Spring is in the Garden!

 

Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

It's every gardener's eagerly awaited time of year--spring planting. Despite the bit of snow and frost we had a few weeks ago here in the Pacific Northwet, I've already put in asparagus, a few potatoes, new blueberry plants, and a three-way grafted pear tree. The pear tree replaced a plum tree whose fruits were the size of large olives and not our favorite, but we love pears.

It's every gardener's eagerly awaited time of year--spring planting. Despite the bit of snow and frost we had a few weeks ago here in the Pacific Northwet, I've already put in asparagus, a few potatoes, new blueberry plants, and a three-way grafted pear tree. The pear tree replaced a plum tree whose fruits were the size of large olives and not our favorite, but we love pears. 


Asparagus, less than a week after planting.


Beautiful ruby rhubarb shoots are also peeking out.

 

 

This year will see big changes to our front garden where we get the most sun. A new 4'x8' raised bed will be added along with an herb tower. The old 4'x4' raised bed will see its herbs moved to the tower with space for 15 varieties. In place of the herbs in the raised bed, I'll be planting honeydew melons and peas.

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I've found a new plant to try, Oca, or Oxalis tuberosa. Oca can be eaten raw, baked, fried, roasted, and boiled. The taste is said to be similar to potatoes that already have sour cream, with a slightly acidic flavor. It's a perennial, so should come back year after year.


While waiting for warmer weather, I've given hydroponics a try and am very happy with the results. Hydroponics entails growing plants in water with liquid nutrients. Many commercial varieties of produce are grown this way, and I've had great success with the consumer unit I purchased. 

In just three weeks we were enjoying fresh salads with lettuce and mesclun from our countertop. Two months later we're still eating salads from the original seeds. The best part? No worries of E. coli on our greens!

Having enjoyed abundant salads, I'm now trying a dwarf tomato, dwarf hot pepper, and some spinach in the hydroponics unit. Branching out hasn't been as successful and it's a learning process, but the pepper is coming along great. I'll keep trying different seeds to find those that do best, and if nothing else, we'll now have salads all year round!

 

 

All Wound up with Herbs

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