Spring Garden Update

While I can’t boast about beautiful raised beds or fruiting plants or harvests yet, there has been a lot going on in the Snowflake Kitchen garden.

First off, it wouldn’t be spring in Connecticut without lilacs. They really scream spring has arrived around these parts. They’re also sort of special in our family because my mom adores them. My parents used to have a lilac bush in their yard, but it is no more – I think it was eaten by an errant lawnmower or something. As such, late spring always turns into a hunt to find mom lilacs for Mother’s Day. Its tricky – while they do grow wild, you have to be very, very sure you don’t steal someone’s flowers. Lucky for me, there are some right near our house. So I can give mom her fill of the lilacs for the short while they are here.

Oh – that plant that we couldn’t figure out? Turned out it WAS celadine. And it bloomed last week:

Even though its a weed, its a pretty weed. I might keep it for a little while.

When we last spoke about gardening, I had just started the Daylight Machine. A few tomato seeds germinated … but quite a few didn’t. A combination of under- and over-watering to try to compensate for the dryness. I didn’t even think about it at the time – but we had a dehumidifier running nonstop in the basement. Once that was turned off, we finally figured out a system that works.

One of the few of the first round that made it.

Now it goes something like this: 1) Turn the light on for 18 hours, water from the bottom. 2) Come home, make sure the soil is moist – spray with mister bottle. 3) Just before bed, mist again and cover tomatoes and peppers with humidity dome. 4) Before leaving for work, take off the domes, turn on the light and begin anew. Anyway, the moral of this story is its a good thing seeds are cheap. I only wish I had started a bit earlier.

Luckily, in the midst of my learning experience, I’ve had plenty of garden inspiration to go around. Not everyone is lucky enough to own beautiful tiered property in California, which is exactly why you want to check out the gorgeous shots of Shae’s garden. I adore her citrus trees in wine barrel planters – and she just recently added a limequat to the grove! Not going to happen in Connecticut – but maybe a dwarf (indoor) citrus or two will eventually make its way to our house. A little closer to home, Tigress just shared her new stonefruit orchard. Plums, cherries, apricots, and peaches – oh my! I also cant stop thinking about the aerial view Daphne’s Dandelions gorgeous raised beds. Someday! When we own our own home – hopefully within the next five-ish years or so.

Anyway, back in Connecticut, I seeded another round of peppers and tomatoes, and added onions, cucumbers, zucchini, and basil. Most of them germinated (finally!) and they really started to take off. I spent hours potting up yesterday – I ran out of containers! We’ve saved all of our cans (beans, enchilada sauce, etc.) and small plastic cups (sour cream, yogurt, boyfriend’s chocolate pudding addiction) but it still didnt matter. I have a small amount of basil seedlings still in egg cartons – they will have to wait until we get more containers. The good news is that they’re not ready to go outside yet, because its still fairly chilly at night. In another couple of weeks everything should be ready to be hardened off.

I also did quite a bit of direct seeding outside. Some onion starts joined some swiss chard in a couple barrel planters…

I love the baby chard - more keep popping up in the barrel planters every day.

I also planted spinach in a drawer. That’s right – a drawer. (Nod to Kate’s dresser inspiration). Right next to my beans, which have failed to do much of anything yet.

In defense of the beans, they did get jostled a bit when I had to bring them inside for an early May frost. Next door to them, I planted some greens (mustard and arugula) in repurposed wine crates, a la Life on the Balcony.

Baby greens.

I also direct-seeded my herb garden: chives, dill, thyme, garlic chives and parsley. Also added some rosemary seeds to my existing sprig of rosemary – we’ll see how that fares. Though I hear rosemary is notoriously difficult to grow from seed so I may be buying that at a local nursery. Or trading for it at our first CRFM Swap! (You are going, aren’t you?)

Anyway, while its a lot less fun (I think) Joel and Dana’s parking space garden, its getting there. We’re about to have a straight week of rain – so it was good timing to get the greens outside. I’m itching to get the tomatoes out there, even though its way too cold still. Maybe in a couple of weeks.

What’s going on in your garden?

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6 Responses to Spring Garden Update

  1. Fern says:

    Oh my gosh. Your kitchen must smell so wonderful with those lilacs. They looks so pretty in the canning jar, great idea!

    • Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen says:

      Thanks Fern – I actually had to move the lilacs to the living room – they were too strong for the kitchen! They do smell great, though.

  2. zentMRS says:

    What a great start you have on your garden!! You’ll have tons of produce soon!

    • Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen says:

      Thank you! We’re in the middle of a week of rain at the moment – I’m sure it will help.

  3. Julia says:

    It all looks great, Kate!

    Brrr. Cold and rainy!! I want my spring, now!

    • Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen says:

      Tell me about it! I miss my lunchtime walks around Bushnell Park… and I have some zucchini under my grow lights that are starting to take over. My beans are surprisingly loving this weather – I think they’re the only ones.

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