Farm Foliage

Everything is greening up nicely at the house; we’ve been getting a lot of rain and a lot of warm, sunny weather that is exactly what our property’s plant population needs to just shoot up and leaf out.  First off, the radishes are pretty much ready to harvest already!  Here’s the photo I took on Thursday:

Rows of radishes.

Paul’s going to be harvesting this batch in the next few days, then re-tilling and planting another crop.  As you can probably tell, turning a lawn into a garden has had it’s challenges.  I never knew before that grass could be so hardy that it could survive tilling!  Hopefully the next till will finally squash the grassy uprising for good.

Also, our small patch of lilacs have flowered, looking glorious and smelling even better:

Lovely lilacs.

The patch in our yard is still a bit scrubby, but it seems to leaf out more fully every spring.  Ultimately, we hope to add more lilacs to our property as time goes on; they’re actually one of Paul’s and my favorite shrubs.

Another shrub on our property is also flowering, but Paul and I are in less agreement as to how we feel about that:

Colorful but controversial.

This is a Tartarian honeysuckle that lives in our front yard.  Unfortunately, it’s an invasive species, so despite it’s cute pink flowers, Paul wants it gone.  To some extent, I do too, but I can’t help but appreciate it’s existence nonetheless.  For the short-term, it’s staying because it provides much-needed privacy to the back of the property, which means that I can continue to enjoy these blooms for at least another year or so.

I don’t know if you remember our poor rose bushes from last year, but they are doing just great this year:

Radiant roses.

Last fall I covered them with Styrofoam plant covers for over the winter (the most winter prep they’ve gotten in a while, I imagine), but the winter ended up being so mild  that one of them didn’t even end up going dormant (the larger one in the photo above).  So, they both got a great start this spring, and with the lack of competition with weeds (this is what the bed looked like last year), they have just thrived.  I’ll be keeping very vigilant to keep the rose skeletonizer bugs off of them, and honestly, I think we may have a fighting chance to seem some great blooms on these guys  this year.

Of course, with all this talk of flowers, I can’t leave out the one flower that as made it’s triumphant return this year (even if I’d like to).  These guys have just been popping up like, well, dandelions:

These guys suck, so they don’t get an alliterative caption.

Last spring we fought with dandelions throughout our lawn, and it was quite the pain. I’d kind of blocked it out of my memory, so it was to my dismay to see those little yellow spots start to appear all over the front yard.  What’s shocking to me is that less than 12 hours after we mow, there are already new dandelion flowers defiantly sticking their heads up above the grass line.  We don’t want to spray them with chemicals (yuck), so really all I can do is pluck off the flowers before they seed.  Not a great strategy, but it will have to do.  If anyone has any other dandelion suppression techniques, leave them for us in the comments.

Paul’s been tilling like crazy for the past few days.  In the next week he’ll be putting in the cabbage plugs he’s been growing in trays for the past few weeks.  So, there will be more greenery to come!


About Leigh

Born and raised in Rochester, MN, Leigh moved to the Twin Cities in 2004 for college. She stayed, and now works for a south metro city in the recycling department. In February of 2011, she and Paul bought a neglected farm house in the city to start our own urban hobby farm.

Posted on April 28, 2012, in Gardening, Property and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. It is so hard to keep dandelions out of your yard as the seeds can float in the air from so far away. Your garden looks great.

  2. Hi Leigh and Paul,

    Those lilacs are such a nice deep purple!

    What we have decided about dandelions is that they are an important part of any lawn–pulling up minerals and helping soak up rain (not an issue in your soil though) with their long tap roots, adding beauty and pollen availability with their flowers, and, if you ever had to, you could eat the leaves 😉 If they end up growing in the garden, which is rare since we keep it well leaf-mulched, the soil is loose enough to pull most of them up. Kira invested in a Fiskars dandelion digger for the really big ones. I guess it works well.

    I had radish top thinnings for supper tonight. Ours aren’t as big as yours yet. But put up a 5′ tall, 2 bed wide hoopty to get ready to plant out the tall peppers and tomatoes….maybe later this week already.

    This is the first year we did indoor seed starting. The timing thing can be tricky it seems….

  3. Georgia Lauritzen

    Our yard (when I was a kid) was a haven for dandelions. Our neighbor made dandelion salad with the green leaves so every kid made sure to give her a healthy supply. Of course, two of her children (my best friends) weren’t too thrilled. She ( their mom) also made soup and added the leaves to other food as herbs. Give up the intention to rid yourselves of dandelions — as my dad (the horticulturist said — they don’t give up and the more you pull them the more they grow). Try to view them as interesting native plants.

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