Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First taste of spring

I know spring has officially been with us for about a month, and despite the tulips that bloomed in my garden, I can now officially say spring for me has begun. I had my first homegrown salad of the season tonight. Granted most people wouldn't call 10 baby lettuce leaves a salad, but to me it is the symbol of all the tasty things that are to come.
In addition to picking those 10 little succulent leaves, I harvested mint, oregano and parsley. The mint I plan on turning into a julep or mojito in very few minutes. The oregano I plan to dry for a friend who can't keep anything more than plastic plants green, and the parsley I unfortunately donated to the compost pile. It's not that I have anything against parsley, it's just that I seldom have use for more than a handful, and when one cuts an entire plant back by half, it is well more than a handful! I didn't just harvest these plants for the tasty tidbits, I cut them back so that as they grow, they continue to branch out, thereby creating bushy plants rather than tall spindly things, they are sturdier that way. The mums from last summer got the same treatment. I believe I read somewhere that before the 4th of July, mums should have been cut back 3 times to produce the fullest plants possible. I will try this theory and let you all know how it turns out.
In addition to pruning and weeding, I also redistributed the baby spinach and cabbage that are holding down the fort in the main beds until the summer crops go in. The spinach plants have 4 or 5 leaves each and the cabbage are close behind. From the number of plants that have made it to this stage, I guess I had better start figuring out good ways to preserve cabbage!
Some of the summer plants that I started in my greenhouse and window sills aren't doing quite as hot as the plants in the ground. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, perhaps I am transplanting too early or water too much/ too little, but my baby tomatoes are kind of sad looking. Here's hoping enough survive that I can share them, and if not, that Amy has enough extras that a few can move to my garden! The peppers on the other hand are having a field day! And with 4 kinds here's hoping that everybody likes peppers! The flowers are kind of chugging along, I can plant a second round directly in the ground to fill in any holes.
Off to admire the apple blossoms....

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