Blog Archives

Friday PhotoEssay – April 11th

We didn’t have a work day this week, although a few people did come plant a couple things. We were mostly watching things grow!

I guess there’s not much change from last week. There really is a big change, but you can’t see it from this level. Closer look next!

We trimmed up the thyme and planted a new grape vine this week. We are trying out ‘Himrod,’ which I was very impressed with when one of our Master Gardeners brought in a couple bunches of grapes last summer. This is a green/yellow seedless grape. Of course, it probably won’t have much fruit for a couple years.

One of the Master Gardeners also came and planted a rhubarb crown earlier in the week. Last year our rhubarb died after a cold night, so I hope that doesn’t happen again.

The radishes that were just coming up last week have been growing quickly. Most of them have two “true” leaves already, and with this nice warm weather, they are sure to grow faster.

The strawberries are also continuing to put on new leaves. It looks like there may have been a few casualties, but for the most part the plants are looking healthy!

Speaking of the thyme & grape bed from earlier, you can see that we had some real winners and losers coming through the winter. That vigorous green monolith in the middle is the Rose Scented Thyme. Buried under its left edge is the tiny Spicy Orange Thyme. Next to that, on the left edge of the picture is the dead middle of the Variegated Lemon Thyme. On the right of the Rose Scented Thyme is the plain Lemon Thyme, which also had quite a bit of dieback from the middle of the plant.

Have a great weekend!

2014 Garden Plans: Beds 7, 8, and 9

Beds 7, 8, and 9 are going to be the same in many ways to last year.

Bed 7Bed 7 was the Thyme Garden last year and will continue to be planted to thyme this year. We are planning to replant the grapevine this year, probably trying ‘Himrod’ this time.

Bed 8 is our Perennial Herb Garden. Given the harsh winter, we aren’t sure how much will survive. We also need to add more soil to the bed, so the plan is to lift anything that is still alive, add more compost, and then replant the whole bed. We have ordered some plants, but I won’t share the specifics of the layout until we know what is still alive and how things will be arranged.

Bed 9Bed 9 was Horseradish & Rhubarb last year and will continue in that role this year. The rhubarb never grew, so we filled in with Sweet Potatoes. We’ll be giving the rhubarb another go of it this year!

Stay tuned for Bed 10 early next week.



Friday PhotoEssay

Another Friday is here! There is no sign of germination where we planted seeds last week, so I’m beginning to get a little concerned. I haven’t done a great job of keeping the soil moist, but then it was covered with snow for part of the last week. I’m hoping that it is just the cold weather (keeping the soil cold) that is delaying germination of the typically quick-germinating radishes. It is so weird to have a late spring!

Here’s a quiz for you…how doe you tell if what you are seeing is grass or garlic or shallots? This picture isn’t too difficult to distinguish, but when the garlic or shallots are smaller it can be a real challenge! The garlic leaves usually feel thicker and waxier to me than grass, and of course, they smell like garlic too!

The rhubarb crown they planted a couple weeks ago is starting to slooooowly put on some growth. I could be wrong, but I think these leaves look like they got a little more cold than they would have preferred.

Speaking of cold, the lettuce and chard in our cold frame got a little more cold than they would have strictly preferred this week, since we left the cold frame completely open when it got so cold earlier this week. Somewhat surprisingly, they really don’t look that much the worse for wear!

This is the obligatory “before” picture. Rumor has it that we are going to be starting work on this shade garden this week. If nothing else, the compost has to move from the parking lot into the garden, since the farmers’ market is starting a week from tomorrow!

My light stand looks like a forest of plant labels right now! By next Friday I hope it will look like a forest of small tomato, eggplant, and pepper plants!

Have a great weekend!

Post-Clean Up PhotoEssay

Sorry about the unexpected absence from the blog. Unexpected things tend to come up unexpectedly!

Earlier this week the Master Gardeners did a little bit of clean up and prep in the garden for the spring. They also planted a few things (rhubarb and horseradish).


They pulled out all the radicchio that had gotten frozen to nothing over the winter, leaving the few survivors, like this one.

Rhubarb Crown Peeking Out

I know you probably can’t tell what is what in this picture, but there are the very tips of what I believe is the rhubarb crown sending up shoots. It got planted in bed 9 rather than bed 10, for those of you that obsessively keep track of those things. (Oh, you mean it’s just me? Okay then.) This is the raised bed that has the Raised Bed Soil Mix in it rather than the sand/compost blend in the other beds. The mix has some small pebbles in it, which makes identifying growth more tricky. I’m pretty sure that the reddish-orange spots in the center are the beginnings of rhubarb shoots. The horseradish plants are supposed to be in this bed too, but I didn’t see any evidence of them.

Perennial Herb Garden

The perennial herb garden got a good trimming and clean up. A number of things hadn’t survived the winter, so those were removed. It looks like the sage, one of the rosemary plants, one of the thymes, and a couple other things survived. We’ll be replacing with different things later this spring.

Garlic Growing

The garlic and shallots have continued to grow and stall with the changing weather. They should be off and growing pretty consistently from here on out. Hopefully by early April we will be able to look at each variety more in-depth to see how they survived the winter, how well they germinated, etc. The shallots are almost all looking great, and I’m really excited about those!

Leftovers Under the Cold Frame

So they pulled all of the spinach out of the bed with the cold frame where it had survived all winter. It was starting to get a little old and the leaves were getting pointy and strong-flavored. There’s some lettuces and Swiss Chard residing there right now waiting to be planted.

Okay, so I just looked at the long-term forecast for Wichita and saw that they are predicting 84 DEGREES for tomorrow. I thought I was looking at the wrong forecast. Yes, I’ve been a bit out of it. Thankfully it goes back to more normal spring weather after that.

Pea Shoots & more

A look at what’s growing in my office after planting last week. Peas! Other things! To find out what I’m up to, you’ll have to come to either the Grow Good Food Workshop next weekend (March 23rd) or the first Saturday Sampler on April 6th. Yes, I know I still need to tell you all about that event.