Monday, April 19, 2010

Dinner Salad

Arugula, Mixed Lettuce, French Breakfast Radish, Saxa 2 Radish...also added some onion, tomato, blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

First Spring Harvest

Today I harvested the first veggies from the garden! I pulled a tender young Saxa 2 radish as well as a handful of arugula for a sandwich.

I have to say, I almost like the Saxa 2 radish better than the French Breakfast, which I've grown the past couple of years. It was not quite as spicy and was very tender. There are quite a few more red globes peeping through the soil still, so we should be enjoying radish the next couple of weeks.

The arugula is still young enough to be considered "baby" and was crunchy and spicy. So often, arugula you buy in the store can be paper-thin and tastes kind of like cardboard. Greens are one of the easiest things to grow at home, why wouldn't everyone do it?

Now that some room will be freeing up in my seed-starting trays, I've started to sow some new seeds. Earlier this week I planted five Empress of India Nasturtiums. I plan on making some very pretty salads with Nasturtium flowers this year. Earlier this week I had placed an impromptu order with Baker Creek for some flowering plants, as well as two "wild card" veggies - asparagus and rhubarb. Today I sowed all five types: Rainbow Mix Coleus, Apricot Beauty Foxglove, Parker's Variety Yarrow, Mary Washington Asparagus, and Victoria Rhubarb. I realize I'm making at least a two year commitment on the asparagus and rhubarb, but it's something I can sprout, plant, and forget about until SURPRISE! (hopefully, anyways)

In addition to planting some new seeds, I spent a lot of time outside today, both with the garden as well as with the other flower beds in our yard. I decided to plant my oregano and thyme in the raised bed, as they are both fairly hardy and should be able to withstand any lingering cold nights over the next few weeks. Once they get over the initial shock they should be quite happy to have more room to wiggle their toes - pretty boys!

My Mom had donated quite a few more plants for my beds this year and I wanted to get them all into the ground before the grind of the workweek hit. Some highlights include several Helleborus (lenten rose), standard and dwarf iris, Pulmonaria, and one of my all-time favorites, a Bleeding Heart. She also dug me a couple of Southwestern Ohio's native wildflowers, including some Spring Beauties and Dutchman's Breeches. Practically all of the plants she gave me last year have come back this spring - our soil must not be as poor as I thought. The number of worms in the moist dirt was astounding! The layer of leaves and rich soil that I spread on top must really be amending the soil. Hopefully this bed will continue to grow, spread, and naturalize.

Another nostalgic favorite for me, Lily of the Valley, are about to burst into full bloom. In my opinion, you can't find many flowers that smell better than Lily of the Valley.

Between the front beds and the newer bed that I created last year, things are starting to fill out nicely. Thank you Mom!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Indoors and Outdoors

It seems like it's been a while since I've done an update on what my indoor seedlings look like. To be frank, they are threatening to take over the basement, with the tomatoes leading the fight.

"Let us out already!"

"Gimme some sun!"

While we've had a really nice warm spring so far, I'm not going to take any risks by planting them too early. I want to wait at least until around May 1st. Still, it gets a little ridiculous when I'm having to pinch off flower buds from the tomato plants. Next year I'll just have to plant them a little later (if I can force myself to wait long enough).

The outdoor garden is really taking off, too. All seeds are up now: radish, beets, carrots, onions, arugula, mixed lettuce, and dill. I had a slight set-back last weekend when I woke up and saw quite a few crude holes dug into the beds. The neighbor's groundhog is alive and kicking - guess he survived another winter. I re-seeded the spots where he caused damage and decided to put my netting to good use. He hasn't touched it since. My only dilemma is whether or not I need to purchase another net - I had originally planned to use this one for the tomato and pepper bed.

Some highlights...


European Mesclun Mix:


Radish (Saxa II):

Golden Beet: