March madness

I’m still pinching myself that I’m able to grow so much from seed, tending on the weekends only, with no soil boosters except good old compost. Look at the raised beds this month.

My gardening chair which I've used for at least ten years.
My gardening chair which I’ve used for at least ten years.

 

I’ve grown english peas for several years now but have never had a great harvest from the plants I plant in the fall. The spring planted seeds always do better. But not this year. The blue podded peas are over 6′ tall this year. I’m so glad I chose blue podded otherwise I’d never find any peas in this tangle of greens.

Two varieties of english peas growing side by side.
Two varieties of english peas growing side by side.

 

Here’s a close up of the blue podded Blauwschokkers. I can never remember the name and how to pronounce it when people ask me about it. It’s a perfect pea. You can eat the entire pods early or wait for the english peas, which are green inside.

Purple podded pea flowers.
Blue podded pea flowers.

 

The favas are growing rapidly. I’ve never grown favas before but I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s the labor of shelling that turned me off even though I know it’s good for the soil. But now that I know you can eat the leaves and the flowers, even raw, I’m in love. The greens are wonderful, they taste like beans but are so much lighter. It’s my new favorite green.

Countless spring greens.
Countless spring greens with favas in the foreground.

 

I’m also growing buckwheat as a green mulch underneath the white peach until I figure out what I want to plant here. I’m thinking edible flowers every year as it’s right in the middle of the raised bed area.

These are buckwheat seedlings.
These are buckwheat seedlings.

 

The komatsuna and broccoli below are almost finished and next I’ll fill in beets and more carrots in this bed.

Komatsuna is a super quick green to grow. Perfect for stirfries or even to add to a fresh salad. The greens taste wonderful.
Komatsuna is a super quick green to grow. Perfect for stirfries or even to add to a fresh salad. The greens taste wonderful.

 

And as if we didn’t have enough carrots, those are growing so well this year and alongside some Tango Celery. I’ve planted Atomic Red, Danvers half long and Chantenay. I think I prefer the Chantenay and Atomic Red. After the turnip greens and daikon radish finished in this bed, I planted spinach, micro greens and arugula next to the carrots.

Lushness.
Lushness.

 

The bees are all over the place. I’ve never seen so many carpenter bees  as I have this year. They are the early pollinators that we need for all of the fruit trees so I’m thankful they’re around. I found a few honeybees floating around this weekend and amazingly, some wasps, which we usually don’t see until August.

The bees love the kale which has started to flower.
The bees love the kale which has started to flower.

 

I have a ‘holding bed’ off to the side of my garden where all of the extra plants go. I had extra english pea seeds so shoved a bunch in here since I couldn’t bear to throw any extra seed away. These are Lincoln peas growing quickly in partial shade.

Lincoln peas in a shady spot in the yard.
Lincoln peas in a shady spot in the yard.

 

After a lot of work this weekend, now I can kick back and watch everything grow until April when the summer plants like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers slide into to replace the greens.

Our seating area under the weeping Santa Rosa Plum tree. Come summer, the branches will touch the ground.
Our seating area under the weeping Santa Rosa Plum tree. Come summer, the branches will touch the ground.

 

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