Spring Has Arrived 

Following a very snowy Winter, we welcome Spring with all the blooms, fragrance, and activity. Spring has been wet with a lot of rain…weekly. ☔ Garden beds are being cleared and early vegetables are being planted.  🌱 Take a peek at the beginning of Spring here at my gardens.

Now to get caught up with all of the rapidly growing grass and weeds. 😉

Harvest Time for Gardeners

I have spent the past month preserving the harvest from my garden. I have canned salsa, relishes, tomatoes, peppers, catsup, mustard, jam, plums, applesauce…the list goes on and on.

The majority of the produce was grown in my raised garden beds. This year tomatoes and peppers were the stars of the garden. They produced an abundance and I had to find new ways to preserve them. I normally can salsa and tomatoes to use throughout the winter months. After canning several jars of each I went searching for ways to use them in other things. I found tomato relish…tastes great on a hamburger; sweet pepper relish…who knew relish did not have to contain cucumbers???; red onion relish…great on any kind of sandwich; chow chow…something I used to hear my relatives speak of but I never dared eat as a kid…

This week I canned 14 quarts of plums, 10 half-pints of plum jam and 10 half-pints of Asian Plum Sauce. Today I began working with apples. I say began because it is a process to go from apples to applesauce, apple butter, sweet cider, apply jelly, apple pie, apple pound cake….you get the idea. I went to two local orchards to get my apples and plums.

I will show more on the apples in another post coming soon.

Growing Season in Full Swing

It has been unseasonably hot for us in SW ID. We haven’t had any rain for over a month. The garden plants are growing like crazy, although there are some plants that are stressed. It takes diligence to keep it all going. I am out in the early morning hours getting my chores done before the heat SLAPS me in the face.

Lavender, sage, rosemary and a "pinch" of mint being watched over by my cat and mouse statue.

Lavender, sage, rosemary and a “pinch” of mint being watched over by my cat and mouse statue.

My gardening is done in raised beds. So much easier on my back and knees and very little, if any, weeding. Got to love a weed-free garden! Raised beds do require more water.  I make use of soaker hoses on some of the beds. This way I can deep water once or twice a week depending on the temperatures. (You could also use a drip irrigation system.) My beds are made of cinder blocks and filled with a blend of top soil, compost and peat moss. Some plants may require further amending, such as those that are heavy feeders. I simply side dress those plants as often as needed. My tomatoes get a side dressing of a balanced “tomato booster” every three weeks from the time they begin blooming.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

You can grow nearly anything in raised beds.

You could even plant in the holes of the cinder blocks. Perhaps a beneficial companion plant such as marigolds, petunias, or any other of your favorites. Perhaps some low growing thyme or some other low growing herb.

Have fun gardening!

Debra