Taking a peek under the blankets

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to post. A lot has happened in the garden and thankfully, we’ve been able to spend almost two weeks here watching the changes. I noticed a few days ago my older blankets protecting my raised beds were ripping in odd places but figured after two years of use, that was to be expected. Then I noticed the paw prints, raccoon prints actually. And the next night there were more. Silly me, I forgot to take photos of the evidence. Here are the beds sunbathing on a mild December day where the temps have been in the mid 60’s.

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I’m not sure what the raccoons are after since there’s no life in the beds other than plants right now as I await the earthworms to find their way up. Snails haven’t a chance anymore traversing a sea of sharp edged rocks surrounding my beds. But they’ve been digging, perhaps they like chard seeds as they’ve left most of the plants alone otherwise.

Turnip greens growing fast.
Turnip greens growing fast.

 

After a bit of research I did the two easiest and least invasive things to deter the little critters, a motion sensor light on the back porch and sprinkled ash all around the beds. Apparently, they turn up their noses to ashes.

A little fresh ash scent to deter the raccoons.
A little fresh ash scent to deter the raccoons.

 

I know planting in January is a bit silly but I went for it anyway. It’s only seeds so if they don’t come up, no worries. I’ll just try again later. And perhaps, that’s what the little critters want anyway. The asian greens are popping up fast. We’ve already had at least two good stirfries from them.

Tatsoi
Tatsoi

 

I discovered there are at least four varieties of Komatsuna, the mustard spinach, from Kitazawa Seed Company.¬†Those grow SO quickly, it’s silly not to have them growing in your garden. The other thing that grows quickly are radishes. I grow themfor that confidence boost. Knowing I’ve succeeded in growing something quickly, helps me endure the wait for the broccolis and the carrots.

French Breakfast Radishes
French Breakfast Radishes

 

Another plant I love to watch grow are the English Peas. The greens grow quickly although the peas won’t show their faces until May. The variety below, “Tall Telephone’, is living up to its’ name. I ran out of blankets to cover them properly but they survived the latest cold snap.

English Peas, the fast growing variety.
English Peas, the fast growing variety.

 

And here are the little dwarves below. They seem to be quite happy settled into their straw beds for the winter. I’m happy since I don’t have to spend any time right now prepping the teepees any further with twine.

English Peas, the slackers.
English Peas, the slackers.

I can just sit back now and keep my fingers crossed for some rain. We’re entering one of the worst drought years on record here in Sonoma County with no rain in sight.

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