People, if this is spring, I want a refund! What a difference from last year.
There was a hail storm yesterday (actually several) and the ornamental plums on the other side of the street which are my barometer of spring are still at least a week away from being in full bloom. (Last year they flowered mid March).
Workwise this month has been pretty crazy, too. I have never before taught so many gardening courses within a month. The top photo is from a permaculture gardening course for kindergarten teachers I taught in the Czech Republic. The one below that is from an Edible Forest Gardening course I taught two weeks ago. Remco snapped a picture from our bedroom window when I was explaining why it is a good idea to plant a grapevine next to a south-facing wall.
I have also written four articles on different edible garden topics.
Luckily the day we were shooting in the garden for a 2016 vegetable garden series for a Dutch magazine, it was sunny and warm enough to take off the winter jacket (it did not last though). In a spring like this, some kind of protection in the vegetable garden is a huge bonus. I sowed my polyculture mix (leaf mustard, lettuces, carrots, beets, spring onions and more) under the row cover, as well as several rows of radishes.
We sifted the compost from the old compost heap and spread it over the beds. That’s how easy it is to make a seed bed when you’re not digging.
The broad beans I sowed in November (Aquadulce Claudia) are looking good and healthy, despite the cold, and will hopefully give us some early harvests.
I have covered a big rhubarb plant with a black bucket to get some early blanched stems and am also trying to blanch a radicchio plant under a terracotta pot.
But most of the gardening is done on the window sill. Here are some of my tomato plants. The number of varieties I grow actually gets smaller every year, since so few varieties can handle our climate successfully. This year I sowed: “Losetto” (bush variety with cherry sized fruits and good blight tolerance), “Ferline” (indeterminate and also blight tolerant with larger fruits) and “Matt’s Wild Cherry” (tall and unruly with small red fruits, but the healthiest of them all).
In our edible forest garden, we are getting some good pickings from the perennial vegetables, most notably from our dependable Perennial kale. Since this kale does not form seeds I usually take a few cuttings every spring.
The spring bulbs are a joy and this is what my “spring bulb lasagne” looks like at the moment. It seems that with the varieties I have chosen this time, there will be more overlap in bloom. The crocuses are not finished yet, but the daffodils are already about to open.
How is your spring going?