So, how do we get fooled? We are misled into thinking spring is here, the weather will be warm from here on out. We are misled by the tomatoes being sold at the stores! I even saw a couple walk out of Lowes with a hanging basket of fuchsias the other day!
Our last frost date is still a month away, and that's the "new," improved last frost date. No frost tender plants should be planted outside before that date at the earliest. It's hard to wait. Sometimes I risk it, with inexpensive plants that are easily replaced. Sometimes I win the gamble, sometimes I lose.
Every year when it warms up I start worrying, "What's taking the peas so long?" I worry I will need their bed for warm season vegetables. And, this year, I think I will. If they do well they'll be producing well into June, and by then I have tomato plant plans for that bed. I am not going to pull out the peas this year, but cut them at ground level and plant next to them, to allow the nitrogen nodules on their roots to help the soil and other plantings.
|Sugar Sprint peas|
The Winter Sowing seeds have done tremendously well so far, especially the Chocolate cosmos (I read that until recently you could only propagate them from tubers, the seeds were sterile. Fortunately it's a perennial, since any seeds mine have will be infertile. The plant is extinct in the wild of its native Mexico.). I transplanted Swiss chard, spinach and lettuce into the re-purposed bottom of a small animal cage. I drilled holes in the bottom and filled it with potting soil. All three of those were also direct sown in front of the peas. In the photo above you can see the lettuces are up.
I got so much bed work done today! I got the rest of the old bed location soil moved, as well as last year's straw bale (now nice and rotting), which I put in the bottom of the new empty beds. The drawer beds fell apart, so I had to hammer in some stakes to hold them square. They'll work.
|where the old 4x8 cedar bed and straw bale used to be|
|new 4x4 bed, drawer bed, and ex-boysenberry container (soil from old cedar bed - needs amending)|
The grass/lawn/weeds is in dire need of the first Spring mow. In amongst the grass I always find these... but never have bothered to find out what they are. I used some deduction skills and a great phone app to identify them!
The flowers are mintish too...
my garden answers which you can download for free for either iPhone or Android. www.gardenanswers.com
Take a photo or download one from your phone, and it brings up suggested matches. I've used it to identify several mystery plants. Turns out this one is red deadnettle (lamium purpureum), and is indeed a member of that large family of mint. Lamium purpureum is Greek for "the devouring purple monster!" Really, it is! It's an annual weed native to Asia and Europe, but now spread from Norway to Africa! It was introduced (by some idiot) to U.S. and Canada. It is considered an herb, since the leaves are edible. Maybe that's why the idiot introduced it here! It really is rather a pretty weed, and I don't mind it in the grass/lawn/weeds. Maybe it will choke out the burr medic (burr clover). I've got a pretty good handle on the fox tails, but those burrs are a pain in the dogs' feet.
|Oh, those fingernails! It's no wonder my nail tech daughter throws up her (manicured) hands at me!|
Even without the chives blooming, the herb garden is so pretty right now. I love how the creeping thyme is creeping over the granite rocks, I can't take enough photos of it! The ground cover wallflower is blooming pretty.
|ground cover wallflower blossom close-up|
The Frost peach is in bloom.
It was a great day in the garden! Tomorrow is the Farmers' Market in town, which I am looking forward to! I'll let you know how it goes, and if I find any treasures! I got my woolly apple mint at the Farmers' Market years ago.