Friday, May 02, 2008

garden update, because I know you care

We had a week or so of summer, but now we're back to spring. The summer weather did make it easier to get the peas in our garden. This year we added a layer of horse manure in the fall and then put leaves on top; not the same depth of leaves as the previous year, but hopefully enough to keep most of the weeds down. (Though I have been shocked at the number that have already managed to work their way up through the 2-3" left of the leaves that were there all last season plus the 4 or so inches we put on top this year.) The only problem I had with the leaves last year was the slugs, and I have a few ideas for limiting their damage this year.

We plan on relying on a CSA for most of our produce this year since our gardening time is limited, so I didn't bother planting any greens. All we have in so far are sugar snap peas, which are coming up nicely. I'm putting in another row every week, which is supposed to extend our harvest; in the past I've found that the later plantings catch up to the first ones by the time the plants flower, but it's worth another try.

I harvested the few dried scarlet runner beans that managed to survive the deer last year. I'm not sure where to plant them since they obviously need to be inside the fence- I will sprout them first to make sure they're viable before devoting space to them.

Some of the strawberries' roots miraculously survived despite the damage inflicted by the deer last year. I'm not sure how best to maintain the plot (I'm not good at weeding, but don't want to use a heavy mulch because I don't want to drown out the strawberry plants) or prevent a recurrence of their annihilation. With Paco gone, we can only expect more trouble with wildlife.

We're clearing out our chest freezer to defrost it before we have greens to freeze, and discovered a forgotten bag of farmer's market broccoli that I used in dinner last night. Despite being thawed and refrozen when the freezer was accidentally unplugged, it was still amazing- much more tender and flavorful than commercially frozen broccoli. Maybe it's a different variety that's not chosen for its toughness? I wonder if it's too late to plant a spring crop.

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