Saturday, March 17, 2012

Springing into Spring

Are you starting to smell spring in the air? Here in Nova Scotia it's been a tease, but, we're getting there. True, we can still have a late winter snow storm but I will hedge my bets, and begin cleaning off the most protected of the beds on sunny warm days. Yes, I know, I too can hear the naysayers, but, I will be careful, and apply a bit of compost to those vulnerable adding a little protection. I won't rush it though, and judge each section as I go. "How much sun shines in that spot on a warm day; is it a sturdy and reliable plant". The rhubarb really does seem to like it's top dressing applied as early as possible. Mind you, think it's going to be divided this this space!
Last year I had the opportunity to taste test a lot of tomatoes at Owen Bridge's Tomato Fest at Annapolis Seeds. Please check out his website for an incredible list of seeds to order. The taste test winner in my book was Costoluta Genovese and I was lucky enough to be given seeds in an exchange this year. Hope you have an opportunity to do this with your garden friends as it saved me a lot $$.

The tomato varieties decided on so far are Costolto, Black Krim, Mexico Midget (especially because the dog loves these the most and can pick them himself) Chiapis Wild, Cuor Di Bue, Tibet, OSU Blue, Sungold cherry, Black Cherry, German Gold and a Roma paste undecided. Spring enthusiasm is kicking in, along with the recognition of what needs doing now. I will start my tomatoes this week coming. Eight to ten weeks before the last frost date is what I go by, so for our garden that is May 15th. Even then though, if that date comes and it's just too miserable with a poor forecast, I do not plant out.

The hoop row cover, made it through this mild winter just fine. It's the first year we left it up and if I had been...ahem..more organized last fall, and had the book Year Round Vegetable Gardener at hand, it would have been planted with more carrots at the very least. A few days ago, we pulled back the plastic cover and removed the fleece (white Remay) and straw.

Except for a few golden beets and smallish carrots, I removed all that was left, which wasn't much, let me tell you. Still, look at that was so soft and crumbly, the worms must have been working it all winter. I can actually get a trowel straight down into it. When the sun shines, it is steamy hot inside the cover, quite incredible. Planting seeds in there today as the weather is looking really good for the next week. Mostly it will be a variety of early hardy greens, carrots Atomic Red and Early Napoli, Beets Bulls Blood, Golden and Blancoma. I may put the Remay back on to protect and insulate the seeds and seedlings but in the past I have not found this to be necessary.

That's the update round here. The squirrels are full of spring thoughts as well, playing and well, you know, basically up to no good. They are running like mad things all over the garden....tails straight up in the air...So precious..
Do they really need to be this destructive?


  1. Rhubarb quite likes a frost so it should be good.

    As for the squirrels our greys were brought over from America - we only had the small red ones before then but the greys have taken over now.

  2. I want to come to the tomato tasting event!

  3. I think your dog deserves its own tomato tasting event. Very sweet! Did the squirrels chew that entire hole in the wood? Yikes.

  4. OUCH that window!!! you can see the chew marks all around. It looks like you have almost no snow at all from your garden pictures. Although it has heated up considerably here the snow is still resisting. Although now I need waders to just get down the driveway - hello mud season.

  5. You have made me feel antsy for tomorrow morning. We had the most beautiful day today. It was about 11 degrees and for the first time in ages, the wind did not feel arctic. I love the little pot and the raccoons and the hoops...but I cannot believe the hole the squirrels made. Wow. I shouldn't complain about the slugs. I hope you have an awesome gardening weekend my friend.

  6. Such a cute picture of the squirrel but gees they actually chew on your house?! Arg!

  7. oh please come to my house and help me!!! I've fallen out of gardening - must be because I did a serious revision on my novel but NOW....!
    Everything looks so heavenly.

  8. Don't you just love it when soil is, as you say, soft and crumbly. Yesterday, it was fine here and I mucked about in my raised vegetable beds planting a fresh batch of parsley and cilantro (which I put under glass domes). The soil was wonderfully co-operative and it was a happy moment when I sunk my trowel down so easily into the dirt. Love your funny squirrel and racoon shot. Little beggars sure made a mess near your window!