A new year

Ahh the very first weeds of the year

Once again the gardening season has arrived. It was an incredibly short winter this year ending in December with two nights below 40 degrees. This last weekend I found myself turning over the soil in the garden and sowing the first crop of arugula.

This year, I plan to plant the usual tomatoes, hot peppers, and okra along with another attempt at winter squash. This time I know how to kill the bugs that have done this to me every year before.

At least I think I do.

I may also try my hand at some snap peas or eggplant. Normally I do not turn the soil until the last week of March, but this year I really feel like there will not be the serious frost that sometimes occurs late in the month. Honestly it stayed warm enough that the bugs didn’t even die.

Summer is going to suck.

That said I also added a new layer of potting soil to the herbs not in the ground and cut back all the dead growth from last year. Already a little sage, oregano and mint have began to pop up from the soil.

Look it's the sage for the Thanksgiving stuffing this year.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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41 Responses to A new year

  1. Maureen says:

    As you plant, our plants are quitting for the year. I’ve got new pots of cilantro, parsley, chives, oregano and sage started so I should be right to last the winter. It doesn’t get cold enough to hurt them here. Good luck with your new garden.

  2. The ground is still much too cold here, in fact it’s about 20 out right now. Luckily I’ll have your garden pictures to tide me over until then!

  3. Tandy says:

    We are having a long summer! I look forward to watching your garden grow 🙂

  4. Purely.. Kay says:

    I know exactly what you mean.. it wasn’t cold enough for the darn bugs to die. I am not gonna enjoy this summer I tell ya. And I know your garden will be just as amazing as last year. And I love eggplant, so I can’t wait to see if you grow some 🙂

  5. Ditto on the bugs, even up here. The dog came home with a tick on her head just this week…
    The garlic looks nice and healthy! I’ll try to send some Squash-Karma your way this summer!
    Happy Gardening!

  6. kayjayaitch says:

    Having recently started a job that takes me away from home for swathes of time my gardening is going to suffer and I miss it already. I shall have to stick to low maintenance stuff that I can administer on an infrequent basis!
    I shall keep watching

  7. imakeeper says:

    I was just looking at gardening things in the store yesterday! It is a bit cold here in MI to start, so I’d have to start my plants indoors… Do try the eggplants! I’m curious to see how they would turn out… happy gardening!

  8. BrainRants says:

    I really dig how you guys do the whole “start to finish” approach here with gardening tips all the way through cooking tips. Awesome! And yeah, it was a short winter, if there even was one.

  9. Lea Ann says:

    Now that the snow is starting to melt, I’m finding weeds as opposed to tulips.

  10. Growing your own is the best! I live in an apartment and still grow lots of greens. The aroma and taste is amazing!

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    Weeds already! It will be interesting to see just how quickly Spring comes to these parts. Still, seeing your area stirring means that ours won’t be far behind. YAY!

  12. Ha! I like that your opening photo features weeds. =D

  13. Amy says:

    Ah, thus marks the annual start of the Rufus’ posts that make me insanely jealous of your backyard and ability to garden 😉 Can’t wait to see what you dig up this year!

  14. nrhatch says:

    Gardening is a supremely optimistic and forward-looking hobby! Plant on! 😀

  15. A_Boleyn says:

    Good luck on your garden. All I’m planning on is some container herbs. 🙂

  16. These are the exact circumstances in the garden here, which I must turn over today to plant my seed. It’s never been cold enough here to kill the mosquitoes…summer…oh boy!

  17. Lucky you! Although winter has been incredibly mild in Toronto too, it’s still not spring…yet. They are promising 20°C by Wednesday — it should be interesting. Yesterday it was -7°C and we had snow flurries off and on all day.

  18. billpeeler says:

    Good luck with the garden – the sage, at least, looks promising!

  19. I wish I could get rocket seeds…
    our garden is full of different types of ants. We pretty much tried all kind of methods to get rid of them but they r so strong. Any good tips on how to get rid of ants?
    One thing I am excited about is that the curry plants r finaly growing. XD

    wow your sage looks so nice, I wish I could plant some too, realy need fresh sage here.

    Why is summer going to suck?

    • We live pretty far south so it’s hot here from about May 15-Sept. 30 most years. This year that will probably be from April 1-Oct. 15. If you can find the ant hill there are pesticides that will kill them. I do not recommend burning it. I have also heard that bowls of vinegar work as a natural trap but if the garden is full of ants then a more drastic step is required. If the hill is in the garden I would dig it out and replace the soil after the pesticide. If your whole yard is full of ant hills then a professional exterminator may be in your future.

  20. k.m. says:

    Logically I know that sage is a perennial, but I can’t ever get the stupid plant to last through the winter. So jealous that yours is coming back!

    I too think bugs are going to be brutal this year. At least here in Maryland we’re getting some very cold nights right now (thankfully). Here’s hoping that a lot of birds and bats start snacking on your invaders 🙂

  21. We have had a major dump of snow, but today sun!! I can only dream of being able to dig up our garden as you are doing!! Enjoy!!

  22. Michelle says:

    We’ve given our garden over to the chickens, so I’ll have to live vicariously through you. When we did garden, we never had any luck with arugula, much to my dismay. The flea beetles attacked it like crazy.

  23. Jessica says:

    It’s awesome that you grow so much stuff! The summers here are super hot and dry, so my neighbors have a hydroponic garden, and my landlady is starting one.

  24. eva626 says:

    cant wait till thanksgiving now!..looks great

  25. I’m somewhat envious to see you preparing for summer and the garden. No garden for us this year, as we’ll be moving in early summer. Destination unknown.

  26. We have cold, rainy, windy days now since Thursday. We planned on doing outdoor work this weekend but the best laid plans…I think I’ve convinced Dan to help me start a raised bed garden. Wish me luck and here’s to great success with yours!

  27. Lisa says:

    I’ve bought my cucumber and radish seeds and I am ready to go!

  28. ....RaeDi says:

    I love your gardening posts, I have learned so much from your blog and here’s hoping that you take care of those bugs without too much problem, when you get a handle on it let me know how you did it! Sounds to me like you are getting a good and early start!

  29. All the best for the growing season! I’ll look forward to your green photos – I count on all our Northern Hem friends to keep us going through our winter! 🙂

  30. Alli says:

    The sage looks nice and young, mine manages to survive through the year, although gets a bit big and woody during winter.

  31. I can’t wait for the weather to get warm enough here to start planting stuff. I have seeds in pots in the house already. Looked out the other day and had a row of green onions coming up from last year!

  32. I am not sure how I missed this one, but it truly is the time to start those seeds and clean out the garden beds to see what lurks underneath. Isn’t this one of the best times of the year?

  33. Karen says:

    Greg, You should really grow some eggplant. It more or less takes care of itself. I have grown regular and japanese. If you do decide to grow it, put a strong wooden stake next to each plant to tie to later when they are full of heavy eggplants.

  34. Kristy says:

    I LOVE sage! That is on my list of things to try and grow this summer. It will be a miracle if I manage to get any, but it’s worth a try. 🙂 Short winter here too. Thank goodness. I’ll take a hot/humid summer over a cold/snowy winter any year. 😉

  35. nancyc says:

    I grew sugar snap peas one year, and they did really well! Sounds like you’re going to have a wonderful garden!

  36. You lucky ducks! Our ground is still much too cold. There won’t be any planting here until possibly late May which sometimes makes for a very short growing season.

    Right now, I’m listening to the birds tweet though which is a very good sign. Earlier this morning we had a practical monsoon on our hands…the birds must be happy THAT is over for now. 🙂

  37. We thought of you in London as we looked for Okra to plant (no luck though 😦 ) Looking forward to seeing the garden´s progress!

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