Plants for Pollinators Among the Peas

Every fall I sow crimson clover cover crop to avoid rain compacted soil in spring. Most of the crimson clover gets turned in around February 15th a few weeks before sowing Cascadia Sugar Snap Peas and Oregon Sugar Snap II. I always leave a few of these plants to get to the bloom stage and hope that the bloom time coincides with the pea blooms. This year I have seen the first pea blooms today from seeds sown March 14. That date is several weeks later than usual in my Western Washington raised beds but this past winter was a record wet winter and I feared planting earlier would result in rotting seeds. I am happy that I waited this year because now the peas are ready to bloom. 

Unwelcome visitor

This year I planted about 24 bean seeds three times. The first time the soil was too cold and they did not germinate. I think the same thing happened the second time. I have a tendency to rush the season, beans are cheap and I only plant 24 since I am feeding two people now. The third time, around the very end of May, they actually germinated and grew and I harvested them twice, but then Sunday night my husband forgot to close the gate and I did not check and overnight the open gate welcomed a deer into my garden. Deer love beans. It/they snacked on a few roses but totally took out the beans.

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Garlic scapes

A recent #gardenchat discussion got me thinking about garlic scapes and how I use them.

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I cut them now, as seen in the photo, before they flower and make pesto, just substituting garlic scape for basil. This will freeze easily in small cubes, if you have a plastic cube tray or as blobs on a lined freezer tray. Then put them in a Ziplock freezer bag for storage.

Another easy use for garlic scapes are as a substitution for green onions in a salad or as a very mild garlic when garlic is called for in a recipe.

The remainder of the stem and garlic bulb are left in the ground to dry and cure as usual.

Slug resistant garden containers

I love growing in my raised bed veggie gardens and sometimes the slugs love my veggies too. The smaller the starts, the easier they are to be destroyed. So last fall I found some copper tape on clearance and figured out that the roll contained just enough to encircle two plastic “flower boxes” and enough to surround the drainage holes on the bottom. This has been very successful! I have basil and a few lettuce plants that are growing in this prime real estate. When I want a few lettuce leaves to put on a sandwich, I do not want Swiss cheese lettuce.

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Greenhouse Action

Assorted lettuce seedings transplanted to greenhouse bed.

Assorted lettuce seedings transplanted to greenhouse bed.

It’s Spring inside my greenhouse. Starting February 15th we get ten hours of sunlight and that is my daily minimum to support growth. I always start out with lettuce. The seeds were started indoors under lights with a heat mat around January 21 and were transplanted into the greenhouse bed this weekend.

I also have flower seedlings that are hardening off now and will be potted up soon.
Flower seedlings