Monday, February 15, 2010

Late Winter Tilling and Cleanup

Welcome Peggy and Elspeth! Thanks for following!

late winter clean up 1
I was able to spend about an hour in the garden today to do a bit of tidying up. It felt good to dig into the beds for the first time this year. The warmer environment created by the floating row cover and hoop house made for soil that was moist, crumbly and completely free of frost.

late winter clean up 2
Out went the wild arugula and lettuce mix. The spinach will stay for as long as it will produce. I haven't decided what will go into this bed yet - maybe a super early crop of carrots, radishes or turnips. I love the fluffy look of freshly tilled soil.

late winter clean up 3
I also enlisted some help to pull up the remainder of my Napoli carrots. I had harvested all of the large ones in December and January. What is left never fully matured this winter. Still, they will make for tasty little snacks.

late winter clean up 4
The soil underneath this hoop was slightly frosty since I neglected to secure a layer of fabric row cover over the carrots this winter. I will go back to break up the larger clumps of soil as the weather warms up. In a couple of weeks, I will plant out some Shanghai bok choy and Mizuna, which hopefully will mature before an early crop of peppers is planted out in late April or on May 1st (my frost free date).


  1. I was doing some digging last week, it really does feel good. My covered beds are frozen around the edges but nice and lose in the middle. Peppers May 1st may be a bit of a challenge depending on warmth. They really protest at any weather below 68f. The asian greens in a few weeks should work well though. Reminds me I really need to get some early greens started like last week... In other news, a couple red scallions came up today :-)

  2. Bless his little heart!! It must give you quite a thrill to see Jonathan in the garden.

    We are sending warmer temperatures your way. 60 was forecast here, but never quite made it... simply sending eastward what we have.

  3. I always feel just a little sad when I clean out the plants that are finished producing. But then there's the promise of space to be filled with new vegetables.

    It amazes me every time you show your beds with lovely green vegetables surrounded by snow. And what fun to see your little sprout helping out.

  4. Once the dormant season is well and truly upon us, this is the time to take stock of the year’s successes and failures, and to get on with planning for next year.This is a really a very important post for all who loves to do gardening in winter specially.All the tips suggestions are very easy to follow.Ration packs

  5. I love digging up carrots like that! They are so much better than store bought.

  6. It's all looking good Thomas - you put me to shame!!!
    It was nice here this weekend so we managed to get some general tidying up done. I'm still having to be careful not to overdo it as I recouperate from my dose of flu, but it felt so good to be outside in the frsh air again - and with signs of spring everywhere! :)

  7. That soil does look nice, but isn't the best part having your little helper with you? I used to love having the kids in the garden. I just had to teach them to only pick something after they have asked, or all my plants would get pulled up.

  8. I'm always envious of your garden. The only digging I'm doing right now is in my indoor flats. I have leeks, lettuce, cabbage, and bok choy started under lights. My raised beds are buried under 3 feet of snow, though. Every time I brush snow off the hoops, we get more. The first winter I try winter gardening, it turns into one of the worst winters on record here. Keep up the posts. At least I can drool at the pictures of your garden.

  9. Wow your soil looks good even when it is cold from winter. Great picture of Jonathan helping out in the garden. My Grandparents used to let me "help" too when I was little. I contribute my love of gardening to this.

  10. A bed that has been cleaned out and cultivated is an invitation to plant! Who can resist the siren call to put something in it?

    The floating row cover combo with the tunnel cover really does a great job of keeping the soil warm.

    Your helper is darling. If he get's too much bigger you won't want him standing in the middle of that garden bed though - hopefully his reach will get longer before he get's too much heavier.

  11. Dan - May first is definitely pushing it, but you never know unless you try right? Highs under my hoops are often in the low 70s now. But yes, I'm definitely worried about the nightime lows.

    Di - YES! please send those high temps to us!

    Michelle - did feel a bit sad yesterday. I was tempted to see whether the arugula would rebound but alas, they had to go.

    Dirty Girl - I agree. Digging carrots have to be one of most fun gardening activities.

    Ms. Nutty Gnome - I hope you feel better. Your tea house looks fabulous!

    Daphne - I'm very excited that Jonathan has finally gotten to the age when we can both be in the garden without me having to chase him all around!

    Ken - We're lucky to have not gotten too much snow this year (knock on wood). The most we've gotten in one storm is a foot. It will be interesting to see how my hoops hold up under 3 feet of snow!

    Grafixmuse - I'm hoping that Jonathan will develop a gardening bug as well. He loves my homegrown carrots so hopefully, he's well on his way!

    kitsapFG - I did think of that when Jonathan was standing in the bed but you just gotta let your young ones get up close and personal with the plants. :)

  12. What an adorable helper you have! You're going to raise yourself a fellow gardener, aren't you? I find they are great for lifting heavy things when they are teenagers, it saves our old backs ;-)

  13. Oh ! How cute is that ! If he follows in his daddy's footsteps, Jonathan will make a wonderful gardener someday ! You both are so lucky to be playing in the dirt ! Can't wait to get my hands in the soil.

  14. what a cute little boy you have..adorable..

    I thought of you today..I was outside planting my sweet pea seeds...shelling peas tomorrow...

    more later, my friend,

  15. What a cutie, so adorable, your son will be a good helper when he grows up, like turning the compost, tilting soil, and take out garbage, I'm dreaming of having one of those helper some day.

  16. I KNEW it!! Your little helper is really the little garden gnome that is growing all that lovely winter produce, admit it! Seriously, thanks for sharing the cutie with us and it is so awesome that he is helping with the garden at his age, great skills are being learned as well as memories made with his family!