Thursday, May 4, 2017

First 80 Degree Day of the Year

Only 2 days after hitting 70 degrees for the first time this year, we hit 80 degrees for the first time this year! The official high was actually 83 degrees today and it felt hot! It has been cold and wet for so many months on end now that we are unaccustomed to any form of heat. It was also the first time this year that I really had both the daylight hours and the sunshine to work on an outside project after dinner. The support tower for the "Wiltshire Ripple" sweet peas hadn't yet been wrapped with bird netting. With the warmer weather, the sweet peas are finally taking off and I really needed to get this task completed. So with a lovely evening to spur me on, I got out the netting and got this project done. I am really pleased with how lush and green the plants are looking and now they can easily latch on to the tower and start their climb.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

First 70 Degree Day of the Year

Rhododendron "Seaview Sunset"

It finally happened! We hit 70 degrees for the first time this year today. May 2nd. mind you and we only hit 70, but at this point we are so glad to see "just" 70 degrees. The swallows were swooping, the flowerbeds are beginning to dry out and this lovely rhododendron in the front flowerbed was bursting into bloom. Welcome, welcome warmer weather!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Greens Harvest #2

The weather has finally shifted in the last two days and Spring feels like it has arrived in Oregon. Yesterday I was able to process my first lettuce harvest of the year. I started with the bed of "Heirloom Cutting Mix" from Renee's Garden. This is at least the third year that I have grown this mix and it is still my favorite. It's a blend of "Speckled Trout's Back", "Blush Butter Cos", "Red Ruffled Oak","Devil's Tongue", and "Sucrine". And since it comes from Renee's Garden, I can always count on a really even mix of all 5 varieties in every planting.

This stunner is a new-to-me varsity from Renee's Garden; "Sea of Red" lettuce. I wish it would have photographed a bit better. It is just a mass of deep, blood red leaves. Really a knock-out in the garden and it looks lovely in the salad bowl too.

I also harvested my first bunch of "Abundant Bloomsdale" spinach. While it is starting to perform well, I don't think this variety is a good fit for me. I haven't ever grown a heavily savoyed leaf spinach before. I discovered today that those pretty, deeply wrinkled leaves are a magnet for both dirt particles and baby slugs. As you can see there was a fair amount of damage before I picked anything. And then I had to spend a lot more time cleaning this variety than any of the other greens that I harvested. But that said, it is growing well and the leaves do look pretty in the salad bowl. So, my final harvest for today was:

  • "Heirloom Cutting Mix" Lettuce; 4.1 oz
  • "Sea of Red" lettuce; 1.1 oz
  • "Abundant Bloomsdale" spinach; 6.1 oz.
  • Total Harvest; 11.3 oz