It’s official, spring has taken the upper hand in this neck of the Ozarks. One minute it was definitively winter, then we had a 90 degree (F) day, then four inches of snow, then it was spring. Rain, tree frogs, gentle breezes, intermittent sunshine, more rain. Have I mentioned rain? We have measured almost thirteen inches of rain here at Moonmooring in March. Even with the garden on a slope and raised beds there was standing water in pathways this morning after an overnight rain measuring 3.1 inches and the night before it was 1.9 inches. Gads.
I am having a hard time remembering it is only March. Each day my garden brain thinks I am too far behind – I should have more things planted – weed – till – fertilize – compost – plant – why aren’t the beans and tomatoes and squash ready to go in the ground?! Oh yea. It’s still March.
Late last summer turning toward fall I vowed to put the deep summer crops – tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplants and such – in much later and nurture them into the late fall. The eggplants sure are happier when you do that. And my best tomato plant was a broken Black Krim limb that I stuck in the ground in July and covered with a shade box. That single plant produced the absolute best and most beautiful tomatoes I have ever grown. All eighteen pounds of them harvested in November.
I say be creative and flexible and think outside the window box. We overwintered leeks, onions, garlic (of course), shallots, kale, parsnips, carrots, radish, cilantro and lettuce. Not a lot but enough to munch on here and there. Several things I had planned did not make it though. No cabbage nor fall broccoli or peas and the kale was less than thrilled (I think it was just a bad spot for kale).
With the ground as saturated as it was this morning Gene and I spent our day dealing with some kitchen tasks. Between the two of us we started some sprouts, sauerkraut, fermented horseradish, vinegar, made some garlic chive poppy seed dressing, cut and dehydrated cilantro and garlic chives and are getting ready to eat a pizza.
Here is a look at the garden this day.
So… about those potatoes.
We acquired a fifty pound bag of unknown potatoes grown in a north central state late last fall with the intention of eating them through the winter and canning about half of them. By the time I got around to making time for canning they had sprouted like crazy. Big beefy sprouts sticking out all over the place. So I salvaged, blanched and froze what I could and we prepped sixty big pieces to plant. They went in the ground on February 5. That’s mighty early for planting potatoes in zone 7a. It was either plant them or compost them so planting it was.
These potatoes have been snowed on (4 1/2 inches), suffered four nights in the 20’s and received over 16 inches of rain since planting. I thought they froze out with the snow and freeze. They lost all their leaves and I had to just let it go. A week later Gene told me I might want to look in on them and sure enough all but two plants have replaced all their leaves. They are lovely. I hope they have enough juice to make potatoes!
To be fair, we did cover them with about eighteen inches of loose straw and plastic for the few days it was coldest. Snow is a good insulator.
I could talk for days about garden plans but will save it for later.
What is happening in YOUR garden this spring?