Monday, January 26, 2009

Peas and Strawberries in the ground

My spring planting has officially started!  This weekend I planted two varieties of sugar snap peas.  One was good old original sugar snaps, which grow very tall.  They were planted on one end of the garden bed, next to supports where I will weave twine for them to hold on to as they climb. The other was a newer variety ("Sugar Daddy", I think), that only gets 24 inches tall.  I planted that one in a 3 inch wide band of seeds, and hope that the plants will grab hold of and support one another.

I also planted my first strawberry bed.  I was so undone when I didn't get any plants in this fall (October is a great time to plant strawberries here), and  when I found plants in the local big box store two weeks ago, I was thrilled.  They were packed in white plastic bags, 10 crowns (small live plant bud on top of 7 in long roots) to a bag, 2 bags to a carton.  Except for one set of 10 crowns, I stored the bags in my cold attic for two weeks while the bitter weather passed over.  I planted the other 10 crowns in a large pot and put it in a downstairs south facing window, just to see how the crowns responded.  

When Saturday dawned a little warmer, I pulled out both the dormant bagged plants and  the planted crowns, which had new, green leaves and were growing strong.   I planted them all in a new bed prepared just for them. The photos you see here are a small crown as it came out of the bag, one of the plants only one day later (Sunday), with new small leaves emerging, and one of the plants that had already spent some time in a pot in the window.  They are watered in, and will have the added advantage of a cloudy week (new transplants don't like bright sun).  If it gets really cold again, I will pile some leaves or straw around the new plants.  The varieties I planted were Earliglow and Tristar, for no better reason than that they were the ones available right now, when I wanted to plant.

Finally, I was asked about the bee hives.  The smaller hive in the last, snow day, photo has a hive top feeder below the top.  This allowed us to feed them sugar water twice this winter in hopes that the tiny hive will survive.