Was turning in my cover crop and couldn't help but notice this bee makin love to the Hyacinth!

What's New in the Garden?

Winter has come and gone!  The broccoli is on it's way out though I have yet to harvest several heads that look something like this:
The plants did quite well considering we had weeks of freezing temperatures.  The plant above froze solid, thawed and got all mushy.  Miraculously, it still managed to produce.  You can't tell from the picture, but the heads are full size!  And it tastes sooo good!  

I decided to leave the damaged leaves on the plant.  During the summer I generally do some strategic trimming to focus growth, but over winter wanted to leave the plants with as much green as possible to breathe in sunlight.  I think it also helped keep buggies from the heads. (That, or they just prefer the leaves, I'm not sure.)

You'll notice a cover crop around the broccoli.  I started it about 2 months ago.  I've got several beds in cover crops right now.  In a week or so I'll be turning some of them under to prep for spring veggies.
This week I'll start my beets, carrots, peas and onions outside!

Yippee to spring unfurling!

Long Live the Garden!

 the garden with fresh bark!  
I got my wood chip delivery spread over the yard.  Pretty sure I will make more gardens this year, but it feels exciting to have the very back of the yard grass free.  I really didn't like all the mowing and now I can see the space much better - can't wait to get my berry orchard in!

And yay to no weeds growing in the paths.  The straw was exciting last year, but it broke down pretty efficiently.  These wood chips should last me a good 3 years - plenty of time to totally change things around.  

Along the far right side of the picture (above) I made the yard much more level.  It was a hassle to walk over there because of the slope.  Now you almost don't notice any change in pitch.  The most dramatic change happened in the area pictured below.  I brought it up by about a foot!



(early November)

The cloves went in around the first of October.  They'll be ready to harvest sometime next June.  Garlic is one of those crops that is SO worth the wait.  These photos are my favorite!  I heart potential...

(November 16th)


Behold the Brocolli!

Perhaps I'll always be amazed at the miracle that is gardening!  When I planted the seeds for my brocolli I offered a short prayer for the little ones to grow and provide food and inspiration for me and my neighbors.  This was my first go at fall/overwintering gardening and I wasn't sure that I'd get a crop.

This time of the year is pretty harsh and the only protection this brocolli has is it's own innate ability to  deal with the intensity that nature throws its way.  Its thick walls that store the food it needs to survive.  The waxy leaves that shed water easily.  The many leaves that allow the cabbage worms to feed freely while not affecting the crop to severely (tho I think one plant may be surrendered to the pests - the jury is still out).

                    (at transplant)

                               (mid October)


I'd say they are doing pretty darn well.  On two or three plants I'm starting to see signs of mold and I think some kind of rust!?!  I'm cutting those leaves off, but I know once that sort of thing sets in it's pretty hard to eliiminate it.  My goal is to minimize the effects so that I can still get a harvest.  I'm seeing the damage on the outer/older leaves so I think I may have some time to get a head or two.

I've got twenty plants and at least half already have "eatable" size heads.  I'm not sure when I'll start harvesting.  My sense is that I've got another couple weeks for things to get bigger.

Some more pics:

(about 1 month after transplanting - end of September.  sorry about the weird angle.  you'll see on the left, I was using a floating row cover to minimize pest damage)

(about 1.5 months after transplanting - mid October)

(today - mid November)