Spring Planting

Garden plot May 24
left side (from front): peas, spinach, onion, tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, butternut squash, pepper, flowers
right side: radishes, Swiss Chard, head lettuce, cauliflower, beets, leeks, garlic, potatoes, onions, asparagus, rhubarb, flowers

Here are my actual spring planting dates for this season.

Indoors:

  • 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.
“Hot Thai” pepper and “Fairy Tale” eggplant seedlings, 2 weeks old (March 30)

Outdoors

  • 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
Tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, basil seedlings on April 20

Porch Update

The plants on my back porch are doing well. I am growing tomatoes (Paul Robeson), eggplant (Fairy Tale), hot pepper (Jedi Jalapeño), cut lettuce, butter lettuce, potatoes, Swiss Chard and herbs (mint, sage, thyme, rosemary, basil and parsley). Also on the porch are our grapefruit “tree”, our palm – both are indoor plants during the colder months – and several potted perennials: lavender, Osteospermum and Dianthus.

herbs
butter lettuce
tomato
mint
thyme
sage

Porch Arugula Fail

I planted arugula on my porch on April 6. It had been so cold and wet these past weeks that those little guys had a hard time growing. Finally, on May 6, spring seemed to have started at last.

May 7 – tiny plants after a month

Not much happened during the month of May. The plants stayed tiny because it was still wet and cold (there was even snow one day in Central Massachusetts!). I thinned the bed on May 25th.

May 25 – thinning after the first couple of warmer days.

At the end of May, the temperatures started to steadily stay in the upper sixties / low seventies during the day. The plants did not like the sudden heat on my southwest-facing porch and bolted.

June 8 – leggy and bolting

I composted the whole lot. Well, at least I got a delicious lunch out of it. Maybe if I try it again next year, I will grow them in a shadier cooler spot to prevent bolting. And I sure hope for a “normal” spring.

Peas and Lettuce

Pea flower

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’s Harvest – Early June

Radishes, spinach, asparagus and two early volunteer onions

I spent an hour in the garden weeding and spreading compost today. I also harvested a few veggies. I noticed that some critter had completely decimated my two cucumber seedlings :(. Also, no signs of carrots and/or any flowers. I will reseed carrots soon.

Garlic is looking great, peas are coming in. All other seedlings are still small – the weather has been so strange. Overall we had a very cold wet and long spring and only recently had a few days where temperatures reached into the low seventies. Everything seems to be late and slow this year.

(Trans)planting

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.