering seeds and starts before they sell out for the season. Here are a few of the new items I will be planting this year:

  • 'Ketchup and Fries' - a grafted plant that  that will give me both cherry tomatoes above ground and potatoes below. My kids are really excited about this one! 
  • Green Tea bush - growing up we house sat for a woman who had her own tea bush. She would dry the leaves and make her own tea. I am really excited to try this.
  • Several cherry tomatoes - from "chocolate" cherry to an Orange Paruche Tomato, I will have 5 small tomato varieties for salads and drying. I want to make our plates more colorful this year.
  • German Chamomile - again for making our own freshly dried herbal tea.
  • The Usual - Swiss Chard, zucchini, eggplant, leeks, cucumbers and basic herbs.
My garden spot may not be big, but I do have big plans for what we are planting! Our garden is more for the kids and I to enjoy and work in. Most of our fresh produce still comes from the hard work my husband puts into the greater farm.

He is not a big fan of my own garden. "Farmers don't grow gardens." But, he has been very supportive and helpful at getting me on my way to create a new family garden plot for 2015.

Will you have a garden this year? What will you be planting?

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