Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Friday, February 20, 2009

February Garden Update

Hello friends!

It's mid-February and that means one thing for Portland Gardeners...Peas planted by President's Day! We love growing peas here in Portland and you can plant them in mid-February by seed right around President's Day. Which was a work day for me, so I bought the seeds on President's Day and planted them 3 days later. My planting day happened to be a beautiful sunshiny warm gorgeous day for gardening! I even got sunburned on my nose and cheeks. Woa.

This year I tried a snap pea variety new to me: Super Sugar Snap and a reliable snow pea variety: Oregon Sugar Pod II, both from Territorial Seeds. In the fall I had prepped this raised bed with Bumper Crop compost and covered it with bark mulch. Today I turned under the bark mulch and worked in: kelpmeal, greensand, rock phosphate, lime and bat guano. These slow-release organic granular fertilizers provide nutrients and a variety of trace minerals to my plants, while balancing the soil Ph and encouraging micro-organisms to thrive. I also added liquid seaweed to each pea planting hole. I secure bamboo stakes at planting time so they are ready as soon as the pea plants are growing.

In addition to peas I planted a second raised bed with strawberry crowns. The past 2 years I've been disappointed by the yields of my everbearing strawberries. So this year I'm trying a June bearing variety (can't remember the name at this moment). In the photo you can't really see the strawberry crowns because they aren't leafed out yet, but you can see my beautiful savoy cabbage that survived the bad winter snow storm! YAY!

This bed was also heavily prepped in the Fall with Bumper Crop compost, earthworm castings and coconut coir. So today I just added kelpmeal, greensand, rock phosphate, lime and bat guano. I also added liquid seaweed to each strawberry planting hold. In the empty areas next to the strawberries I planted from seed a row of arugula, green onions and french breakfast radishes.

Today I also turned the compost bins and found lots of life moving and grooving, including really big worms. It was a little dry so I watered both piles. In the photo you will see my 2 bin compost system. They are simply constructed from scrap pallet wood and chicken wire. The left side is the side that's just cooking. The right side is the side I'm
still adding new material too. The left
side will be ready for my spring planting.
Then I planted some violas in the front yard, pulled out some rotting oozing daffodil bulbs, and planted several varieties of ornamental sweet peas. I love how these spring vines are so fragrant!

That was a lot of gardening work after a few months of gardening rest. Hope you've felt inspired to get back in the garden while making wise planting choices for FEBRUARY and not gotten caught up in Spring Fever. LOL!

Oh yeah, check out how great my Fall-planted garlic & shallots look...

With Dirty Hands & A Happy Heart,
Miss Jolie Ann

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