December 6th, 2010

Planting for Spring

This weekend we took advantage of the dry weather to take care of some yard work. There’s quite a bit that needs to get done and we’re trying to keep up over the winter, even if there isn’t a whole lot that we can do over the next few months.

Wildflowers and natives

We are putting in quite a few native wildflowers, and oddly enough, this is supposedly the best time to plant. For most of what we’re planting the instructions are to either keep moist in the fridge for two months before starting indoors, or throw seeds on the ground and rake in some time in late fall. So we’re planting outside and letting the seeds do what they will. Not all of the places where they are eventually going are prepped, so some we planted in place and others are in a little starting bed that we set up in the back. Paintbrush, being semi-parasitic, was planted around existing lupine and fescue, some of the camas went out front and some nodding onions went into our lower ecoroof. Our sprouting bed has Meadow Penstemon, Nodding Onion, Western Columbine, and Common Camas.

Additionally, we are slowly adding to our shade garden below the Tulip Tree and planted some Salal and Snowberries

Horseradish

We pulled up our horseradish. The leaves had been decimated by slugs so we weren’t sure how it was doing, but the roots seem alright and smell tasty. It sounded really great when we planted it, but we’re not sure if it is going to be replaced… It took up a large part of our small yard, and there are more productive things we can plant, such as possibly a quince tree or more olives.

Our garden

Since our tomatoes and tomatillos have been removed, our fava beans have been doing quite well. They were planted as a cover crop but also benefit from being tasty, so most are going to be allowed to mature. In theory, by next spring they could be as much as six feet tall. Also planted out front is a bunch of garlic, although we haven’t seen any growth yet so hopefully it made it through the recent freeze. We’re excited enough about the possible fava harvest though, that garlic would be a nice bonus but not heartbreaking if it doesn’t work out.

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