Garden Status Report 2012

After an almost non-existent winter and a March that felt more like June, the garden is already taking off on its own. Many plants that would normally not last our traditional Canadian winter made it through without issue. Kale, Swiss Chard and Sorrel are greening up. Parsley, fennel and thyme made it through without any problem. And we already have dozens of foot-tall asparagus shoots dotting our young asparagus patch.

The garlic, which we nervously watched for its appearance last year, is a bright patch of green and a few inches tall. Cloves we forgot in the ground last year now have a half dozen sprouts coming up out of them. We’re not sure what to do with them. I guess we’ll transplant them somewhere else.

The garden beat us to spring. We haven’t even started any seeds yet this year, but we’re in no hurry. Tomatoes are easy to start too early, so we have lots of time. Peppers are slowpokes, so they’ll be started in the next few days along with our onions. After all, it’s still March.


This year we’re going to try things a bit different. We’re going to focus on tomato quality and stake them well, while growing fewer plants. We’re going to try to trellis our cucumbers and melons, and we’re going to grow a small amount of heritage wheat.

We’re also excited about adding some fruit trees to the garden. We bought Jesse’s dad two apple trees for his birthday. They’re an old apple variety called Tolman Sweet, which are greenish yellow when ripe and have a wonderfully unique flavour. We also ordered another old eating variety as well as two different cider varieties which we’ll press some fall in the future once the trees are producing. We’re excited to pick them up in the next few weeks and they’ll add another dimension to the garden.

This year is only the second year of serious gardening for us, but already, the perennials were so worth it. We’re going to have lots of strawberries, and we’re going to sneak a few tastes of asparagus from our still-young plants. We’re truly blessed to be close to Jesse’s parents’ land and to be able to plant things that might not give us a return this year, but will more than make up for it in the years to come.


  • We're sharing our garden with our 'downstairs friends', the couple that rents out our basement. She planted garlic in the fall and it's coming up beautifully already.

    I started my seeds already, and I'm a little worried I did it way too early… The over-eagerness of a first-time gardener! I'll just have to wait and see…

  • We keep starting things later and later each year. Herbs, peppers, onions, are all on our early start list. But tomatoes are going to be much later this year. We might start some Stupice tomato plants, an early variety, soon just so we have some bigger tomatoes earlier, but I'm not going to start our main crop tomatoes until the end of April, and the canning tomatoes until early/mid May.

  • To see a little asparagus spear protruding through the ground in my garden, I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven! I would probably stew over how to cook the tasty morsel too long that it would go bad. Good for you guys :)

  • that asparagus looks amazing! it is one of the reasons i long to buy a house. it just doesn't make sense to plant it in a rental. happily i have planted all sorts of other delicious things. instead of having a warmer than usual spring we, in the pacific northwest, have had a much colder spring complete with snow! i am so glad i chose to put up tunnel cloches this year. my peas, spinach and lettuce are doing great despite the chilly temps outside. i'm going to try this technique with my tomatoes and get them in the ground in mid-april. crossing my fingers that they like it!

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