Thursday, April 5, 2012

Garden Update - April 4, 2012

One new raised bed is done and will be ready to plant once I get some drip lines installed. I added compost and other amendments as I filled the box so all the hard work is done here. The fun work will start soon, I've got a flat of Oregon Sugar Pod II snap peas and Rolande French Filet beans sown to go into this bed. Today I'm going to sow seeds for lettuce and herbs that will also go here. And I'm finally going to be able to grow carrots without them being pushed around by moles or munched on by gophers!

The space for the second bed is ready to go and the box will be built next week. Then it will probably take another week or so for me to move the soil from the bed in the foreground into the new bed. The project is taking longer than I anticipated, mostly because I need plenty of rest between rounds with the shovel (I'm just not as young as I used to be). The space for the second bed had some roots that were starting to invade from the oak tree outside the garden. I was able to dig those out and I'll be able to keep an eye on the area that they were invading from in the future. That is one advantage to doing the digging myself, the guys building the beds would have just left the roots in place and I would have been fighting them as they grew up into the soil from Day One, at least I know where to keep an eye on them now and can try to sever them from the outside of the bed.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the garden, there are a few hangers-on. This is the radicchio patch. And there's a nice clump of chives that I'm going to move to one of the new beds.

This is Rossa Treviso 4 Precoce radicchio. This is the best looking plant of this variety, it may actually be forming a halfway decent head.

Perhaps this Variegata di Castelfranco will form a head before I have to dig it out in a couple of weeks.

But this Variegata di Chioggia won't, it's already bolting.

It looks a bit like it is wearing a dunce cap.

The Guntmadingen spinach just keeps coming on. It is showing the first signs of bolting but the leaves that I snacked on yesterday were still sweet and tender.

Here's what a clump looked like on March 20 just after I cut it to the ground in anticipation of pulling the plants out (which I didn't get around to). It's amazing how quickly they grow back at this time of year.

The Flamingo Chard is producing well and not showing signs of bolting so I may try to transplant these to one of the new beds. If you look closely you can see that many of the leaves  have white spots. The plants don't have some funky disease, that's damage from the hail that dumped on us a few weeks ago. The white spots would make the leaves unmarketable but they don't make it inedible. I used a bunch just a couple of nights ago to make a Dungeness Crab and Swiss Chard Gratin that was absolutely delicious.

Next up, I've gone crazy with the peppers again this year...


  1. That looks like a ton of work. But it seems you are redoing everything from scratch. At least you get to keep your soil.

  2. How do you like to prepare swiss chard? Can it be eaten in salads or does it have to be stir fried?

  3. You should be really proud of your work - the bed looks great. As do those raddichio - I'm growing it for the first time this year and I'm enjoying watching it develop, hopefully the eating will be equally good.

  4. I can hardly wait to hear your pepper adventures. The new bed looks wonderful, simply wonderful. What a lot of hard work you're doing. It will be nice to enjoy it later.

  5. Loads of work sure makes you feel good once it's done. Congratulations.

  6. The new bed looks great! Infrastructure projects are always challenging, but you'll be so glad when it is all done and you have even more ideal space for growing.


  7. It must be very hard work, but it's great to see your new beds progressing so well and it will be worth it once it's all done! Nice to have all those delicious leaves at this time of year too.


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