Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I can see dirt!!

Old man winter certainly is stubborn and I have a feeling (based on the -14 C temp right now) that he's not going to give into spring without a fight! Brrrrr.. yesterday morning was also cold, but it warmed up considerably by early afternoon and I actually went out to play in the garden!!

As you can see from this photo, there is still a lot of snow, but the raised beds are finally shedding their blanket of the white stuff. I even opened the carrot cold frame in the background to pick a few handfuls for supper. We lightly steamed them along with store-bought carrots (such an unnatural bright orange looking colour) to have a taste test.. homegrown won by a mile!! (phew! You never know when dealing with kids)

This was a fun little pair of carrots, tucked away all winter in their embrace! The photos aren't great - it was so sunny, but I wanted to snap a few pictures while I was up there.. Anyone who has gardened with the square foot method knows just how many carrots you can grow in a small space and I'm happy to say that even though we've been harvesting them like crazy, there are still about 80 to 100 baby carrots left to pick in the frames.

Since the soil free of snow was actually soft, I grabbed my trusty shovel and had fun turning the soil over a bit.. I also dug the last two celeriac roots - huge knobby balls! I've posted about celeriac in the past and it's becoming a family favourite. I love its willingness to sit in the garden all winter (under straw/leaves and a row cover) until I'm ready to pull one for a soup, stew or other dish. It's extremely slow growing though so if you plan on starting your own seed, it's time to sow them indoors.

Hopefully the temperature will rise above zero again today and more snow will melt.. with rain in the forecast for the next several days, I'm hoping we'll be snow-free by Sunday.. here are a few more photos from yesterday!

Happy Gardening..


  1. Those two baby carrots were snuggled up trying to keep warm, I think )))

    Lucky you, having a dig. Soon....we'll be digging the snow off one part of the garden, putting up the row cover trying to warm up the soil in one section. Can't be too long surely!!

    Thanks for inspiring.

  2. I found it interesting that you are able to overwinter celeriac in the garden...perhaps I shall have to try that myself. I agree with Bren and think your carrots are just trying to stay warm.:)

  3. Well, I am certainly not going to argue with Bren (whose garden blows me away!) It's been so cold, it's the only logical conclusion! :)

    You should try the celeriac Mr. H.. it's very easy to winter over - a foot thick mulch and row cover (or old towel, burlap, sheet, etc.) to hold the mulch in place and keep it from blowing away. I use an old row cover that is already on its last legs, as they tend to rip when used this way.

  4. Niki I finally made it over and I'm so impressed that you're truly growing vegetables year round. I tried to overwinter carrots this year (raised beds, covered with straw) but it'll be awhile before the snow melts enough to see if they survived all right or not.

  5. Hi Niki.Thank you for visiting me and leaving such a lovely comment. We may have got the start of spring, but it still looks a way away for you yet!
    I wish I was as organised as you about overwintering vegetables - all my purple sprouting broccolli and savoy cabbages died in our snow/cold and some of the leeks went a bit soggy, but I was useless about planting anything else!

  6. YAY! Congrats on seeing dirt.

    Carrots are about the only thing I grew this fall/winter. We've been harvesting about 16 SF all winter long. Though they've got little white roots growing off them, they're still tasty raw or cooked. I pulled one of the last of my purple haze out and used it to make chicken stock and it turned the broth purple. Very funny indeed.

    Yeah, our carrots had no such cover as our climate is very mild. The bit of snow we got just helped transform starches to sugars. Yum!

  7. Looking good! It is starting to warm up here now. Mostly above freezing during the day and freezing at night.

  8. I need your advice on Celeriac please: does the seed normally take AGES to germinate? I have had a pot full of seed sitting in my warm (but dark) airing-cupboard for a while now, and nothing is showing yet. I think I heard somewhere that Celeriac seed/seedlings should never be excluded from light, so maybe that is the problem, but I can't find any reference to this anywhere. Any ideas?

  9. Hey Mark - yup.. it's a bit pokey to germinate - usually 2 to 3 weeks (sometimes up to 4).. if you've been waiting longer, sow more seed, otherwise, keep the flats covered with plastic wrap and warm (top of a fridge is ideal) and your fingers crossed!! :)


Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)