Creepy night garden mitigation project. In my last blog post I mentioned how super-creepy our garden is at night. After giving the matter more thought, we went out and bought some garden lanterns at Costco. My modus operandi in Costco is to get in and out as soon as possible, so I only glanced at the solar panels pictured on the box, saw the words “solar” and “LED”, then threw the box in the mega-cart. When I unpacked and assembled the lanterns, I realized that the solar panels were only for detecting changes in the light. I had hoped that these would have been solar POWERED like the string of lights in the apple tree, but are instead powered by a battery in each lid. A downside of solar-powered lights is that on dark rainy days they don’t get enough sunlight to shine for very long, so maybe it is just as well that these are battery powered. The lanterns work well; last night we went on a late-night tour of the garden, looked at the stars, the thin sliver of a moon and no one spilled their wine. Already I am so happy with the lanterns and foresee many late night walks.
Spring planting, phase II. Now that spring is officially here, the planting is well underway. On Monday (March 16) I planted bed 1 with 21 sieglinde potatoes. The day was sunny and I wanted to be outside, so I didn’t bother to wait an extra week to chit the potatoes (letting them sprout in the dark before being put in the soil). The instructions that came with the potatoes advised against irrigating the potatoes after planting or they will rot. Unfortunately I can’t do anything about the rain.
Yesterday (March 21) was a big planting day. The peas were all up so I put in the trellis (trellises? trelli?) between the rows. The peas next to the favas still need some kind of support structure (add to the to-do list for next week). In bed 2 I planted two rows of the “new kale”, parsnips (gladiator), digging the soil first. I also planted a row of swiss chard (rhubarb chard). I left a lot of space between the chard and the peas. Once the peas come out the space might be used for lettuce.
I dug bed 3 under and added lots of mushroom manure. I then planted one row of Vates Blue Curled Scots kale, one row of space spinach, one row of lacinato kale, and another row of chard. I dug some mushroom manure into bed 5 and put in three short rows of Italian large leaf parsley.
This year I was planning to start everything indoors first. I might still do that to give some of the heat-loving seeds like basil, cucumber and zucchini a head start.
In the flowerbed, the rhubarb is either slow or dead, and nothing has started yet. The white bleeding heart is already blooming, the delphiniums are starting, and the tulips and aliums planted last fall are well underway. I sowed the entire bed with borage and wildflower seeds, then covered with a thin layer of soil. Hope they all bloom well again this year.
Deadzone revitalization project. Today we had a big trip to the garden centre to try to find inspiration for some of the “dead zones” in the yard. We have many. The area in the front (where all the dead heathers were removed) is going to be planted with lupines as they were all accidentally pulled out a few years ago. In addition to replacing one racoon-ravaged lawn with a low-growing grass alternative (clover etc) and the other with wildflowers, the Man is to revitalizing a “dead zone” area near the property line, cleaning out the leaves and branches which have accumulated there, and putting in ferns.