March 2013 Week 3: Update

Spring is transitional time here in my garden, from harvesting/cleaning out over-wintered crops to sowing/transplanting new things. Beets, Chard, cabbage, broccoli are having to make way for greens, radishes, fenugreek, carrots and more beets. The whole circle begins again…

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Weather is finicky, it was frosty and snowy couple days back and now back to upper 50s and sunshine for few days. This photo is how Seattle looks like – from top of Columbia tower 79 floors this past Sunday.

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I didn’t get much time to sow as planned, just gathered few pots and cell flats to sow bunching onion and lettuce. It is kept indoors till it sprouts and needs thinning.

Not much to report from the garden, cabbage is going to seed soon so it needs to come out. Broccoli is too exhausted and probably done side-shooting.

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I harvested cupful of broccoli shoots, I am thankful for the harvest so far. Broccoli will be out this week.

 

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Also cleaned up overwintered beets. I ended up with 1 bunch of beets and greens – added onion-tomatoes/garlic/garam masala to make fragrant colorful beets curry.

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I foresee lot of clean-up, sowing, transplanting happening next week. Traditionally Potatoes are planted on St Patrick’s Day. Keeping up with the tradition, I plan on planting Red potatoes that have sprouted next week (still 2 weeks late).

Here’s what sown this week:
Bunching Onion – Evergreen White bunching (Ed Hume Seeds)
Lettuce – Butter crunch (Livingston seeds)
What’s growing:
Broccoli (over wintered) , Chard (transplanted) , Sorrel (perennial) , cabbage (over wintered)
chives (perennial) ,Peas ,Garlic greens, bunching onion, lettuce
What’s harvested last week?
Broccoli side shoots – about a cupful
Beets and greens – 1 bunch – made into nice curry.

Cabbage bolting

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My first cabbage growing experiment and it is partial success. By last years frost, most of cabbage had not formed heads so I let them overwinter. I only managed 3 small conical heads. Come spring, these are going crazy, leafing out without any head. These are going to bolt soon correct?

And Yes, I probably should start garden clean-up soon. There’s just too much wind blown, winter debris here 🙂

March 2013: week 2 sowing begins

Spring is in the air, weather is warming up and daffodils are in bloom everywhere. It is a pretty sight.
St Patrick’s Day is usually when I direct sow my peas when weather is bit warmed up by then. I didn’t venture out much in backyard during winter, it’s just too wet and muddy.

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Last week, when sun was out I checked on all beds. Since we didn’t get much of winter, many of the cold hardy vegetables have over wintered well. Here’s picture of bed 1 – Most of green sorrel has survived and starting out new growth. Parsley is growing well and beets have overwintered. I might clear out beets to make room for new spring planting.

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I started out with soaking peas for few hours before planting them out. This year, I picked few packets of Alaska peas from local Ace store and I am using last years saved Pea seeds.

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Lots of rainbow chard has over wintered and self-sowed in bed 1. I notice this winter self-sowing of chard happening every year results in overcrowded chard seedlings. I separated them neatly and transplanted in bed 2 with good spacing. I think I got about 20 chard small plants.

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Grocery store bought garlic was sending out shoots, I potted them up. I can’t wait to make garlic greens chutney.

What’s sown this week:

Peas – Alaska (American seeds)
Chard – Rainbow Chard ( transplanted, Ed Hume Seeds)

What’s growing:

Broccoli (over wintered) , Chard (transplanted) , Sorrel (perennial) , cabbage (over wintered)
chives (perennial) ,Peas ,Garlic greens

What’s harvested :

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2 bunches of Chives – used them up as garnish on curries and on some celery-jalapeno Ritz crackers.

March 2013: week 1 Springing

March is here, March is here. Garden is springing into new life, blooms and buds are everywhere. Weather is still spring like, cold fronts rains and sunshine is still in air. Local news stations have forecasted it to be chilly spring. March is here, March is here.


March is all about starting a garden. For me it’s about visiting the storage to look for seed stacks, check on compost bags and a casual stroll in still wet muddy garden. I don’t start seeds indoors, I don’t have a seed rack and germination stations with heat mats. I am ‘direct sow’ type of gardener. Summer plants that require indoor start – I just purchase seedlings at local shops, at swaps etc.

Winter in Seattle has been very mild, all snow storms made their big appearance in rest of the country and we were spared. So my garden hasn’t been heavily damaged. Yes, there were frosty nights and snow sprinklings but nothing major (yet).

What’s sown this week:
None

What’s growing:
Broccoli (over wintered)
Beets (over wintered)
Chard (some overwintered, some self-sown from fallen seeds)
Sorrel (perennial)
cabbage (over wintered)
chives (perennial)

What’s harvested over last 2 months (January, February and early March):

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Late January: Broccoli 1 cupful florets. Main head was picked in November (which wasn’t so big), now picking side shoots. I used cupful in stir-fry dish.

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February: Broccoli 1 cup florets. Enjoyed it raw.

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March week 1: Broccoli 1 cup. Made noodle soup. (picture above).
It’s mushrooms, tofu, carrots, homegrown broccoli, cilantro in flavorful ginger clove broth. yum.