Let's Get Dirty | All Blogs

What’s up?

By Penny Stine

I did a quick inventory to see what survived the cold winter this past year. Not only did the garlic I planted last fall do just fine, but the garlic I thought I had pulled did well, too.


Look at this bed! I really thought I went through in July last year and pulled every last bulb out. Obviously, I missed a few.  I'm pretty sure I was raking this patch with a salad fork, trying to make sure I cleared it of garlic, because I planted beets and carros here last July. I was hoping for a fall harvest, but they weren't very big, so I just covered them all with straw as a mulch and decided to leave them there all winter.  I'll probably uncover and pull a few this weekend to see how they look.
I've been slowly expanding the number of herbs I grow, and I was pleased to see the burnet and lovage (which I planted sometime in the middle of last summer and which are supposed to be perennials) looking just fine. I sampled them both, and they tasted like dirt, with a faint hint of something else. Not sure how to use either one, but I'll figure out something!

Rosemary is a tender perennial and can grow quite large in places like Texas or Mexico. I bought this one at Bookcliff last summer, and it was supposed to be a hardier type. I can't tell by looking at mine if it's alive or dead. While I'll grant you that it looks pretty dead in this pic, my lavender looks equally lifeless, and I'm sure it's alive. I have been giving the lavender and the rosemary (and everything else that looks alive out in the garden) water all winter.





Same with this kale - it looks kinda dead, but I'm guessing if I cut it back, it may

come back to life, especially on the stalks that still have a little green on them.This is a blue dwarf kale. I also have a red Russian kale patch that looks half-alive, too, so I'll trim both back this weekend in hopes of prompting the kale to come back to life. 






Still not picking the spinach yet, but if this week is as nice as the forecast is promising, maybe I'll harvest the first few baby leaves this weekend just so I can say I did.



Here's another reason not to rototill everything into the garden at the end of the season. This is chamomile, which I use to make tea. There are two kinds of chamomile - the Roman chamomile is supposed to be perennial (and not sweet enough for tea) while the German chamomile is an annual. I'm pretty sure this is German chamomile, and it's obviously not dead. One website said it's a self-sowing annual.  

In our climate, I have become a big believer in year-round gardening. True, I wasn't outside doing much for a good three or four months, but there's no reason not to plant in the fall around here for an early spring harvest.

Oh, and I had to take a picture of this. Yay! Happy spring!  


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