March 12, 2016: This week in the garden

9:49:00 PM

This week in the garden, I saw the first sure signs of spring. Several different types of seedlings are sprouting, some that I planted and some that self-seeded from last year: mizuna, kale, garlic, strawberry spinach, walking Egyptian onion, bulb onions, and one of my favorite dual-purpose ornamental edibles, magenta orach. It is a magnificently beautiful magenta color, even from sprout. The flavor is similar to spinach, but the outer part of the leaf has a velvety texture. By mid-summer, orach shoots up to an incredible height of 5-6 feet tall before setting a large tuft of round papery seed pods that age from magenta to crisp tan.


The apricot tree buds closest to the warmth of the south wall of the house began to open into lovely blossoms. Each of my younger children noticed the tree when we went out in the garden today and separately told me excitedly about it.

A few mini iris were in bloom in the grass, with the first crocus just about to open their buds.


My husband and son helped me move a few plants around. I decided to simplify my earlier plan of companion planting under the fruit trees by putting only one type of plant under each tree. They helped me move the chives under the nectarine tree, the sorrel under the plum, the culinary thyme under the apple, and the salad burnet under the pear tree. The salad burnet was harder to dig out than I thought. It has very thick, vast, tenacious roots. But, it has a great fresh cucumber flavor; it is a great plant for the garden.

My youngest daughter insisted on helping to water in the newly transplanted herbs. She always does a great job volunteering in the garden!

My twins filled some seedling trays with potting soil to start their marigolds and zinnias that they have grown and collected seeds from for 3 growing seasons now. 









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