Oct 30, 2010

"Zero to Sixty"

We no sooner got the garden planted and covered than it started to rain.
And it rained, and it rained, and it rained, and it rained.  

Every time we turned around it was belting down...water everywhere.
It wasn't particularly warm either, some days only about five degrees above freezing.  I began to worry about my garden seeds.
I knew it must be pretty soggy under that fiberduk.

I needn't have been concerned about the twenty seven rhubarb plants that run along the side of the Vävstuga.
Look at the ground around them, how wet it was, and also up close you can see all the drops of rain on the leaves.  They went from "barely up" (left picture) to "thriving" (right picture)..

"gone to seed"  
in just six days!
On the plus side of the ledger were the lilies and the iris that came up again after their first blooming last year.  These were the ones brought from the far north in Sweden.

And most thrilling of all, we saw buds on our peonies!
All of our weeding and hoeing and dunging of these tender plants finally paid off!
So exciting!
It promised to be quite a year in the growing department.

The following pictures were taken only ten days after planting.

  You know when you can start lifting the fiberduk because you begin to see the rows of plants that have come up under it.  We wondered when we saw the bulges if it could possibly be true? The onions shown here on the left were the first to be exposed. They were so tall!  We had never had a year with this kind of speed but we were surprised to find them relatively weed-free.
Not so with the carrots. It goes without saying that if the seeds you have planted enjoy the warmth and protection of being covered, so do any weeds that may be lurking under there. This part of the carrot section needed some fast attention so it didn't get ahead of me.  It is a large garden, especially for one person to maintain, so there is never any time to wait. I had to be on top of it.  While I was weeding it one day Bo Henriksson, our dear friend from down the road came by and looked at it and said to Hans, "Didn't she just plant that?" 

On the same day we came face to face for the first time with this lettuce,  the new blended strain that we tried. When we took off the fiberduk it was already 7" high! 

If the garden was mine, the seven 40 meter-long rows of strawberries that were planted last year belonged to Hans and the boys.  Another ten days passed and those plants were begging for relief. 
So we did the only sensible thing:

We called the missionaries!
Hans rototilled between the rows and  Elders Murri and Bracken worked with Maxie and spent the day freeing up as many plants as they could.
When they were done the back of it was broken.
So kind.

Now we were twenty days in from planting.  
I finished the first complete weeding of the garden and there was only one precious day before I had to start harvesting spinach.
I used it to put the bedding plants in the window boxes and the arrangement by the front door,


and the big cast iron cooker/planter by the threshing barn at the entry to the inner farmyard.

Also in that twenty day span of time

the peonies,  flanked by bright yellow lilies, had 
begun to burst into bloom.
In the next week we all helped so that the weeding of the strawberries would be finished,  the spinach would be harvested, trimmed, washed, blanched, packaged and frozen for the coming year and the weeding of the potato plants would be started.

It really was "zero to sixty" in about four weeks flat!
In just over 28 days from planting
we had:

rhubarb and potatoes and strawberries,

cabbage and marigolds and broccoli and cauliflower and green beans and peas and onions and carrots and beets and radishes and lettuces and more marigolds and spinach,

and turnips and parsnips and a row of pink and white flowers and parsley and dill and kale and mangold and red currants and black currants and gooseberries and the bright yellow and orange flowers that can survive anything all summer in Sweden!

In short:

We had it ALL!

No comments: