Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Awakening

I love this time of year.  The weather is perfect for working outdoors and this past weekend was no exception.   We've been very busy flexing our muscles these past few weeks and are slowly making process on our garden projects for this spring.  I planted out some of my early spring greens (spinach, bok choy, tatsoi, mizuna, lettuce and scallions) a week ago and they seem to be thriving.  Unlike my old garden, there's not a slug in sight and I'm guessing that it will still be a few more weeks before the first cabbage whites appear.  If I'm lucky, I'll actually get "hole-less" Asian greens this time around.  At nights, I cover this bed with fabric row cover if temperatures are expected to reach down into the 30's.  So far, they've remained untouched by frost. I've also direct sown my Fava beans and snow peas.   This year, I'm starting my shell peas and purple podded soup peas in pots as I'm still working on installing their planting beds. 

 All around us, plants are being to wake up from their long winter sleep.  The currant bushes I started from cuttings two years ago are looking very healthy.  Last year, I removed all of the flower buds to allow the plant to focus its energy on growing.  I'm hope that that slight sacrifice will result in a bumper crop this year.  On a side note, the additional red currant, white currant, arctic kiwi and gooseberry plants I'd started last spring have all survived in their pots as well.  I'm looking forward to setting them out this summer and waking them grow even more this year.

 My potted figs have come out of dormancy as well.  At our old home, I overwintered my fig trees in our unheated garage with success.  When we moved to Vermont, we didn't have a garage so I kept them in an unheated enclosed patio.  Unfortunately, they were no match for the severe Vermont winter and both of my original trees died. When we moved back to Massachusetts last spring, I made a second trip to Joe Morle's nursery and purchased three new fig trees - the two varieties I had originally bought ('Black Triana' and 'Paradiso') and an 'Italian Honey' Fig. I had a figs last summer and they were all excellent.

Growing figs continue to be a challenge in our climate.  The fig varieties I've chosen tend to produce two crops a year.  Unfortunately, the second (and often bumper) crop tends not to ripen in time before fall sets in.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to install a fully functioning greenhouse one of these days so that we can take full advantage of what these trees have to offer.


  1. The new beds look so pretty and with the seedlings in. It looks like it belongs in a magazine. My figs are in the ground and I'm hoping they survived the winter. Well the plant will, but will the main stems? I keep them buried under leaves and covered. I've yet to see a first crop on the plants. My paradisio tried last year, but they all fell off when they were small. I think they have trouble getting uncovered. I'm waiting longer this year to uncover them.

    1. Strangely, one of my fig trees already looks like it's developing a fruit! Even though the first leaves aren't even fully formed yet. I can only hope for an early crop this year.