Is it Spring?

While half of the US is experiencing Snowpocalypse it feels like spring in Portland.  Over the last couple of weeks, it’s been about 50 or a little above, more often sunny than not, and dry.  Usually at this time of year it’s raining like the dickens and about 45.  Crocus’ are starting to bloom and snow drops are coming up.  I even saw a daffodil the other day. 

This is not normal winter weather for us and I’m well aware that the other shoe could drop at any time and it’ll start raining in earnest.  The nice weather has given me spring fever.  Last night after work I bought some dirt and planted kale and chard seeds. 

Kale is a crucierfous vegetable.  It’s a member of the cabbage family just like broccoli and cauliflower.  I got a good look at broccoli seeds last spring when I tried and failed to grow broccoli.  The two of them (broccoli and kale) being in the same family explains why their seeds look so similar.

When I opened my packet of Chard seeds last night I was surprised to see that they looked like beet seeds.  While I stared, I remembered that chard is also referred to as Silverbeet.  It seemed logical that these two plants would be related.  Chard leaves look similar to beet leaves.  I checked Wikipedia and sure enough, the two plants are in the same family.  Which means rhubarb is related to beets too since rhubarb is a chard. 

Oh, and spinach too, which I’m giving another try at growing this spring and summer.  I opted for New Zealand Spinach which isnt a true spinach but can be eaten and cooked just like spinach and is heat tolerant where true spinach is not.  Hmm . . . maybe over the weekend I’ll plant some spinach seeds.  Hopefully, unless we get our own NW version of Snowpocalypse or some other weather disaster, the little seedlings will be ready to go outside in a month.

I’m changing around my spring/summer garden this year.  I wanted to grow more flowers and concentrate on the veggies and herbs I like and will use instead of letting some veggies and herbs, mostly herbs, go to waste. I’ve got some plants I’m going to grow as an experiment, summer squash being one and two new types of tomatoes.  It’s going to be slightly scaled down this year which should make it easier to take care of.

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