Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Salad Table Update

Back at Christmas, my husband built me a salad table.  I planted it up with various salad greens in late January/early February, covered and nursed it through a hard freeze or two, stuck forks in it to protect it against lounging garden kitties who were drawn to its southern exposure warmth, and the result now in mid April ----

Not so great.

In fact, kind of a failure.  The salad greens have stayed small and puny.  The seeds I planted in the garden proper have far outpaced their growth, as you can see here.

salad table lettuce
lettuce in a garden bed planted 3 weeks ago
I am thinking the salad table may work better planted in the late summer/early fall so that lettuce can put on more growth before the day length shortens too much.  Also, I was so anxious to get the table planted that I used some bags of plain old topsoil lying around.  I think I should have invested in (or made up) some really good quality potting mixture.  I KNOW in my heart of hearts (mind of minds?) that excellent soil and good soil preparation is 75% of what is needed for good harvest/good garden, but I am so bad at remembering that come planting time!

In the meantime, in the vegetable garden itself, lettuce is coming along nicely scattered in several beds.  Here is some, along with a very beautiful red-veined sorrel, which I got from Anthony's Herb Farm several years ago and which comes back reliably every year.

And I am picking a handful of strawberries every day from my strawberry bed made from concrete blocks.

I've been worried about my sugar snap peas since we have had record breaking heat -- in the 80's -- through out March and most of April, but we have had a cool down this past week and the sugar snaps are blooming (while very short! maybe due to the heat?), so hopefully I will get a harvest before it gets too hot again.

On Thursday I'm heading about an hour north to Anthony's Herb Farm up in Brighton, TN to see what Miz Anthony has available.  Maybe I'll remember to take my camera (and remember to take it out!) and get some pics so you can see her Tennessee Heritage Farm (designation as a heritage farm means it has been in farm use for 100 years or more), and Miz Anthony herself (who is about 4 ft tall, well in her 80's, refers to her plants as "she" and "he", and who will insist on carrying your plants to the car for you because "they're heavy!".  A few years ago she gave me a recipe for Amaretto Chocolate Mint (as in, it uses chocolate mint, the herb) Pound Cake, which was fabulous.  I need to get hold of some amaretto and make it again soon.

Linked to Tuesday Garden PartyHome and Garden ThursdayFarmgirl Friday


CrankyPuppy said...

What are the forks for in the first picture? I saw that and a lightbulb went on...what a great way to recycle plastic forks as plant labels!

Susan Zentmyer said...

I should plant forks too - at least the rabbits wouldn't eat them (they love my lettuce though). Thanks for sharing!

Wonderwoman said...

You made me laugh because I also have to keep the cats out of anywhere I plan to direct seed. I use bamboo skewers...kind of looks like a medieval trap of sorts. I'm coveting that red sorrel....

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

The forks are a cute idea - I was intrigued by the photo - I'll have to keep this in mind! Hope you're able to enjoy your peas! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

Storybook Woods said...

LOL, I was wondering what the forks were for. Good idea. I wish they kept slugs out too!! CLarice