Garden Update: Spring is Here!

April 4, 2013 | By | Comments (6)

We’re starting to see signs of Spring, though I think the groundhog that supposedly saw an early spring coming should be checked for cataracts. Much different than last March, this season has had a windy, chilly start. We optimistically planted a crop of broccoli, cabbages, radicchio, bok choy, Swiss chard and many more cool-season vegetables for a quick harvest before putting in our upcoming tomatoes, peppers, squash and summer crops. Southern springs historically go from icy 30 degrees to a balmy 75-and-sunny day, causing us to jump straight into tomato and cucumber plantings. If so, we risk these cool-season crops “bolting” into bloom without a tasty harvest, but it’s a fun gamble.

Swiss Chard Waking Up

Waking up with the longer day-length and warmer soil is our patch of Swiss chard (to the right) and Purple Sprouting broccoli. This broccoli is almost a year-long crop that is best overwintered, sprouting deep purple heads for harvesting in April. I haven’t seen any florets forming yet, but check it daily. Other gardeners really tout this one for sweeter, better flavor that is hard to find in stores. Our garlic patch (below) boasts a handful of varieties planted last fall, from Elephant to Chesnok Red to Georgia Fire. I caught a solitary radish I left in the bed (below); it’s now in bloom amidst the beet greens.

We’re adding lots of berries to the lineup in our Cooking Light kitchen garden this year. We’ve taken 30 blackberry plants from our Maple Valley propagation houses to install along the garden fence. The varieties are thornless, bearing large purple-black fruits and Indian names like Ouachita, Navaho and Apache. David and I planted a 25-foot stretch with Eversweet strawberries, with hopes they’ll overhang the wooden bed border for easy picking.

Blueberry Blossoms CL MVWe have countless blueberries on the property, all covered in massive amounts of blooms, such as this very beautiful Sunshine Blue variety (pictured to the left).  The quince are in full bloom now, and the Asian pear in the middle of the garden patch is covered in white blossoms and leafing out.

In the greenhouses we have seedlings growing by the minute. New colorful peppers like Cayenne Purple will be gorgeous underplanted with purple Red Rubin basil (pictured in seed trays below).  Tomato seedlings are ready to go, as soon as the calendar hits mid-April and danger of frost has passed. Also new in our 2013 garden: potatoes! We’re prepping the seed potatoes now, or chitting them, by letting the eyes produce shoots that will eventually be planted for a future crop 20 times its size (below).

CL Garlic Patch

Cooking Light’s Garlic Patch

Future Potato Patch

Future Potato Patch

Lettuce Seedlings

Lettuce Seedlings

Lone Radish Bloom in Beet Bed

Lone Radish Bloom in Beet Bed

Tricolor Pepper Purple Basil

Tricolor Pepper Purple Basil

COMMENTS

  1. » Crisp Greens and Colorful Squash: The Cooking Light Garden in Early OctoberBeautiful Life

    […] go down. We’re gearing up for planting garlic, using the biggest cloves saved from our first Cooking Light Garden crop. Each single clove will grow to produce a fat, zesty head of garlic by next May. That’s not a […]

    October 13, 2013 at 3:02 am
  2. Crisp Greens and Colorful Squash: The Cooking Light Garden in Early October | Cooking Light

    […] go down. We’re gearing up for planting garlic, using the biggest cloves saved from our first Cooking Light Garden crop. Each single clove will grow to produce a fat, zesty head of garlic by next May. That’s not a […]

    October 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm
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    [...] How does your garden grow? We’ve got spring gardening on the mind lately, and apparently we’re not the only ones. Yesterday, the White House [...]

    April 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm
  4. Mary Beth Shaddix

    Christine, we love Swiss chard in our garden. It’s so beautiful — bonus for the veggie patch. You can grow a surprising amount of produce in just a few containers. Keep us posted on your patio garden.

    April 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm
  5. Michelle Klug

    The purple basil is looking beautiful!

    April 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm
  6. Christine McCarthy (@OatmealBowl)

    Jealous of such a garden. I did however plant swiss chard in my patio garden and it is doing quite well. ;)

    April 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

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