Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Winter's End

 Our sweet little crocus flowers are in full bloom now, tucked into the edges of the back yard where the children can discover them while at play. 
 The Witch Hazel tree along the back fence is also blooming and gives us a reason to head out on these cold days, across the lawn to smell it's strange yellow flowers. 
 I love this little row of crocuses out in front of the miniature daffodils I planted a few years back.  It is such a joy as a new gardener to see these multiply a bit more each year. 
 Preschooler convinced me to photograph his favorite plants in our yard, which happen to be toadstools growing among the moss.  Actually, most of our back yard is moss at the moment.  Something that doesn't bother us in the least.  It gives the kids a cushion when they fall.  Which happens.  A lot. 

Asparagus is growing, giving me a reason to get out there with some slug bait, and soon!  The asparagus is such a magical gift.  From a little bare spot in the garden, a delicious food suddenly appears.  No inedible leaves, no extra bits.  Just pure food, rising up out of the soil.  The whole family loves it, much to my surprise.  The children will actually ask for more!

So that is today in my garden.  

I am currently contemplating buying fresh strawberry plants, maybe a June bearer so we can get in a full harvest before that terrible new fruit fly wakes up for the summer and starts ruining our berries. 

Two years ago, I planted raspberry plants and last year was our first year to harvest.  Then that terrible fruit fly spotted wing drosophila attacked ruined my dreams of fully ripe raspberries being harvested from our garden.  We had a few good pickings before we discovered the larva in the berries.  I kept the news from the kids and let them continue picking at will when they were in the yard, but I stopped picking berries for our table.   

So now I wonder, do I just cut out the raspberries and grow beans there instead?   Do I give it another try and hope our freezes a few months ago took out the population of flies enough to give us a reasonable picking?   And so, that I why I am for the first time considering June bearing strawberries.  They would ripen before the spotted wing drosophila really woke up for the summer, as they like to breed at higher temperatures than we typically get in June.  We wouldn't have the fun of such an extended harvest, but we would have a better chance at unblemished fruit (I did find a few "larva" in our late summer strawberries last summer), and we could freeze or make jam with the extras.   Whatever I decide, it is always fun to study those seed and plant catalogs when it's still below 50 outside. 

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