The Good News and the Bad News

As I mentioned last week we came home to full spring in our yard. The forget-me-nots are in full bloom under the white peach tree. The yarrow is full and green and the leaves are emerging on the roses. We spotted our first soldier beetle yesterday, ready to eat those pesky aphids off the roses. Every year I am surprised by how much I like spring. Autumn is a given in my book. I adore autumn and our relatively mild winters are always welcome. But spring gives way to summer, which to tell the truth is my least favorite season only because of how hot it get here. My energy really does melt in our Sonoma heat. So at all other times of the year I see spring as only a doorway to my dreaded summer. And then spring comes and just amazes me, all the flowers and green, green hills. It is so incredibly gorgeous in here in spring.
We’ve had our fair share of both successes so far and disappointments already in this growing season. Take for instance our rhubarb. It is growing like crazy this year. I haven’t made much with rhubarb besides pie, what do you like to do with it?
We have our first sizable asparagus coming up. Just a few stalks, but I can’t wait to eat them!
The potatoes are coming in fast and we are starting to mound up around the plants. In the off chance you didn’t already know this, as potato plants grow, you mound up dirt around the plant so that more potatoes will grow off the part you cover up. You can do this for quite a few feet in fact. Some people chose to plant them at ground level and then build structures around them to stack and hold in more dirt. We tend to dig a deep hole and gradually add dirt to the hole as they grow. This year we are growing Yukon Golds and a purple potato which I have forgotten the name of already. We buy seed potatoes from The Potato Garden.
The blueberries we recently bought are growing in the back of our garden, a part that receives some mid day shade in summer. We hope that will be welcome by these berries.
The disappointments? Well, a small one is that my new rudbeckia was eaten by snails. As you can see as a last minute save I tried surrounding it by sand from the boys sandbox, but to no avail. They still ate it to the ground. After reviewing an old post of mine on how to keep slugs and snails away, I will have to pick up some copper on my next trip to the hardware store.
Dead Nectarines
And our greatest disappointment, it looks like we will be getting little to no Santa Rosa plums or nectarines. We had a bought of warm weather which made those two trees burst out in full bloom only to receive a good few nights of frost after wards which killed all the blooms. We are so sad not to be overwhelmed in plums and nectarines this year.
At least we have plenty of onions, garlic and shallots.
And tulips and for-get-me-nots.
Dinner after Gardening
And we can always be thankful for almost completely local meal like this one. (Beltane Ranch kabobs, Lundberg rice, and our own celery leaf salad, chard and roasted turnips.)



Filed under Fruit Trees, Good Bugs, State of the Garden, the birds & the bees

14 responses to “The Good News and the Bad News

  1. Michaela

    For slugs and snails, have you tried oyster shell? It’s so cheap at the feed store! Sharp and unpleasant for their little bodies. Thanks for the awesome blog!

  2. Brenda Alreck

    I am so jealous! We have peaks of things if you look REALLY hard, but can’t plant for a good 6 weeks yet. Our average last frost date is May 15th. Would I love a white peach tree…sigh.
    I don’t know if you have ever tried this, but we use chicken grit around our slug-prone plants. Around here you can get a 50# bag for about $5. They can’t climb over it because it cuts them to shreds. Amazing around hostas.
    Thanks for posting “Hope” 🙂

  3. Liz Hardwick

    Rhubarb chutney is good and for a fresh dessert try Rhubarb fool, freeze excess for Fruit Leather.

  4. Sorry to hear about the two failures in the garden. It sure is disappointing. But everything else you have growing looks awesome. And so does the meal.

  5. Sorry for the loss of your plums and nectarines. I will miss the plum jam fest. Your garden does look beautiful and asparagus is a long awaited treat, I’m sure. I love spring, as well. I love everything popping up and that new green color. I’m jealous of the turnips on your plate this year. I did not get (from the CSA I belong to) enough turnips for my taste. Welcome home.

  6. -jes.

    I’m sure you will hear from others as well but I’ll tell you what I do with rhubarb; I make strawberry rhubarb jam which I then use to sweeten my homemade yogurt (and to put on a PBandJ, too)! Fortunately, it happens to be a favorite around here and I can it so that we never have to use store bought jams. There are also a variety of breads and compotes that can be made.

    We have had some fairly cold weather here and I am anxiously awaiting my bulbs and asparagus to bud. I put the asparagus in last year so there is a part of me that dreads it didn’t make it through this treacherous winter. I am delighted to see all your buds and blooms, though sorry to hear about your fruit trees. Bummer.

  7. Jessica

    Unfortunately there are always disappointments in the garden. The next year you have a bountiful plum and necatine season remember this year and they will taste more delious and be more appreciated!
    I have made rhubarb bread before…that would be yummy with the strawberry rhubarb bread that Jes suggested:)

  8. this will be my first year at trying to grow vegetables! I’m so excited/nervous!!

  9. Elizabeth Victory

    Oh my goodness, your garden in gorgeous! I could look at these pictures for forever, hoping for warmer days ahead. You are several weeks ahead of us here in SW Virginia… my forget me nots are just starting to bush up in my flower beds, and hostas and astilbe are emerging. I can’t wait until they bloom; late spring is my favorite growing season.
    I have a lot of trouble with slugs!! I have used broken clay pots and crushes egg shells to help. Anything sharp that will cut up the slugs/snails bellies should help!

  10. It must be so nice to have the space to grow your own dinner! I’ll best those homegrown asparagus’ will taste great!

  11. Jennie

    On rhubarb: my mother boils & blends it, then adds sugar for a weird smoothie-type drink, warm or chilled. It’s also good in jam or fruit leather. Yum!

  12. Your blog makes me smile! Traveling in Mexico now and the most difficult part is the lack of California vegetables

  13. Pingback: Weekend Links | The Living Green Solution

  14. Growing up my mom and gram would make rhubarb custard pie and strawberry rhubarb jam. I love it and miss it. We don’t grow rhubarb in our little “urban” garden although I have wanted to. There is a site that has hundreds of rhubarb recipes for rhubarb wine, cakes, bread, etc. I never knew there were so many things you could do with rhubarb:)

    Jen C

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