The squash vine is everywhere. I will have at least five butternut squashes from what I can tell. The Swiss Chard is doing well (has some leafminer damage though), the cauliflower is “fruiting”, the tomatoes are blushing and the cucumber plants are providing . The beans came up nicely, I will need to stake the pole beans very soon. I planted the beans late because I wanted them to be ready for harvest after I come back from my trip in August. The first dahlias are starting to open.
It has been warm and humid these past days and we are in the middle of a heat wave now (temperatures will be 100 tomorrow and Sunday), so things are progressing fast in the garden. The squash is growing very nicely and the beans I planted just five days ago all came up and are looking strong.
Yesterday morning, I watered the garden and harvested lemon balm for tea and my first real cucumber (not pickling cucumber). Garden is looking good.
This morning, I spent three hours weeding my garden plot. I also pulled up all the peas, spread compost, replanted pole beans (Kentucky Wonder) in their place and made a bean trellis. I also planted rainbow carrots, nasturtium and bush beans (Tendergreen). The bush beans were planted close to the asparagus. I noticed that most of my potatoes did not grow (only a handful of plants came up), so I filled the gap with bush beans. There is still some space between the beans and the potatoes, which I likely will fill with salad greens. I moved the pepper plant because it was shaded by the cucumber foliage. I sprinkled Epsom salt around my tomatoes and gave everything a good thorough watering.
The garlic has started to yellow. I will probably pull it in a week or two and need to think what I will plant in its space, part of it is occupied by the butternut squash vine, which is taking over much of the plot. The dahlias are coming up – I saw the first flower buds today.
Here are my actual spring planting dates for this season.
- March 16: started eggplant (Fairy Tale) and hot Thai pepper from seed indoors
- March 23: started eggplant (Ping Tung), tomatoes (Break O’Day, Paul Robeson, Dr. Wychee Yellow, Green Zebra, Baker Family Heirloom), curly kale (seeds from 2017) and head lettuce (Kagran Summer) from seed
- March 30: basil (sweet Italian) – six compartments in egg carton from seed
- April 8: shipment of seed potatoes arrived. I put them out to sprout.
- April 20: repotted tomatoes and some of the lettuce
- April 21: I lost most of my seedlings tonight. I still have some tomatoes (one each Break O’Day, Dr. Wychee, Green Zebra) and the basil. I re-sowed one pot each of pickling cucumber, and slicer cucumber as well as one Paul Robeson tomato. No home-grown eggplant or peppers this year. It is too late to reseed. I also still have some head lettuce and kale.
- March 19: started mâche in a big flat on our back porch
- March 31: sowed two rows of sugar snap peas, one row of spinach in between in plot; also two rows of carrots (Bolero) and one row of radishes in between (French breakfast)
- April 6: the mâche did not germinate. I sowed arugula and spring greens in the same big flat
- April 28: resowed carrots (rainbow) and sowed lettuce (Kagran Summer and Bronze Beauty) and some more peas in plot
- April 28: sowed Swiss chard and leaf lettuce “Great Salad Bowl” in two separate pots on the back porch
- May 7: trip to Allendale Farm. I purchased herbs for the plot and the back porch (basil, parsley, sage, thyme), cauliflower, head lettuce, lavender, dahlias and Osteospermum plus fertilizer and other supplies. I potted up the flowers, sage, thyme, 2 lettuce plants, 1 parsley and two basil cells for the back porch. The rest will go in the plot in the next couple of days.
- May 11: planted fingerling potatoes and sowed more carrots, Swiss chard and peas as well as sunflowers, zinnias and cosmos in plot. Also planted dahlia tubers (only 3, they were supposed to be two each, but one bag only had one bit tuber in it). Transplanted the 6 cauliflower plants, 4 lettuce plants and the parsley I bought a few days ago.
- May 18: planted eggplant (Fairy Tale), one tomato (Paul Robeson) and hot pepper (Jedi Jalapeno) in pots on the back porch
- May 23: planted potatoes in grow bags on the back porch
- May 24: transplanted seedlings into the plot: 6 tomatoes, 1 pepper, 2 cucumbers (1 pickling, 1 slicer), 1 butternut squash and a six-pack each of golden beets and leeks
- June 15: transplanted two cucumber plants (Marketmore, a slicer and Little Lemon, a pickling cucumber) into the plot
The peas are flowering and the butter lettuce is bulking up nicely. This morning, I hilled the potatoes (both in the plot and on my porch) and harvested more asparagus. I sprinkled Epsom salt around the tomatoes (they love magnesium). Sadly, no sign of any flowers, including the dahlias. Very strange. I will put the green beans in soon and transplant the kale.
Today, I transplanted most of my seedlings: 6 tomatoes, 1 pepper, 2 cucumbers (1 pickling, 1 slicer), 1 butternut squash and a six-pack each of golden beets and leeks.
I also thinned the radishes and harvested two huge overwintered leeks that were in the way. All lettuce and the cauliflower plants have chew holes but the inner leaves look healthy. The spinach is looking good, not too much pest damage. The peas are coming along and the garlic is looking strong. The carrots are a no-show again. Not sure what the problem is. I will wait a couple more weeks and then resow.
I spent three hours in the garden today. What a beautiful spring day! I pulled some weeds, cleaned my rock & brick collection that I keep at the fence, and weeded out my stakes and supports. I thinned the spinach and the radishes and trellised the peas. I also planted: fingerling potatoes (finally!), more peas, more carrots, more Swiss Chard. I transplanted the cauliflower, parsley and lettuce I bought earlier this week. Towards the fence, I planted dahlias (Star Elite and Rip City), sunflowers, zinnias and cosmos.
I used the perfect planting weather today (63F and sunny in the morning and showers in the forecast for the afternoon) to plant peas. I planted two rows (Sugar Snaps) and sowed spinach in between (Giant Noble). I also planted two rows of carrots (Bolero, pelleted) and spring radishes in between (French Breakfast). These are the first crops I sowed in the plot this spring! This evening, we will have our annual gardeners meeting. Spring is officially here.