Early Spring Edible Garden Happenings
Right on cue, the cilantro began bolting in January/February and now blankets the back section of the garden in dainty white flowers. It is a pollinator attraction with bees, butterflies, and small flies congregating for their share of nectar. I always let the cilantro self seed so it pops up in the garden randomly as well as in the middle of the paths. Some years I move it out of the way, others, like this year, I leave it.
I sowed several calendula seeds but only one plant has really thrived, putting off several branches of flowers and creating this bright yellow spot in the garden near the blackberries. I have a couple of other plants that I hope produce flowers later this spring. I will definitely be adding more calendula again in the fall—summer usually does these in.
While their wild cousins the dewberries are blooming all over the place, the blackberries are just now starting to put on flowers.
Most of the tomatoes are growing very well. I’ve lost two plants, though I’m not sure as to what I lost them to. One just completely disappeared and another had its leaves stripped and was not going to be re-growing new leaves. I didn’t see a hornworm anywhere but maybe it was a cutworm? And I randomly had a tomatillo snapped in half but I managed to throw the broken piece back into the soil and it seems like it is rooting—it hasn’t wilted yet.
Forest is very into imaginative play right now. I mean he has been for a while, but he’ll be talking and I’ll think he’s talking to me and then he gets mad at me for interrupting him! Last year he didn’t really play much in his spot in the garden but he is very interested once again. Chris fixed the water hose where it was leaking from the hard freeze in winter of 2018 so now I can leave the hose on without it spewing from the pipe and now Forest can put water into his side to make his mud puddles.
I’ve been letting the wild garlic do its thing in the garden, coming up wherever it pleases. It’s so short term that it doesn’t bother me and it is edible and pretty, so why not?
We’re getting a handful of strawberries every few days. The extremely wet years the last couple of years have led to a decline in the number of plants we have over there. I’m hoping we can get some new runners established this year and get that bed filled up again. The handfuls are being washed and then handed to Forest who devours them.
I was just beginning to wonder if the ‘Sugar Magnolia’ snap peas were going to bloom and then they began putting on flowers. They are in a very position for being photographed in late evening light!
Our single borage plant is a feast for the bumble and honey bees. This one was self sown from last year’s plants in this bed.
Another plant I let come up in some areas of the garden is the fleabane, Erigeron sp.. It is wild in the yard near the garden and has spread into a few areas of the garden. It’s a favorite of mine now.
I was also beginning to worry about the asparagus with all of the standing water we’ve had around the garden this winter. I’d begun to think the crowns had rotted. But they finally peaked through the soil in the last couple of weeks. I’ve even seen some seedling plants from the seeds that the parent plants produced last year.
My Morris heading collards are starting to bolt now, too. I’m a bit bummed about that as I was hoping to get the plants through until May. Maybe a few will pull through. They have been incredibly tasty in salads this winter.
And finally, the parsley hawthorn blooming up near the house. It is also a pollinator feast right now! I should really stalk it for pollinator photos soon before the flowers are gone.
Later this week I should do a round in the flower garden. It is looking decent, though many things aren’t really taking off quite yet—hopefully late April and May will be an abundance of blooms!
The years I have grown borage I’ve really enjoyed the pollinators that it attracted. I really enjoy hearing about your edible garden. It makes me miss my old one.
I’d never heard of Calendula. It was interesting to learn on the Missouri Botanical site that it was around in Shakespeare’s time, and its original “native land” isn’t known. It reminds me of another beauty thats starting now: the rosinweed.
When I was out at a picking farm I frequent a couple of weeks ago, their blackberry blossoms were starting to come on. I really like the borage, too. For some reason, the botanists have moved baby blue eyes into the borage family. These things are mysteries to me. I try for a genus, and species if I’m lucky. I just accept all this moving around, and do my best to keep up.
I wish I had a good yard for gardening and that said I wish I felt like gardening.