Spring Cleanup Time is coming !
Spring is just around the corner - closer for some of us than for others living in the still frozen north. Here on Vancouver Island we are fortunate to have an earlier spring than most areas.
In our area we are slightly later than in Victoria B.C. where they are already enjoying lots of spring flowers. Ours are coming along nicely too and some things are already growing.
I have been out in the greenhouse and cleaned things up, pulled out the weeds that grew over the winter. I was amazed to see a couple of pea vines that managed to live over the winter, one of which had a bloom on it. Unfortunately, the base of the vines were withering away so I just pulled them up and planted more peas in the hopes of having some to eat early. They are planted at the base of the wire frames.
My strawberry plants inside the greenhouse (unheated) have some flower buds on them and they produced a load of runners so I will have lots of plants this year.
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The outside strawberry plants look nice and healthy and also produced an abundance of runners so I think I will be giving plants way soon. If you look closely you can see the acorns all over the place. As soon as it is dry enough I will be cleaning up all the dead leaves and sorting out which plants to keep and which to give away. (I am sure the rain will soon stop long enough for the ground to dry up a bit!)
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Speaking of the greenhouse, the one thing that is in there that always does extremely well is the "Egyptian Onions" aka Walking Onions. I have them in the greenhouse so we can have early green onions. The bulblets I planted last fall are now at a size they can be harvested. We don't use a lot of green onions so we don't have a big planting - just enough to use a few now and then. The main plant itself has more than doubled in size and the nice thing is they don't really need to be inside a greenhouse as they will survive nicely over the winter in areas with sub-zero temperatures. The small onions at the bottom of the picture are just about ready - a little bigger would be OK but small is nice.
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One other thing that did well is the Oak trees in the neighbour's yards. Yes, I said "yards" - 3 or 4 trees on the south and a huge one on the north - all of them were raining acorns on us last fall and now there are many dozen sprouting all over the place. In case anyone is interested in growing more Gary Oak trees (endangered species) I have offered the sprouted acorns on our local freecycle/recycle group.
Many interesting offerings by the group - everything from plants to boats, and it all has to be given away free. Last fall I gave away a couple of buckets of acorns - one to a lady whose 2 little girls wanted them to feed to the squirrels, the other to a lady who was going to process them into acorn flour.
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Last fall I left a lot of the oak & maple leaves on the ground in the flower beds - good mulch, and it did it's job so our plants that were covered are now sprouting up nicely. I raked up the leaves now so insects can't multiply under them, have heaped them on my compost pile in hopes they will eventually rot down. The heather, oriental poppies and day lillies are looking good.
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The raspberry canes have overwintered and thrived. They do send out shoots for new canes and I notice that two shoots have found their way under the wall of the greenhouse and have come up in there. (you have to look closely to see them!) Those will be dug up and offered to anyone needing them - on "Freecycle" of course!
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While we were away, the people taking care of our place planted some lettuce... a different variety than we normally grow so we will see how it does. We normally plant a few plants of baby butter from seed. Just a few seeds planted every couple of weeks can give you a steady supply.
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Talk about a strange looking sight! I planted some Oregano late last summer and it seems to like the location. Every branch that touched the ground has sent out roots so this mess can be divided up into a number of plants. The strawberries were not really invited but the runners just grew all over the place. If they produce well, then maybe they will get to stay in the place the chose. In the black pot is a cutting that has rooted OK and is sprouting. When it gets a little larger maybe we will be able to figure out what we were trying to grow. One of the problems that comes with age is not remembering what the heck you planted!