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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hoping to beat the rain

Looks like we have rain predicted every day for the next two weeks, so I need to take advantage of the warmer afternoons like today, where the rain isn't expected till later in the day. This is about the norm for Southern Oregon weather this time of year.

I've gotten a lot planted already. My Secret Garden, which is my veggie garden, has been my main focus till now. I had to build or add on to several raised beds and most are planted already with cool weather crops. I planted 35 everbearing strawberries a couple of weeks ago, and this week I planted five raspberries and one thornless boysenberry, and planted a six pack of beets, broccoli and lettuce.

Earlier I planted spinach, beets, arugula, kale, brussel sprouts, escarole, garlic, one rhubarb and shallots. My peas should be up soon. I check them a couple of days ago and they have started to sprout.

There are June strawberries and asparagus on order and I was hoping they'd arrive before now. At this point I'm worrying if I have enough room for everything I want to plant. I need to save room for potatoes, squash, tomatoes, peppers, onions and beans. I'll probably put some peppers in one of the earth boxes and put a couple of tomatoes in the other earth box.

My plan is to leave one small section without raised beds for the bean pole, squash, potatoes and more tomatoes. Since it's only myself I'm growing veggies for, I'll use part of the beanpole for cucumbers. I'm hoping I'll have a tiny section for a 4x4 foot section for corn that the squash can meander through.

This week I cleaned and planted a couple of my large window box planters for my back porch which about second floor level. I got tired of going up and down steps for my herbs, so I've planted those two boxes with perennials and annual herbs. There's room for one more planter which I'll use for basil when it's warm enough to plant.

One of the things I've already started from seed is artichokes, because the plants available at my local garden centers, only provide medium size artichokes, so I found a variety that should work here with larger fruits. I love to stuff them and the larger ones work best for that. Now I have to find room for the 5 that have come up. I already have one plant I bought last year that over wintered with a good layer of mulch, and a second one I just bought, which is an Italian heirloom that I'm hoping will have large heads. Since I don't think I'll have room for all of them, I'll probably find a home for 3 or 4 of these new ones.

Well time to get into my garden clothes for the day. Today I'm focusing on planting perennials in the back yard now that I've deer proofed that fence. Last summer I already put a separate deer fence up around the secret garden.

I also have a bunch more primroses to plant in the primrose bed in the more shaded side of the yard, and two roses if time and energy permits. My plan for the back yard is to create a cottage garden. There was almost nothing much in the way of perennials there when I moved in last spring, and at that time I focused on building my secret veggie garden. I've already planted fresh lavender plants after getting the very old, overgrown ones out of there, Asian lilies, and a lot more perennials. So by next season, if all goes well, I'll have the beginnings of a cottage garden to go with this 100 year old craftsman's cottage.

It's going to take me years to get this property in shape and at 76, I hope I live long enough and have the energy to make a lovely space for those who follow me.

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