Friday, June 05, 2009

Garden notes for May

Yeah, I know it's June. I couldn't very well make my list of all the stuff that happened in May until it was over, could I? Moving on.

  • The veg garden is half in. Snap peas are going gangbusters. Round one of the watercress is done, and round two is coming up. Honestly, I'm not sure if the watercress is worth it. I love me some caldo verde (which traditionally uses kale, but also works well with a mix of greens), but that's about the only thing we use it for, and it takes up a fair bit of space - space that might better be used for collards or something. We'll need to rethink that for next year.
  • The indoor snap peas are doing OK, but not great. Tons of vine, not much actual fruit. After a few Google searches, I suspect that the potting mix I used is too high in nitrogen, and not enough in potassium and phosphorous. Luckily, the soil outdoors doesn't seem to be suffering the same problem.
  • Our last frost of the year ended up being May 19 - nearly a week after my estimate, and one day after I planted the Frenso chilis and tomatillos. The tomatillos were up against the wall of the house and I think that helped protect them, but the Fresnos didn't make it. I'm going to start a new batch of seedlings today.
  • We had a few irises, but not many. I suspect it's time to divide the clump and find some new homes.
  • A pair of bluebirds have taken up residence in the yard. The Munchkin looks for them every time we're outside. A family of robins also built a nest in the hanging fern on the porch. It made watering tricky, but I wanted to keep the eggs safe. Toward the end of the month, we started hearing peeps from the nest, and most recently I saw three very small robins perched in a row on the electrical line to the house.
  • In other wildlife news, there was a baby deer bedded down in the backyard for a few days. Gave us a handy excuse to delay mowing for a while.
  • We cut two new paths (really 1.5) in front of the house. The main path runs from the porch steps to the driveway, and the second connects that path to the back patio. In the process, we also stripped the sod from two new beds in front of the porch. No plants or pavers yet - that's the next step.
  • The leeks need to be thinned again, and soil mounded over them (to increase the amount of white).
  • We have seedlings indoors ready to go outside. A few hills of cucumbers, some kung pao hybrid chilis, some basil, and (in a bit of a shocker) some butternut squash from seeds I saved three years ago. I had the Munchkin plant them. He put five or six in one tiny peat pot, and five of them sprouted! We also have seeds for Brussels sprouts, dill, and sunflowers. I'm thinking of starting the sprouts and sunflowers in pots, too, but dill evidently doesn't like to be moved, so I'll just need to keep an eye out to make sure I don't accidentally weed it out of existence.
  • The parsley has vanished. I strongly suspect an enterprising bunny or groundhog.
  • I'm already planning next year's larger-scale garden. Raised beds, definitely

What are y'all growing this year?

2 people have weighed in:

Jeanne held forth

I gave up vegetable gardening when it became clear that the deer were going to eat my tomatoes down to the roots every year. What a shame about that late frost!

Alison held forth

If you have any use at all for hot peppers, I heartily recommend them. We had the same trouble with critters eating the cucumbers. We'd get a beautiful blossom, then a tiny fruit, and then the entire stalk would be chomped off.

With the peppers, on the other hand, we went out one morning, and found half of one Thai chili hanging off the plant. None of the other peppers were disturbed. It was worth growing those peppers just for the comedic value of imagining a groundhog frantically racing in circles looking for a glass of milk.