We had a pretty dry winter. Not much of a cold snap at all. Felt like I was watering the garden about a quarter as much as I do in the summer. It was chilly enough that my plants weren't that needy.

The goji berry, mugwort, and rose bush are all happily growing already. Slurping up the sun with every leaf they can deploy. Growing fast.


The Virginia Flame is waking up. Spent the afternoon making a cage to keep the birds a foot away from my grapes. Hoping it works!

The Arkansas Traveler is also getting going. This year I want to see if I can fill that cage with berry generating green.

The chard was offline in what I was expecting to be its peak season. We had a scary winter infestation of hungry critters. I had to put the wire cage over the plants to protect them. Had to forgo a lot of crops while the plants regenerated. Now they are supper yummy when I eat them again soon. Usually get at least a pound and a half a week from there.


Maybe it's too early for cucumber. Just thought I'd try one of them and see what happens. That's a baby Japanese cucumber. Those were delicious last year so I'm trying them again.

Planted the cabbages too late to harvest them for St. Patricks day. They should have been planted by the end of September. They also got set back by hungry critters. As soon as I saw the trouble I covered about half of them, all I had the stuff to protect right there. The next day I came back and saved the rest. That one day of critter munching explains the difference in their sizes.

One crop that thrives on being ignored most of the time is garlic. After the rains come the heads I missed when I was harvesting last year shoot up like grass patches. I pull them up and spread them around. This year I got as much of that as possible right here. That's the garlic field.

The cucumber looks healthy at this point in time.

That big cabbage will be ready to harvest the soonest. Maybe in a week or two. Looking forward to working my way through that!


That borage volunteers again year after year. If it comes up somewhere I want to use for something else I pull it like a weed. Lining up with the irises is a fine place for it. Good luck borage!

I only got one six pack of chard starts, but it worked out to many more plants than that. I just kept separating the seedlings and finding another place to plant the next one. Must have gotten a dozen plants out of it. Too bad the main beneficiaries over the winter were those critters.

The strawberry died of thirst when I was too busy to water because the rain was supposed to be doing the job in February. Feeling sad about that.

This corner gets the least sun during the winter. I planted those chard starts there because I ran out of other places to put them. Maybe now that they get more sun they'll grow.

Those mustard greens were the crop that got me through the winter! The critters just didn't want them. I can cook the bitterness out of them, so it didn't bother me. Going to plant that again next winter for sure.


That grape is just beginning to wake up. It's more cautious about that than the other one. I think it's optimized for a longer winter than this area has.

Someone told me you can protect a cabbage from critters by planting garlic around it. Guess I underestimated the reach of the cabbage leaves when I tried that. Glad to report that the garlic might help.


Saw tomato starts at the plant nursery and couldn't resist this early girl!

Last summer Betsy gave me a takeout side dish tub full of lettuce seeds. I planted them all. For a while I was excited about all the lettuce I was going to have. Then the critters came along and decimated the crop. I covered some of it and put this stovepipe around the rest. In the end, this plant was the only one that survived. I'm getting plenty of garnish and salad out of it. Thank you Betsy!

The rose bush is starting to give me pretty and fragrant flowers. They will be better soon.

There were collard starts growing in the pathway near where another gardener let his go to seed last fall. I weeded some of them up and planted them in my plot. We'll see how they turn out.


I hope that's a ladybug!

Turns out that after a decade or so in the sun the handles of these tools turn into brittle mush. Usually I find out the process has gone too far by breaking off the handle. Now I have a collection of dead tool blades. Wish I knew how to get new handles on them.