Outside the garden fence the lemongrass has survived the winter chill. The plant sits under the south facing edge of the canopy of a large evergreen oak tree which provides some protection from the occasional frost (and snow this year!).
I'm trying another experiment with an edible that might resist the appetites of the local deer, some Monticello poppies. All too often the deer seem disinterested in the plants that I experiment with until they bloom, so we'll see about this latest effort. So far the biggest problem has been with the deer trampling the plants.
Purple leaf sage, also out in the path of trampling deer, I've been protecting it with a cage. So far, so good...
I'm really happy with the rosemary, it's filling in nicely and blooming like crazy right now.
|Tuscan Blue rosemary|
|Arp (foreground) and Santa Barbara Blue rosemarys|
Inside the garden, the favas are really starting to take off and will soon be shading that row of lettuce that I slipped into the middle of the bed. The favas that I sowed earliest are already sporting small beans!
Across the way I'm growing water bottles, or so it seems...
The water bottles are protecting the little pea plants that I'm growing for their young tender shoots. Apparently, small rodents also have a taste for young tender pea shoots and I almost lost all the seedlings. The water bottle cloches also worked well to protect the regrowing seedlings from the snow and freeze that we had about 2 weeks ago. I harvested the first shoots just a couple of days ago which is why this plant is looking so truncated. The first harvest was so tiny that I simply munched the sprouts raw and unadorned, they were incredibly delicious. The plants should produce side shoots now that the central leader has been snipped out so the harvests should get larger. Still, I realized that I didn't start enough plants so I've got more of them starting in a flat of paper pots now.
At the other end of this bed is a patch of Olive Leaf Rapini. I think that it has become a bit stunted by that cold snap that we had recently so I've got another batch sown in paper pots already.
And some Yu Choy seedlings coming along under their protective water bottle cloches. Yu Choy is also called Edible Rape and is closely related to Rape Seed (aka Canola). I didn't plant very many of these since I wasn't sure that they would do well this early in the season. From what I've read they are more heat tolerant than cold tolerant, at least this variety. This is the first time that I've tried growing this vegetable so I'm not sure what the optimal time is for planting them, nor how many plants I should start at one time. I think that this bunch will produce enough to serve 2 people. I've already got another larger sowing coming along in paper pots.
This mess over here is my garlic bed. It's looking to be a bad year for garlic *sigh*. Garlic rust is hitting the plants extra early and very hard. Normally I would be keeping the garlic bed free of competing plants but I just don't give a fig this year, it's going to be that bad. At least the cilantro is being an over-acheiver this year...
Cilantro, cilanto, cilantro, with a few sugar snap peas, parsley, and that blasted garlic peeking out. Chicken with Cilantro is on the menu tonight, it calls for 2 bunches of cilantro. Anyone have another recipe that uses LOTS of cilantro?
We've been eating salad almost every night...
|Sweetie Baby Romaine lettuce|
|Ear of the Devil lettuce|
The Golden Chard is still hanging in there. I keep expecting it to send up flower stalks so I've already got the replacement plants started. You can see the leaning Lacinato kale plants to the right and left. Those are in full bloom so I've been cutting the plants down one by one and giving them to the chickens. I'll need to have half of this bed cleared out in 8 or 10 weeks so that I can plant the tomatoes.
Another salad green, the Golden Corn Salad is quite happy and some of the most mature plants are starting to push out flower stalks. I've found that the easiest way to grow this plant is to let it sow itself around the garden.
My experiement with late sown winter grown Portuguese Cabbage (Couve Tronchuda) has been a mixed success. It has grown enough to produce a few harvests of leaves but is already starting to form flower heads. I need to tinker with my summer/fall sowing times to get it to grow through the fall and into the winter without bolting. I seemed to have started them too early last year and they bolted early in the fall, although that could have been because we had an unusually cool summer and then a really warm fall and the plants got confused.
Not your typical spinach, Guntmadingen Winter Spinach is a Swiss heirloom that sports oak-leaf shaped leaves and has very spiny seeds. I harvested the first crop from my patch of plants this week. Wow, was it delicious, sweeter and with less of the "fuzziness" that I find typical of most spinach. I hope my plants don't bolt too soon, I want lots more of this green.
Claytonia perfoliata (Miner's Lettuce) is a native edible that I like to let volunteer around the garden.
The fog did one of it's typical dances in and out of the valley at dawn this morning and in its wake the spider webs were revealed.