Pacific Northwest spring gardening madness

Pacific Northwest spring. The time of year where the onslaught of rain and warmer temperatures turn dull green into vibrant hues of green and clay into thick goo. Only this season we have had little rain allowing for some good ole' fashion garden, back-breaking work.

I'd like to say I'm one of those year round gardeners. You know the kind. The garden is tilled, mulched, and cared for no matter the time of year.

Me, I'm the other kind of gardener. Not the master but the pretender--if the lady at the flea market is any indication. I asked what red worms were for and was told, "You must not be a gardener." Geez, I guess not. I didn't know that people bought worms to put in their compost to speed up the process of decomposition. Shame on me!

But so far I think our green thumb is doing pretty good.

Pacific Northwest Early May vegetable growth

Pacific Northwest Early May vegetable growth

In March Hubby and I set out to do some weeding in the garden beds. It's a mess. We have let the vegetables seed and the weeds have rooted to our gravel walk-way. Now, a master gardener would have prepped the beds in the fall. By doing so you have more weed control and less work. Yeah, yeah, yeah...one day, maybe we too will do some work in the fall. 

Once we cleared the mess we amended the soil with some compost and garden soil. Since we don't own a tiller I just turned it kind of like turning cookie dough.

New this year is a drip system. Friends, if you garden and don't have a watering system, go out and invest in one. I am lovin' it! We bought an upright water spigot and attached our garden hose to it. Then we attached a two-pronged hose connector: one for the drip system (bought the kit) and the other for the hose-all of which was purchased at Home Depot.

The far back bed contains potatoes, scallions, garlic, and some broccoli while the closest bed features some beets, rutabagas, cucumbers (hopefully they will climb the back trellis, fennel and a vertical bush bean planter (first attempt).

Bush bean vertical container

Bush bean vertical container

This year I'm attempting a vertical bush green bean container. I have one on the corner of our garden area (the one shown here) and another in the raised bed. I started the seeds in the greenhouse then inserted into the cut slots. I have no idea whether or not this will work. Already I'm thinking the cylinders should have been bigger. The slugs have already nibbled on these ones. Love them slugs...oh the garden woes.

Cool loving vegetables: spinach, peas, lettuce, swiss chard, small carrots and radishes

Cool loving vegetables: spinach, peas, lettuce, swiss chard, small carrots and radishes

Above are the beds for cool loving vegetables. Hubby originally built these beds for raspberries but decided three rows is plenty for two people. I do have to either stand and water these beds or let the sprinkler do the job for me. 

By April all of the vegetables have been planted and by the beginning of May they look pretty darn healthy. This is the earliest we have ever planted; but like I said, weather has been crazy warm.

Vegetables planted--check. Next up, attack the strawberry jungle. 

Raised strawberry wall

See all those horns covered in green? Those are strawberries gone wild, my friends. Below the horns is actually a rock wall. My back hurts just looking at this. Wait until you see what becomes of this area.

I'd love to know how you grow your garden, how you tackle the critters who feast on it, and lessons you have learned along the grow your own food journey.