Our late winter / early spring vegetable garden has been a little hit or miss. However, our asparagus is definitely a hit. This is the third year since I planted our asparagus crowns and they are going bonkers. This is on target with what the "experts" say; expect your first truly big crop in the third spring.
I left the asparagus unattended for a couple of days, and some of the spears were already too mature to harvest. These spears are really stout . . . about as wide as a big toe! And so sweet. They have so much sugar content that I like to eat them raw. Our 8 year old daughter even likes them, and she is pretty discerning. I definitely include asparagus in the category of foods that definitely rewards growing food at home.
The other vegetables that have done well are our perennial artichoke plants. Over the winter, I moved seven artichoke plants from a flower bed with fairly anemic soil into two of our raised beds. It is unbelievable how big these plants have gotten in a few short months. One reason is because we did not have a killing freeze this winter, so the plants did not go dormant. Additionally, I think the plants have enjoyed the raised bed soil which is heavily enriched with compost and composted manure.
The only problem is that these plants have gotten so large that they preclude me from growing anything else in two of my nine large raised beds. Consequently, this past weekend, I moved them back into another flower bed. I cut the leaves way back, but the plants still suffered some shock from the transplanting. The torrential rain that we received the other night, however, brought them right back, and they look very healthy.
We have some cauliflower, brussel sprouts, lettuce, spinach, and kale growing from seed; however, a lot of the seed did not germinate for me. I was a very lazy gardener this winter and did not use the greenhouse tunnels. Nevertheless, given how mild our winter was, I don't really think it impacted the garden that significantly.
Our sweet and red onions that I planted from onion starts are doing great. They should be ready in another month or so.
It is a different story with the garlic. I planted my garlic cloves saved from last year's harvest, two months late! They do not look good. I am still holding out hope that more will sprout shoots from the ground, but it may be a lost cause.
This is a photograph of our blooming rosemary with a blooming plum tree barely visible in the background. The rosemary is blooming a lot more than in past years. In fact, I don't recall it blooming before. The sage is also blooming, and our cool weather herbs like dill, fennel, cilantro, and parsley are all growing like gangbusters.
Our lone, surviving alpine strawberry is already producing its tiny, sweet berries. I lost the remainder to last years remarkable heat and drought. I transplanted this plant into the asparagus bed, and I am going to plant about 10 more plants with it. On the other side of the asparagus bed, I transplanted about 15 musk strawberry plants to make them easier to harvest.
This past weekend, given the warm temperatures that appear to be here to stay, I started interplanting hot temperature vegetables. I planted my favorite, charentais melon, from seed among the onions. I am interplanting cucumbers into the garlic. And I planted about 12 tomato plants and pepper plants (I am shamed to admit that I bought tomato starts from the nursery, but we were too busy to start the plants from seed this january).
I will try to get the rest of my seeds planted in the next few weeks: eggplants, squash, corn, pumpkin, etc.