Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In which my winter garden laughs at me.

I don't think it got above 50 today. Bah. I've totally wimped out when it comes to the whole "cold weather" thing since leaving NY. Anything below 45 has me grumbling and trying to find excuses to stay indoors. But I managed to get out for a bit and work on cleaning up the herb garden. (Some) things seem to be growing back nicely. The chives are awesome right now, and everything but the parsley and the sage seem to be coming back full force. I think watching stuff grow out of something that for all intents and purposes looks dead is just too cool. Baby tarragon yeah!

Most of my winter garden though is somewhat lackluster. Pathetic even. To be fair the whole thing was a bit of an after thought and everything had been planted around October/Novemberish which is really late. So while I wasn't exactly surprised that all my chard died and that my brussel sprouts are only 6 inches tall, it was still kind of disappointing. Wanh wah.

As you can see, everything is miniscule, we got the starts for free from our neighbors (like literally hop the fence and you're there neighbors) at Greenleaf because they had closed for the season but still had some nursery starts to get rid off. So the woman who was wwoofing here at the time and I went over with our garden cart and loaded up on goodies to take back and plant. All in all we had three rows of various types of cabbage, two rows brussel sprouts, one row rainbow chard, and four rows of head broccoli. And really the broccoli (which is what's under the hoops) is about the only thing that's actually done something.

We keep them under the plastic because the broccoli head is super susceptible to mold; if it's left out in the rain it will literally soak up the water like a sponge and then proceed to get gross and mildewy and rotten. But it's a serious pain in the ass, because when it's not raining and all warm and sunny like, it can get really hot under the plastic which is also bad for the plant. SO, basically I spend a lot of time running out to the back field to either put on or take off that dang piece of plastic, sometimes multiple times a day (it's times like that when the Grants Pass motto "It's The Climate!" feels particularly eye-roll worthy.)

Other than the head broccoli I'm also trying an experiment with some sprouting broccoli. We grew purple sprouting broccoli last year and it's pretty awesome. Instead of just growing one main giant head and a few smaller baby heads, sprouting broccoli is basically a bush that just puts out tons of individual broccoli florets. And technically it's a perennial (though most people plant them as annuals) so supposedly if you just leave them in the ground all year and you have mild enough winters, they have the potential to grow back in the spring. And that right there is the experiment part. I honestly had no idea if that would work here, but instead of ripping them out I just trimmed them back and hoped for the best. As of right now it seems to be a bit of a mixed bag, some of them seem to be growing back alright:

But sadly, most of them still look like this:

Double wanh wah.

Oh well, it's a learning curve, and even if I'm effing up half the time doesn't that also mean that I'm awesomely right half the time too? I'm kind of oddly at peace with those odds. Bring it on spring!

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