Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 3/24/14

This week has been a wonderful garden week – temperatures in the upper 60s to upper 70s, plants actually growing (finally), my seedlings getting bigger, and the first day of spring! Woohoo! Spring! I spent quite a bit of time out in the garden this week, and I loved it.

IN THE GROW ROOM:

My peppers are growing and actually still germinating. Some of those seeds have certainly taken their time coming forth! My tomatoes are looking good, along with my eggplant. I’ve lost a few tomatoes and a couple of peppers; damping off, maybe? But I factored in that possibility when I determined the number of seeds to plant.

My squash and melons are doing the best. Both the zucchini and white acorn squash have flower buds on them now. I was hoping to harden them off in the seedling tray, but it’s not warm enough consistently yet to do that. They were also getting root bound and in need of more nitrogen (yellowing older leaves), so yesterday I transplanted them to cups while they await their new home outside.

Here they are, in front of my sliding glass doors in the living room, waiting for me to open the curtains to the morning sun.

Squash & Melons transplanted to cups

Squash & Melons transplanted to cups

HARVESTS:

This weekend, I harvested my first lettuce, spinach, and arugula along with a couple of asparagus spears and more radishes. I saved the arugula and radish leaves to saute with olive oil and garlic, then made a salad of greens and radishes with the rest. I added some fresh curly parsley and beet greens, too (as my beets will never “bulb up” before I have to do the spring planting). It’s was heavenly!

Lettuce, spinach, & arugula harvest 23March

Lettuce, spinach, & arugula harvest ~ March 23

Icicle & Easter egg radish and asparagus harvest ~ March 23

Icicle & Easter egg radish and asparagus harvest ~ March 23

IN THE GARDEN:

Things are finally growing and reaching harvest stage in the garden. Well, most things, anyway. It’s been so cold – including two ice storms – that I’m grateful I have ANYTHING in the garden. (I don’t have row covers.)

My watermelon radishes aren’t “bulbing up” at all. It’s been three months since planting, and they’ve decided it’s time to bolt. When they first start bolting, the florets look just like broccoli starting to form, don’t they?

Watermelon radishes beginning to bolt

Watermelon radishes beginning to bolt

My garlic is growing nicely. I wish I could see what’s going on under the soil. Harvest time should be in a couple months or so.

Garlic growing

Garlic growing

My turnips are starting to bulb and stick through the soil.

Purple Top turnip bulbing

Purple Top turnip bulbing

My spinach looks beautiful – and tastes even better!

Bloomsdale spinach

Bloomsdale spinach

Giant Noble spinach

Giant Noble spinach

My tulips bloomed for a little over a month, and now, alas, they are gone….except for this one last, beautiful bloom.

My last tulip bloom

My last tulip bloom

IN THE ORCHARD & VINEYARD:

My apple trees are sprouting leaves, and my key lime trees have lots of flowers. In fact, one of my key lime trees has fruit growing.

Key limes growing

Key limes growing

Pink Lady apple tree sprouting leaves

Pink Lady apple tree sprouting leaves

My grape vines are developing more leaf buds and starting to sprout leaves.

Reliance grape vine

Reliance grape vine

Marquis grape vine

Marquis grape vine

Concord grape vine

Concord grape vine

I’m so excited that spring is finally here! Unfortunately, another cold snap is coming to the South this week, and tomorrow night might bring another frost. It seems the Jet Stream is unaware that it’s now spring…in the SOUTH! Someone needs to tell him – and quickly. I have spring planting to do!

Happy Spring!

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