Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Getting green

It's a rainy day, washing off more of the winter dirt and making the grass grow. The herbs are poking up through the leaves that still cover their winter bed. Tarragon, oregano and the first dark purple leaves of the anise hyssop have made their appearnace. The lovage sprouts, too, one of the first herbs to offer up its fresh celery flavor, are four to six inches high. The rhubarb is nearly tall enough for a first harvest. It's wonderful to once again go outside to find food and flavors to spice up the everyday menu.

It might be premature to declare the garlic experiment a success but after raking off the layer of leaf insulation from the garlic bed last week, I can see that the green spears are poking up. The shallots are coming up, too.

I've spread many of last year's leaves on the garden with the intent of mowing them into leaf mulch before tilling them in. Ron tried mowing them but that was on a windy day, as many of them have been lately, and the wind threatened to spread them back across the lawn. He mowed some of the sage, and the thyme, a little closer to ground level than I would have liked, but we'll see in just a few more days if that was wise or foolish. The last time I did that to the sage I was afraid I had killed it; but it came up and flourished.

I planted seeds in flats three weeks ago. The necked pumpkins are already of a size to plant out in the garden but it's too soon. They have amazing root systems. The peppers and tomatoes seems to be off to a slow start but are getting their true leaves. The brussel sprouts and cabbage are looking good as are the two melon varieties. The family salsa pepper that we've saved for several years are growing again as are little hot peppers that Laura received from a neighbor at her apartment in St. Paul. I had hoped to have proper greenhouse shelves and a lighting system set up this year. It didn't happen but have rigged an extra light to give the plants a boost on these gray days.

Recent tours have gone well in spite of relatively little to see in the yard and garden. We hope they'll come back and visit again as the growing season progresses.

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