Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Getting lost in the weeds

Whoops, I wrote this back on January 16, and forgot to post it. Just an update - I spent a while the other day racing the weather to try to get a good amount of weeding done before it started raining. But now it's going to rain forever again.

After a LOT of rain and stormy weather here, I've finally had a chance to get out to the garden. Which, by the way, is still quite wet, so I can't really do much. And I'm dreading going back that first day that it's dry enough to work, because what I will have to do is weed. And weed some more. And then even more. Because weeds are everywhere. Except, amazingly, around the brassicas. For some reason.

The worst part is that they grow very well right around the above-ground watering system we put in, which is really difficult to weed around because 1) the pipes get in the way of weeding, especially when the weeds are rooted underneath them and 2) I can't really use my weeding tools for fear of destroying a part of my system. So my main strategy up until now has been to ignore them.

I planted some kale and broccoli right before the big storms hit and they haven't really done much. Neither, unfortunately, have the spinach and chard. What's going on with my dark leafy greens this year? Last year we were so sick of chard! We ate it sauteed, I added it to soup, I made stuffed or rolled chard with any kind of stuffing, and I added it to everything I could think of, like risottos. But now I miss it. Maybe I should have planted more. I need my dark leafy greens!

I picked a bunch of turnips, and I have a lot more coming up. I'm tempted to plant even more because they are so easy. And relatively fast. I'm also going to plant radishes pretty soon, and I'll be happy to have them in my salad, even if the boy groans about it.

The garlic's coming up! And I saw at least one of the shallots, since it's my first year I'll be happy with even that.

I had hoped to do well with carrots this year, but my first planting is just coming up so slowly, and the second planting is overgrown with weeds. Weeds, argh! So maybe that will be a vegetable that I conquer next year, instead. I do seem to have trouble with plants that I grow from seed. On the bright side, we should have cabbages soon, they're forming heads about the size of a, um ... small melon? I can't think of anything that's actually the right size to describe them.

My biggest worry right now is figuring out what I still have time to plant before I need to start getting ready for the summer veggies. I'd love to plant more carrots, turnips, and cauliflower, and maybe some peas, but I don't know how long they'll really take. I should keep better track of these things.

I wish I had another plot for experimenting and growing plants that either 1) take up a lot of space or 2) take a lot of time to grow. I would plant melons, potatoes, peas, onions, and maybe more winter squash. I mean, wouldn't that be worth another $50 per year? Plus all of my free time?

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