OH, thank the gods it is almost spring! Between my emotional state most of the winter (that would be anti-social, depressed, and uh, let's just call it moody...Mike probably has another name for it) and the kids' cabin fever, it was starting to become rather stifling indoors. After two years of not having much of a garden, I'm especially excited to be getting out and working in the garden. We didn't put in much in 2006 because with Luc being a newborn (oh, and me getting all caught up in breastfeeding activism), I wasn't up to planning and planting. (I do all that, Mike does the weeding, grass eradication, bed prep, compost turning, and well, lots else.) Last year, our newly toddling number one son constantly ran out into the street, making it next to impossible to get any work done. This year, he's only heading for the street 43% of the time, and usually there's some impetus, like a neighbor outside or someone walking their dog, that gives me a heads-up that he's about to make a run for it. He and his big sister have actually been somewhat helpful in the garden, though never for long.
So, we've gotten a fair amount of work done outside in the last couple weeks, though I am still feeling a bit behind. What gardener doesn't? We've cleared last fall's leaves out of the bed, spread lime (yes, I know, I shoulda done that in the fall, but it's done now, so give me some slack), thoroughly weeded the asparagus bed and covered it with steer manure. Two weeks ago, I planted peas, carrots, and radishes. I staked the peas with branches that fell from the sycamore in our front yard and am pleased with how my little branches look "planted" in the freshly sown bed. This is the first time I've been satisfied aesthetically with a staking method, though we'll have to wait and see how well it works in practice. Mike has also begun working on the grass that constantly encroaches into the beds. His plan is to cover the alleys between the garden beds with cardboard and cover that with wood chips from our yard. You can see where we've already got one alley covered in the picture above.
The radishes we planted began to peek out a few days ago, though I couldn't get a good picture of them. This week, I want to plant a row of Rose Finn Apple potatoes outside and get tomato seeds started inside. Rose Finn is our family's favorite potato, a fingerling that has excellent flavor and stays firm when boiled--perfect for potato salad. We're going to try growing from potatoes we dug up from the garden last year (which grew as "volunteers" from potatoes left behind when we last planted them in 2006). I also plan to pick up another couple rhubarb plants at the nursery when I get tomato seeds. And there's a daphne I bought last year blooming in its pot that really deserves to be planted forthwith! So much to do and I always feel like we have to make the most of every not-pouring-rain day we have in February and March. The last few weeks have been remarkably dry, though of course, Mike or I had to get sick during some of the best days we've had for gardening. Oh well. We're still ahead of where we were this time last year.
One last thing. Notice the sign in the picture? I just found out last week that Parkrose is getting a farmers market this year! Hoo-ray!