A friend up north in Canada, Niki Jabbour, posted on Twitter this morning that she’s expecting 2 feet of snow tonight. Here in Southern California our spring gardens are waking up and we’re planting warm season crops already. Take heart, northern gardeners, this is what you can expect in your own gardens soon:
Flowers are blooming and bees are buzzing at Gardenerd HQ. Some fruit trees are flowering again, while others (like our stone fruits and apple tree) are just forming buds.
We’re eating a few blackberries here and there. Not surprisingly, little runners are appearing everywhere, even inside our raised beds. Yikes!
Our strawberry patch is off and running, but since we neglected to lift them and add compost (our trick instead of replacing the plants every few years), they will probably produce smaller berries this year.
We’re trying out a new variety of radish this spring, in the spot where our carrots grew over winter. They’re a quick crop that will take advantage of early spring cool weather and give us something to eat while we wait for tomatoes.
Yep, we’ve already put in our corn. It’s early, I know. But it was 90 degrees out the week we planted, so they took off. This year we’re growing an heirloom popping corn called Black Dakota. Looking forward to movie night already.
It’s a little early for tomatoes too, but again, hot weather (and the fact that the plants were busting out of their pots) meant it was time to put them in the ground. So far so good. We’ll see if blight takes them down again this year. The one pictured above is Gold Nugget.
We planted squash from seed when soil temperatures were above 60 degrees. In one bed we’ve got 3 different types (pepo, moschata and maxima) so we can save the seeds from the results.
After a long dormant winter, these little guys are starting to poke through the soil. We cut own old, dead foliage and put down a layer of Vermachar from Organic Solution to help retain moisture and give the plants some great food for the season. New growth started within a week of putting that down.
From left to right: Lettuce leaf, Salad leaf (a Renee’s Garden Seeds exclusive) and Genovese basils were started from seed under grow lights. Now they’re ready for planting, but we’ve got a problem. That darn fungus, Basil Downy Mildew is already showing up on the plants. Not sure where it came from. I’ve been growing from these seeds for years with no fungus before. Pooh.
We’re picking leeks here and there, but the garlic is still going strong undisturbed. It will be harvested in late spring or early summer, then replaced with watermelon seedlings. We’ve planted onion seeds in front, but we may abandon that for something else if they don’t sprout.
If you’re reading this and thinking that you’re arriving late to the game, fear not. We’re early nerds here at Gardenerd HQ. Plus, we’re aiming to have the garden grown in and looking lush for a party in mid-April. Take your time and plan accordingly. Don’t skimp of bed prep (compost, light digging, etc.) By summer, we’ll all be growing strong!