Monday, March 21, 2011

Progress of Spring

My seedlings, both indoors and out, are mostly up but also still quite small.

Outdoors, where I set out a lot of seeds on homemade seed tapes right before a big rain, the last seeds to germinate have been the carrots and scallions, but when I got home from work tonight, I could see them coming up. I must have hung over that bed just grinning for about ten minutes.

The most amazing part about that planting is that the seed tapes did such a great job holding the seeds in place. There are a few that have strayed out of their lines, but the plant babies are, essentially, in their assigned spaces in spite of a couple of downpours.

The seeds I've started in a tray are almost far enough along to transplant into individual pots. The first sets of true leaves are becoming well-developed in all the tomatoes and lettuces, and they are becoming big enough to see without a hand-lens on the eggplants, peppers, beets, spinach, chard, and parsley.

The overwintered plants out in the yard are looking good (except, of course, that I pulled up the last 4.5 pounds of carrots last week when they began to grow new leaves).

The amazing patch of cilantro has been great to have all winter long, but it is beginning to bolt. Luckily, I have new cilantro coming up already in a couple of other places in the garden.

Last fall's chard has put on enough growth that we can harvest some for meals.

And elsewhere in the yard, spring is really coming along. All of the flowers pictured here today have been blooming for about a week, so they are almost done. They are all, essentially, ephemeral. Soon the blooms will drop off, any seeds that are going to be set will be set, and the leaves will begin to die back. When the hot weather of summer sets in, there won't be much left above ground to show where these live.

This is the toothwort.

This little rue anemone is among my favorites, but it is pretty obvious that I need to pull some weeds in the patch of ground it inhabits.

The bloodroot is so white it almost glows at the back of the yard. There are two patches across a little path from each other.

Unlike the others above, these bleeding hearts aren't native. They are amazing, though. There have been times when I have just sat near them on the ground and admired the pink.


  1. Now there is a big difference, I can't do cilantro in the winter! Just the parsley. I see my reseeded dill is starting to germinate randomly in the beds, so it won't be long. And YAY! for the bleeding hearts, mine will be coming shortly now, they always surprise me every year, tucked in their little woodland garden, I always forget they are there until one day I notice them huge and full of blooms!

  2. Erin, Yes, the cilantro is pretty stunning. It doesn't do this well every winter, so I am VERY happy to have had such a great patch this year.

    For me, the dill is also popping up. I will pull some and leave some. It kind of increases the randomness in the garden, but the self-sown dill grows really well.

    And isn't that great about the bleeding hearts? I love that they are such a big surprise every year. One week, there is only a little clump of tightly folded leaves, then suddenly there is a huge, beautiful plant just dripping with pink hearts!

  3. I was surprised by how well our cilantro reseeded itself. We potted up some to put on the deck and pulled a bunch out, but we still have lots of it. It's not going to seed yet, but when it does, I need to collect the seeds - I used the last of them in a recipe a few weeks ago.

  4. Owlfan, Unless they are too enthusiastic about it (like lemon balm) it is great when the herbs plant themselves! Some years I'm better about collecting seeds for use in the kitchen than other years. I am hoping to do better this year with drying herbs to use over the winter. Maybe when you collect yours, and post about it, I will be reminded to bring some in, too . . .


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