Gardening on silty, free draining soil on the riverbank, I am concerned about the nutrient content of my plants and put a lot of effort into keeping everything well fed. I don’t use commercial products but try to make as much of my own compost as possible. I am lucky to be able to take as much city compost and local ‘muck’ as I can jam into the Subaru. I re-compost all of it for a year or two before using. I add seaweed from the riverbank to it. It is a lot of work but the rewards are clear and hopefully healthy!
1. Potatoes. Left to right: Sangre [redskin white flesh, early] Strawberry Paw [red skin, mid], Desiree [pink skin yellow flesh, late], LaRatte [ yellow skin and flesh, all season fingerling]. Sometimes I also grow Yukon gold or gem, sometimes Rose Finn Apple fingerling but these 4 are my tried and true all round beauties that resist all weather and disease related issues, store well and taste GREAT! They are all fairly old varieties that come true from the tubers I save. We are still eating all of these varieties from October harvest, although they won’t last much longer before chitting all by themselves…. I am thinking of trying a few no-dig rows this year. Most of the veg garden has been no-dig for many years but I haven’t tried it with potatoes. I’m not willing to risk the whole crop but I’m pretty sure LaRatte will respond well as they naturally grow in a clump near the surface of the soil. The beds are still too wet for traditional potato planting at the moment.
2. Onions and leeks were planted out this week into the bed where legumes lived last summer and which received a layer of good black compost earlier in the spring.
3. In this bed can be seen Garlic planted in October and some Winter Density Lettuce. This bed had a layer of compost in the fall before the garlic was planted, then a covering of salt marsh hay over the winter. We obviously don’t have the slug problems the True Brits have!
4. Here’s my favourite little woodland corner, with Hazels, Dogwood, Hellebore, Narcissus and Erythronium. Self sown Foxgloves are emerging and Snowdrops are going over. I’m sure you can spot a few weeds too. This area gets a rustic mix of ramial chips, shredded leaves and pine needles in the autumn most years but otherwise takes care of itself. I get a lot of seedlings from this patch and it is the preferred song sparrow nesting area, so I don’t disturb it too much.
5. Here’s Muscari, another heavy breeder whose babies get relocated annually. This area is hot and very dry most of the year with all day sun. I try to get a good thick mulch on it at least every other year. The follow-on plants are peonies, roses, salvia, veronica and tall phlox. The tall clump on the right is Pheasant’s Eye Narcissus which I dig out every year and which returns unabashed. You may notice that my grass needs a cut.
5. So far it is a good year for Tulips. Even some of the ones that usually come up blind are putting on a great show. These Apricot Viridiflora are fantastic in a vase, not terribly graceful in the garden. They are very hardy and have flowered faithfully for many years.
6. Last but not least my favourite tulips, the Darwins. These are Apeldoorn which are new to the garden this year. Also in the garden are Yellow Apeldoorn. They are tall, old fashioned and elegant, and about to be hammered by the hideous weekend weather that’s coming our way. The rainfall deficit has been replenished and we are definitely on the soggy side of normal. The Beagle is clearly bored by all this exhausting talk of gardening and flowers. She needs a long nap followed by lunch and treats. Got to feed the beast…..
Take a look at the host, The Propagator’s website to see what his gardening crew is doing this week. Thanks again to him for hosting and have a great week in the garden!