Spring Plantings

I took an inspection tour of the garden yesterday, and all the edible vines, trees, and shrubs I planted last year made it through the winter and are beginning to bud out – with the exception of the Chilean Guava.  It was fine, up until that last temperature drop to 12 degrees, but now it appears to be dead.  I’ll wait and see if it happens to regrow up from the roots, but if not, I’ll get another plant and place it in a more protected spot.  I should have covered it, but unfortunately, I didn’t even think of it until too late.  I’m just happy the kiwi vines made it through.  It was touch and go during the summer, so I was a little concerned; I’ve heard it’s sometimes hard to keep them alive for the first year, but after that, it’s all good.

Today I went out and planted my first batch of seeds directly into the ground.  I planted several varieties of lettuce, beets, swiss chard, and turnips.  They join the seedlings of cabbage, kale, and broccoli I started inside, then transplanted outside earlier.  Those are looking great.

It is so unbelievably lovely to see green things in the ground!

The front yard garden where I did my planting today is slowly starting to come together.

Mom and I spent some time yesterday putting together a few more beds…and hauling wheelbarrows full of dirt to fill them.  There are still quite a few more beds to go, but I may not get all of them completed this season.  We have decided to put straw in the pathways between beds, to control weeds.  I would prefer brick or stone, but for right now, there’s just no time or money for anything that massive.  Maybe later?

Here’s another view, showing the beds that are only partly completed/not built yet.

The two taller beds have my first (future) espalier trees in them.  To the left, is my Honeysweet Pear, and right behind the ladder is my first apple, Cox’s Orange Pippin.  For the apple rootstock, I ended up with M7.  It’s a semi-dwarf, and well recommended for espaliers.  I’m planning to make a two-tiered espalier, and its branches should span almost the entire length of that back fence.  One day, it should look something like this:

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Right now, it looks like this:

Just an itsy, bitsy twig.

Inside, I have tomato seedlings under the grow lights.

I’m growing four different varieties from seed this year.  Sweet Pea Currant,  Indigo Rose, Black Trifele, and a mystery variety that self-seeded into my yard last year, and was amazingly prolific and tasty.  We’re calling it the Out of Eden Tomato, because we have no idea what it actually is, and don’t remember planting anything that looks like it.  I also have a three varieties of alpine strawberries starting indoors, as well as a few ground cherries.

The Indigo Rose tomatoes in particular will be extraordinarily beautiful.

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Today the quail eggs went into “lockdown” in the incubator (which means no more turning, candling, or disturbing until they hatch).

Tomorrow, they *could* begin to pip, though probably we won’t see any actual hatches until Sunday or Monday.

Speaking of quail, Cinna and his girls are continuing to love their new coop.  My mom went over to the coop, and they came right over and looked up at her inquiringly.  She said: “I think they want me to give them something.”  Of course they did.  They are spoiled little quail, and well-used to me bringing them seed and greens!  I fed them some greens today, then filmed them for you to see.  I have the top completely open here, and my hand with the camera right down inside the coop (almost touching them).  You can see how relaxed they are – Cinna even takes the opportunity for a little personal business!  (His motto: If you don’t succeed the first time, try again with a different girl!)

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2 responses to “Spring Plantings

  1. Your quail are just so cute! Have you seen the Florida Survival Gardening blog? Written by David Goodman, he has ideas about planting “Food Forrests”. It is really interesting. Love to watch the progress on your garden.

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