Posted by: sorac | March 23, 2009

garden notes

I have discovered an urgent need for a garden journal. Urgent, as I realized yesterday that I had no idea when I planted the first seeding of mesclun, or when it came up, and that I really want to be able to refer to such dates in future years. I’ve now narrowed it down to sometime after March 5 (because the compost was delivered on the 3d, and it took a couple of days for us to get it into the beds) and before March 13 (because Matt noted on his Facebook that day that he’d filled the last three, newly built raised garden beds that day, and I know that the mesclun was actually starting to come up then because he dumped some more compost on that bed and buried the little sprouts, not realizing they were there.)


Sometime between the 5th and the 13th, I planted mesclun, kale, swiss chard, onions, garlic, and peas. Only the mesclun is up as yet.

Around the same time, I also started tomatoes inside: sweet 100s, romas, and yellow pears. I am still waiting on my sungold seeds, which I regret having ordered from Cook’s Garden instead of Johnny’s (my Johnny’s order arrived in a week or less) and some other, rarer tomatoes from They seem to carry a lot of varieties I haven’t seen anywhere else, so it’s probably worth the wait in that case, but I’m annoyed not to have my Cook’s Garden seed order yet.

I don’t have my big nursery order yet either, but am not expecting it until after April 5th. It will include:

  • a pollinator for the two Winesap apples planted last fall (Melrose)
  • a pollinator for the two Bartlett pears planted last fall (Butirra Precoce Morettini)
  • three dwarf plum trees — Italian Prune, Purple Gage, and Reine de Mirabelle
  • a 3-variety dwarf cherry combo — ordered because I didn’t think I could squeeze more than one more tree in!
  • six blueberries — three each of Jersey and Bluecrop
  • three blackcurrants
  • two bundles of 25 strawberries
  • asparagus – green and purple
  • alba roses for a hedge along the back property line

Crocuses have been blooming a little over a week. Some dastardly creature is, not even eating them, just chopping off their heads and leaving them lie on the garden bed. I suspect rabbits, and plan to try sprinkling blood meal around to deter them. Tulips are budding. Forsythia in the neighbor’s yard is blooming. Peonies dug up from a neighbor last fall are poking their little red shoots out, and the little lilac sprout from the same neighbor is in full leaf. The dwarf peach trees have fat pink blossom buds on them.

Naomi and I planted bleeding hearts and ferns along the shady side of the house. I want to move the hosta that’s on the sunny side of the house over there too.

I’m putting a medicinal herb garden around the stump of the dead tree we took down last year. I direct-seeded arnica, shepherd’s puse, and calendula. Hope to get divisions of comfrey and yarrow from someone locally. Am watching where the plantain is growing on my walks and will try to collect seed to sprinkle in the grass near the herb garden… I will use it and want it handy and away from car exhaust, but it can live in the lawn with the violets.


  1. I am impressed with the planting you have done already!

    There are green leaves in the cold frame and yellow aconite, white snowdrops and a few scattered croci in flowerbeds. Otherwise all is brown and dead here still.

    The ground is not thawed enough to plant anything anyway.

  2. Peas are up today, after two days of rain.

    Daffodils in our yard are finally budding — I’ve been seeing full blooms in other places for at least two weeks now. Guess we have a late variety. Tulips may actually open first.

    The Cook’s Garden order finally arrived, and I started sungold tomatoes, eggplants, and tomatillos. Will be planting beets and mache this afternoon.

    We haven’t had a hard freeze since the beginning of the March and the soil has been well thawed since then. Night temperatures dipped into the upper 20s last week, but I’m not planting anything yet that can’t handle a little frost.

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