Sunday Morning Garden Chat

marvel Kale-Rabe

From faithful commentor Marvel:

We’ve ended the butt-sitting days of Winter and have starting the heavy lifting of Spring, including pulling out the tag-ends of some hearty plants we cared for & ate this past off-season.

As you know, after it’s reached the lovely end of its long season, the
Winter Kale produces a glorious bunch of florettes which will soon
ripen into the blazing yellow flowers from which the next generation’s seeds spring. These are a version of “rabe” that all brassica/mustard plants produce (you’ve seen broccoli rabe/rapini, yes?). We harvested the kale buds yesterday and had some saute’d over butter noodles this evening. Sure sweetens the sting of having to pull up these beauties tomorrow.

We’ll see a few dry/warmish days ahead, so we’ll be clearing out some Fall/Winter beds to make way for the New Ones.

Onward & upward!


What’s going on in your gardens this week?

31 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    Rained all day .

  2. 2
    satby says:

    The tomatoes I started a few weeks ago just got transplanted into 4 inch post so that they can get a bit bigger with more roots before being planted outside in another month.A lot of commenters were right, I did get 4 pepper sprouts (out of 12) finally, but they almost aren’t worth growing from seed.
    In the flower garden, I started a new bed for roses, planted a line of peonies in a flower bed the previous owners of my house planned very badly so I’m slowly redoing it, and I have 100 flower seedlings (geraniums, petunias, zinnias, cosmos, etc) in my two Park’s seed starters. I get 90-100% germination with those systems, and I’ll never go back to another method.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    All I managed to do yesterday was get the compost home and spread some of it. So today I still have to build the new asparagus beds and plant them. I also have some Canna to get in to round out one of the flower beds and a couple of bushes I bought on sale last fall that never made it in to the ground, but survived the winter anyway, a burning bush and a low growing juniper (2′ high) to help edge the drive. I also need to get the tomato bed tilled in preparation of their impending arrival. Supposed to rain tomorrow so I need to get it all done today.

    @satby: Try the peppers again next year. This is the first year I have had success with them and as limited as it is, it gives me hope for even better varieties to plant next year. The stores only sell what people will buy and my taste buds are not so easily satisfied.

  4. 4
    geg6 says:

    Daffodils and hyacinths are looking absolutely lovely. Tulips are finally popping up, but not yet blooming. Our early asparagus is about 4″ high, soon ready to eat (can’t wait!). Tomatoes have been started. Been too early (read: too cold) to really start anything else. We had to put the heater on in the greenhouse last week because it snowed and was really cold a couple of days and we were worried about the tomato plants.

    Big family dinner today, so gotta go make my loaded cauliflower casserole and scalloped sweet potatoes, my contributions to the family meal.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Fun interview of Reza Aslan (“The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazerath) over at Salon:

    On your Twitter feed, the background picture is of Glenn Beck looking distressed. I have to ask: Do you enjoy being the bane of these right-wing media personalities?

    Am I allowed to say yes? I mean, look, when someone like Glenn Beck puts you on his chalkboard of crazy, I think it’s a moment to be proud of. When designated hate-group leaders like Robert Spencer or Pamela Geller spend all of their days Googling you and writing articles about things you’ve said or written, I think you should be proud of that, because these guys are clowns. They are racist, bigoted individuals, and you want people like that to hate you.

    So, listen, I’m guilty of baiting these guys sometimes; it’s not a professional thing to do, I’m not proud of it, to be honest with you. At the same time, there is something to be proud of when Glenn Beck and Pamela Gellar and Robert Spencer and magazines like First Things hate you.

  6. 6
    Linda Featheringill says:

    According to the Weather Channel, I could start hardening off my seedlings this week. I collected information from the internet [which is never wrong] and we’ll see how this works. I have several tomato plants and maybe a dozen peppers. It would be nice if they all took hold and prospered.

  7. 7
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    We had several inches of snow in Detroit 6 days ago so we’re limiting our gardening activities to cleanup and early pruning. Nothing’s going in the ground for another 3 weeks.
    Last weekend I had my big yew bushes chainsawed down to 24″ trunks. We’re expecting they’ll re-grow from the trunks and be more manageable.
    Yesterday I woke up my big prickly pear cactus behind the yews by saturating it with water. It shrivels and collapses over the winter but when it gets some water and heat in the spring it pops back up and starts growing. last year it produced over a hundred big showy yellow flowers.

  8. 8
    greennotGreen says:

    Yesterday was beautiful here in my section of the mid-south. I put in an offer on 23 acres in the country and busied myself with cleaning up the deck and back plant benches in preparation for the annual migration of greenhouse plants outdoors. Today I’ve got to get the automatic watering system ready for the season, do some weed-shrub chopping in the front yard, and then join my mother for an Easter dinner.

    I love spring!

  9. 9
    Elmo says:

    I’ve been traveling a lot. LA – SLC – Vegas – Orlando – NYC – Boston – Denver, all in a 3 week period with weekends at home. And it’s going to continue like that for a while. So I had written off gardening this spring.

    Yesterday we bought two huge decorative oak screens for part of the patio, all the ancillary lumber to give them stable feet, and put together an entire raised cedar bed from a kit. We also bought many bags of soil, tomato plants, strawberries in pots, asparagus, cilantro, and basil. Today we plant and start the screen construction project.

    This is our first year in the new house and the first year actually married (after 25 years together). My wife really REALLY wanted to garden this year.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    Our tomatoes and peppers are almost ready. We’ve got so many green beans and cukes already that I’m about ready to anonymously leave bags of them on random strangers’ porches.

  12. 12
    gelfling545 says:

    Next Sat. is my annual”garden party” when the able-bodied among my acquaintances help me get my spring clean up done in return for massive amounts of food & drink. We are mainly working on the pond this year which has been taken over by rampant water lilies.

    The grandkids all get flower & vegetable seeds in their Easter baskets today.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    We’re currently traveling north on I-75 and passed a sizable herd of feral swine awhile ago. I hope they stay off the road!

  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    It’s not nice to talk that way about Republicans.

  15. 15
    currants says:

    Marvel I always LOVE looking at and hearing about your gardens. Makes me think I should swap coasts….sometimes. Barely getting spring clean-up finished, haven’t gotten anything in the ground–had a new granddaughter this week so I’ve been busy with the old granddaughter (19 mos). Looking forward to bringing her to my house next week during the day–she loves being outside, and she’s going to help me plant (much-delayed) peas. Ok, mostly she’ll dig in the dirt and see what it feels like, but we’ll have fun.

  16. 16
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    “We’ve got so many green beans and cukes already that I’m about ready to anonymously leave bags of them on random strangers’ porches.”

    If you make it up to the Philly area, I’ll send you my address.


  17. 17
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Amir Khalid:


  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yeah, we want them to wander into the road.

  19. 19
    Glidwrith says:

    Still working on my retaining wall and slowly reducing the remnants of a eucalyptus stump to a section small enough that I can get past it with the bricks. I’ve had to re-position the first layer of bricks twice since figuring out that I can’t fit a whole number of bricks between two other walls, then once I managed to break a brick in half for one end that the other end now wouldn’t fit the stepping stones I’m using.

    No, I’m not good with spacial estimations.

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    I have been seeing ads all over KL featuring KFC’s off-World-Cup promotion, starring Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. (Clearly, KFC didn’t bid enough to FIFA for the Official Fast Food Partner spot.) I wonder if we’ll ever see a video where Ronaldo extols the importance of greasy fried chicken in a professional athlete’s diet.

  21. 21
    ruemara says:

    @Amir Khalid: it’s not nice to deny those feral republicans the right to play in traffic.

    Heading to SF. I forgot it was Easter today. Just hitting the Cherry Blossom parade but I think I’ll look at the Easter parade too.

  22. 22
    Steeplejack says:

    Semi-garden question: how do I get rid of those tiny black ants in the kitchen (and bathroom—WTF?). It’s not a big problem so far, just occasional scouts and small recon parties, but how do I get rid of the chemtrails or hobo signs or whatever it is they’re using to let the others back at headquarters know to keep coming? I need to post the ant equivalent of a skull-and-crossbones “Do not enter” sign.

  23. 23
    Glidwrith says:

    @Steeplejack: They are probably looking for moisture. I look for the point of entry and make that a ‘kill’ spot with an insecticide, then sweep the trail into the spot. I like EcoSmart because it’s just a bunch of peppermint and other oils that smell great and disrupts the trail as well.

  24. 24
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    I found myself at a garden center yesterday when my wife stopped to look at pond fish. Somehow I ended up with a bag of lawn patch and broccoli and lettuce plants. So the rest of the afternoon was spent clearing and patching the dead spot, digging compost into my two 4×4 Square Foot Gardens, and planting said seedlings.

    It’s another nice day today, so if I can get away from checkbook and work chores, I may clear out the raspberry patch and build the supports the book says they should have. The ones I’ve put off for 10 years now.

  25. 25
    chrome agnomen says:

    i spent several hours this week rooting up old sod from the garden area–6 hours yesterday alone–at the farm i’ve just moved onto. the place has been abandoned for several years, and the area has not been grazed or cut for quite a while. my back is letting me know of its discontent every evening and morning until i get rolling. but the soil looks good, and i saw no need to amend it. and a small stream runs right past the edge, so my watering needs are taken care of.

  26. 26
    Steeplejack says:


    Thanks! I’ll check out the EcoSmart.

    I forgot to mention that I have a cat and don’t want to do anything that would be potentially dangerous to her.

  27. 27
    Beatrice says:

    @Steeplejack: Plain white vinegar works great at eliminating the trails. It has never failed for me.

  28. 28
    jnfr says:

    @chrome agnomen:

    Your area sounds lovely. Show us some pics!

    My tomatoes and peppers are refusing to sprout. But at least it’s warm enough at last (outside Denver) to get into the yard and dig a little. That’s very satisfying.

  29. 29
    Gretchen says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: That was my plan for my yew bushes last summer – cut them to 24″ trunks and let them regrow. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there before the landscaper and my husband insisted he cut them to the ground. He didn’t want to, but my husband insisted, so no we have a few pathetic sprouts coming out of the ground. I hope we don’t just have to put in new.

  30. 30
    something fabulous says:

    @Steeplejack: re: cat-safety: Last time I was away, my petsitter put down cinnamon, of all things, at the points of entry he saw– worked like a charm!

  31. 31
    Steeplejack says:

    @Beatrice, @something fabulous:

    Thanks to you, too! Just got in from lengthy Brazilian Easter dinner (Easter dinner with Brazilians, not saying there is a specifically Brazilian Easter), so I’m just now catching up with the threads.

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