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Veggie Bites – Colour in my garden

Colour is coming back to my garden. The crocuses are jewel-like in the early morning, the bloodroot opens up to the spring sunshine, and the daffodils are ready to burst into flower.

Greetings fellow gardeners, 

This very early spring seems to be continuing. The too-many cats are sniffing the air in the screened porch, and I am ready to start preparing my garden. My main concern is compressing the soil. If I walk on the garden a lot, I will force the air out of the soil, making it like concrete. That makes plant growth difficult. And so, I am working from the edge with my special hand rake. 

Hand Rake

I love this rake and see it as an extension of me as I work. It cleans up on the surface without greatly disturbing the soil. I use it in my perennial beds, and the larger rake to clean up the sunflower shells under the feeder. If you are a lawn person, you want to be sure the roots of your grass are established before you start raking. The way to test is to pull at a corner of the lawn and see how easily the grass comes out. Look into overseeding soon as well. Try choosing a grass seed mix that has perennial fescues and rye grass rather than Kentucky Blue.

Compost

Before I add all this ‘brown’ material to my composter, I want to review what is going on with my compost. My compost is cooked and ready to go onto the garden, so I am removing it from the composter and setting it aside to use. Now the composter is ready for my spring clean-up. My hügelkultur is growing steadily but no longer receiving my kitchen waste. I will add the hay and straw from the chicken compound for the next layer. I am still leaving a lot of the large clumps and sticks in the perennial garden for overwintering creatures, as well as lightly stacking this material in a safe place for a while.

Color in my Garden

Colour is coming back to my garden. The crocuses are jewel-like in the early morning, the bloodroot opens up to the spring sunshine, and the daffodils are ready to burst into flower. The scilla or squills (in the family Asparagaceae,) are forming a carpet of blues. Soon the wood violets will start to bloom and the colour will move into purples. As I continued to poke around, I found the bed where I had planted the garlic seeds in the fall. Last year I left several of my garlic scapes to set seeds and I collected those seeds in the fall. The bulbs of garlic are pushing up, but these little seeds are also doing well. They look like chives and smell like garlic. I wanted to see what would happen if I planted the seeds, and so the experiment continues.

Growing Garlic Seeds

Bulb Barrel

My bulb barrel is still growing. You can see the red orach springing forward. (Actually, if you do plant red orach, you will have it returning in lots of places as it seeds itself readily.) I think the bulb leaves look like allium; we shall see. I added the sparkly gold tinsel because it shivers and moves in the wind and the squirrels do not like it!

  Bulb pot with tinsel

At this point I know how exciting it is to have the early warmth and no rain, but this is not normal weather for mid-April. Remember that it is April showers that bring May flowers. The garden needs lots of rain and time to wake up. If you are truly aching to start a planter, then you will be safe with the icicle pansies that are now on offer. Enjoy your week. Judith.