Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 2/23/15

This past weekend, we got a taste of spring. Saturday was 63 degrees, and I woke up Sunday morning to the sound of birds chirping outside my open window. Although it was cloudy, I was able to spend some time in the garden on Sunday in the 74 degree weather. Unfortunately, the cold will be returning this coming week, but the promise of spring is in the air.

WHAT’S NEW:

I had just about given up on the Tom Thumb peas I planted along my front walkway and in pots outside my front door. However, after three weeks, they have started to germinate. I’ve got about 15 seedlings poking up now.

Tiny Tim pea seedling ~ 3 weeks after planting

Tom Thumb pea seedling ~ 3 weeks after planting

Yesterday, I planted fingerling potatoes in a couple of new grow bags I purchased a few weeks ago. I used my own compost that is now very loamy – and full of worms.

Ready to plant potatoes

Ready to plant potatoes

I also planted a bunch of Texas Granex white onion sets. Not all of my onion seeds germinated, so I planted the onion sets in the spaces between my onion seedlings.

Ready to plant onion sets

Ready to plant onion sets

IN THE GARDEN:

Here’s a picture of one of the many worms I found in my compost. Good sign!

Worm found in compost

Worm found in compost

After several nights of hard frost, my escarole has surely seen better days. Yet, I’m happy to see the centers of many plants still looking healthy.

Escarole after frost

Escarole after frost

I am so pleased with my Red Sails lettuce and its ability to survive frost. Even a few of my Black Seeded Simpson lettuce (on the right) is surviving.

Red Sails & Black Seeded Simpson lettuce

Red Sails & Black Seeded Simpson lettuce

My arugula is in full bloom, and the flowers are beautiful.

Arugula flowers

Arugula flowers

In one of my hoop tunnel beds, I have several varieties of lettuce growing. This is buttercrunch.

Buttercrunch lettuce

Buttercrunch lettuce

I thought I’d take a picture looking down my hoop tunnels, seeing as it was warm enough to have the plastic off.

My hoop tunnel beds in February

My hoop tunnel beds in February

With all the windy days we’ve had, I’m upset to find that my yard is once again full of gum tree seed balls. I’ve already collected two four-foot tall lawn and leaf bags full out of my raised beds, and my Garden Wilson raked up another four of those lawn and leaf bags full himself. Now, there’s more! Here is my Garden Wilson, sitting and contemplating raking up yet more gum balls.

My Garden Wilson

My Garden Wilson

GARDEN BOUNTY:

This week I did a bit of harvesting and pulled a little over a pound of carrots and almost 1.5 pounds of radishes.

I barely got these washed before I was crunching on one of them. So sweet!

Scarlet Nantes carrots

Scarlet Nantes carrots

This is the rest of my first planting of watermelon radishes. I had to throw away about three dozen of them due to frost damage AND vole bite marks. Ew…. And these are what were healthy enough to keep and eat.

Watermelon radishes

Watermelon radishes

What’s happening on your homestead this week?

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