Getting outdoors, for real

After far too many delays and excuses, we were not going to pass up the chance to really get outside this past weekend. In fact, the 80+ degrees on Sunday practically called our names! But really, yard work was overdue. While we didn’t get to everything on the ol’ to-do list, we did knock out a number of chores, not the least of which was cleaning up and mowing the yard. We cleared out leaves and sticks, and assessed the garden beds generally. So far, so good! We still plan on replacing the raised beds, though as it’s a bit late now, we might just replace one bed with concrete blocks and then get some sort of temporary fencing for the others. We’ll still use our net cages, though they are not longer rabbits proof  (as evidenced by one of the skittery critters we found lounging in one of the beds, despite the net!) While clearing out leaves and such, we found a few surprises.

First, we have asparagus!


We had no idea that actual stalks of asparagus had been minding their own business during the winter. Granted, it’s only two stalks, but it’s two stalks more than we’ve ever had before, so it’s rather exciting!

Second, do we have broccoli?


We first noticed a little bit of green in this bed sometime in January or February. At the time, we didn’t think much of it, except that it’d probably be weeded when the time came. We’ll, now it’s a legitimate…something. We’ve attempted to grow broccoli in this bed before, but never had much luck. This plant kind of looks like broccoli,  but the leaves aren’t as sturdy as broccoli leaves usually are. So it remains. It looks like it might flower, so maybe that’ll tell us something. 

Speaking of flowering…


…how about the arugula! All these tall plants with white flowers are arugula going to seed. Interestingly, the rabbits haven’t messed with our argula, ever. Maybe that should tell us something about pest control…hmm…

Beyond that, how about a little volunteer spinach?


Okay, so this might be a lettuce, but it looks a little like spinach at the moment. Sadly, like the arugula, it doesn’t taste like much except “green.” But it’s early. Like with everything going in the garden, lettuce and greens will be planted in early May.

In the meantime, with the warm weather in full swing (at least for a day) , we took the opportunity to start hardening off the seedlings. 


And they seemed to really enjoy it! We also picked a few to transplant into large clay pots. These are going inside under our garden cloches and under grow lights. We’re curious to see if this process makes a difference. The rest of the seedlings will remain as is, and we’ll be placing then outdoors occasionally, as the weather permits.

This was definitely the jump-start we needed to get the garden ready for planting and transplanting next month. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and give us a couple more splendid weekends before then!

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