Garden Survivors and Casualties
Our weather has turned and spring is in the air - finally! Since the garden is relatively new, I'm still at the very early stages of determining what will or won't overwinter successfully here. Now that warmer weather has arrived, I've been able to remove the protective straw coverings on the beds and give the garden a good once over to see what has survived the winter.
The chives are coming up already - this is one herb where the surprise would be if it didn't come up!
|Without fail, chives are usually the first to show signs of life|
A quick look past the weathered stems reveals lots of green
Some ragged stems, but overall looking great
I have overwintered parsley in the past (although not at this house) which gave me some fresh sprigs to enjoy in the early spring before the new plants were established. I'm guessing that our unusually cold temps this past winter, coupled with the fact that I did not protect the plants at all, did them in. I forgot to take a photo before tossing the plants, but there wasn't much to see - just think brown, shriveled parsley leaves with a mushy, slimy root mass - I was glad to be wearing gloves for that one!
The main oregano plant looks completely brown, but I do spot a few green leaves around the edges.
|Oregano - Green is always a good sign|
Moving on to the sage and mints. I don’t see signs of life from any of these at this point but true spring weather has just barely started, so I am not giving up on them just yet. As with the parsley, I’m wondering if I should have protected them with a thick covering of straw. Something to consider for next year.
|Purple Sage - Not Looking Promising|
We removed the straw from the strawberry bed this past weekend and the plants are looking ok. There are quite a few brown or partially brown leaves – more than last year, it seems – but overall the plants appear to have survived the winter.
What a welcome sight!
I left both the NCK and the Russian kale in the beds last fall, topped with a thick covering of straw, just to see if they would make it through the winter. The tops for both varieties were toast, but the bases are still green/purple and firm.
|NCK (aka Not Curly Kale)|
The perennial bunching onion patch looks pretty beat up:
|Winter Worn Perennial Bunching Onions|
|Just a little more growth and this guy is destined for the kitchen|
Lastly in the winter survival roundup, are the two fruit trees - a cherry and a 5-in-1 plum. The cherry is definitely showing the greatest promise of a harvest this year:
|Swollen Buds on Cherry Tree|
I'm not as confident about the plum. Some of the branches have buds that are somewhat swollen, such as this Burbank branch:
|Buds on the Burbank branch are looking somewhat swollen,|
so there may be some hope here
|These buds look dried out and|
I doubt they will bear any fruit
Back in January 2014, we had unseasonably cold temps and neither tree bore fruit last summer. At first, I attributed the lack of fruit to the winter temperatures but I have since learned that a late spring frost may, in fact, have been the ultimate deciding factor in our area. This year, however, our winter temperatures were even more severe and prolonged than last year and I have read that there may be cause for concern when it comes to tender fruits like peaches, plums, cherries, etc..
Our trees on now in their 5th year so, technically, I should be harvesting a good quantity of fruit from them. They both bore a small amount in their third year, back in the summer of 2013...a teaser, so to speak, and I have been anxiously awaiting the fruit glut that you would expect from an older tree ever since. My fingers are crossed that at least some of my buds are ok and that our spring weather this year cooperates.
Till next time...