Monday, May 18, 2020

Let The Gardening Begin!

My husband claims warm weather arrives on May 15th every year.  He may be right as that's certainly what has happened this year.

I couldn't wait any longer to do some planting in the garden since the weather has been so nice; not too hot and not too cold anymore.


I would like to have my shell peas and potatoes planted in the field garden already, but Papa Pea has to find time to use the cultivator on the Gravely garden tractor to prep it for me.  This week will find that done, I hope.  (And, yes, 'tis time to mow the lawn for the first time this year.)

In the meantime, I've been working on getting the raised beds planted.


The green hot caps you see in the background are covering six started cauliflower plants I've set out.  The green shoots in the bed in the foreground are garlic coming up.  To the right and behind the garlic is a bed where I've planted gladioli bulbs.  I love the way they (will) form a solid block of beautiful flowers for cutting.


My perennial bed of peppermint is finally coming to life.  Each year I'm sure it's all died out because it looks that way forever.  But it's definitely growing now.  (Is it my imagination or can you see all those little green leaves?)


I got brave and put out two started zucchini plants.  Under a protective cover, that is.  A couple of rows of nasturtium seeds are planted on either side of the mounded up zucchini.

The cold frame you see is covering the lettuces and salad greens I started indoors.  The daytime temps are good for the tender sprouts, but it's still dropping down a little cool for them at night.

I planted lots of spinach in the chive bed this year.  (In the back left of this pic.)  For the first time last year, I froze bags stuffed with unblanched spinach and we enjoyed it all winter.  During the growing season, we also eat a lot of fresh spinach.


I set out six started broccoli plants today.  Protected by the hot caps.  I still have six more to fit in somewhere.  The center trellis of this bed will have cosmos on either side of it when the weather is warm enough for those starts to go outside.


And, yippee, the asparagus is coming on like gangbusters.  Won't be long before we have our first meal of fresh asparagus.  (As you can see, I grow rocks, too.)

Because we're still lacking rain, I'm watering everything so the started plants have adequate moisture and the seeds don't wither and die of thirst.  This morning we hooked up the sprinkler and put it on the strawberry plants for about an hour.  I think they appreciated it.


Believe it or not, we didn't even put up our hammock last year.  (And how sad is that?)  This spring it's been up for about two weeks already.  I've only managed to get in it once, so far, but am bound and determined to spend some quality time in it throughout this summer!

23 comments:

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

You should definitely take some time to lie on your hammock! Your vegetable beds look wonderful! I really like those hot caps you have. Did you order them from somewhere? -Jenn

Lisa B said...

I enjoy a hammock as well but use it more in spring and fall then hot summertime. I have a north facing porch with 2 porch swings I use in the summer that are well shaded. Your beds are looking good. Won't be long now till they fill up I am sure.

The Happy Whisk said...

Very glad to read that you the hammock up this year and your garden raised beds look fun. I love this time of year. PS: Last year we had the heat on in June. Not sure if that'll be the case this year. So far this week, no snow! We have the floor fans running now.

tpals said...

Hooray! Your garden is up and running. :)

I'm crossing my fingers that this will be the year of exceptional bounty to make up for everything else.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Yeah!!! Now it's down to busyness.

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - We got those hot caps about 20 years ago and they've held up remarkably well. Last year I ended up tossing two of them because they had cracked to the extent they were coming apart. I was just thinking yesterday that I should order some new ones, but I can't remember where we got them. I know it was from one of the garden supply catalogs and I'll have to do a search for them.

Lisa B. - We don't have the hot summer time weather like you do so I can just pull our hammock under our big birch tree and be in the shade any time I want. Now I just need to get my body into the hammock in the shade of the birch tree!

The Happy Whisk - Hooray for no snow this week! I know others in more hospitable (!) parts of the country think we're just plain weird for the weather we tolerate, but once the snow stops and real summer begins, we are just fine. Right? Right!

tpals - Let's face it, those of us who garden really NEED a bountiful harvest this year because we simply don't know if predictions of a food shortage this fall will come about . . . or not.

Cockeyed Jo - You said it, girl! :o}

linnellnickerson@gmail.com said...

Everything looks pretty happy in you garden. You've got the magic touch! Our weather has been warming up somewhat, but still a little chilly. Just can't believe it's coming onto the end of May and it's still cold!! ox

Michelle said...

Oh yes, I see LOTS of tiny peppermint leaves! I love the way you mix flowers and vegetables; not uncommon, I know, but not what happens here in my in-ground veggie plot. Here it is still too muddy to plant my seeds; but the starts (except basil, which I keep forgetting) are in and hopefully growing strong roots.

Mama Pea said...

linnellnickerson - Thank you! I'm happy to finally be able to get some things in. Yep, we've got a ways to go before it feels like our summer season is going to start. Down in the 40s at night but at least it's not freezing anymore. (Knock on wood!)

Michelle - Feel free to send some of your moisture this way. We are so very dry, dry, dry!

Michelle said...

We really don't have any to spare, it's just coming at odd times. Our "moisture year" begins in October; since then every month has been well below 'average' but January. They are predicting a very bad fire season for the Pacific NW because of that. :-(

Granny Sue said...

Such nice gardens! In the 70's I had raised beds but had so much trouble with weeds (and no help) that I gave them up. Thinking about doing it again though. And yes. use that hammock! You've earned it.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - I remember you mentioning that you hadn't had your usual "over winter" rainfall this past year. Gosh, weather patterns all over the country are changing, changing, changing! Hope you don't have a bad fire season. We're having warnings of that right now here in upper Minnesota. Ugh. Not a good feeling.

Granny Sue - I plant my raised beds so intensively that a weed hardly has the room to grow! The soil in them is good enough now that the crops don't seem to suffer being "crowded" so that's my solution to being over run with weeds. I hope you do get back into raised bed gardening. Gardening is good for us on so many levels!

wyomingheart said...

Curious Mama Pea, about your freezing the spinach last year. Did you tear or cut the leaves before freezing? Did you lay the leaves flat, and separated... just would love to keep our spinach without having to boil it down to freeze it. Thanks!

Sam I Am...... said...

Look at your beautiful garden!!! I love hearing about and seeing it all progress. I have tomatoes to transplant today and more seeds to plant. I feel behind and I am for this area but it's okay because it's a long growing season here just a bit hot though. So happy for you and that hammock looks good!

Kristina said...

Looks great! Here we are battling loads of rain again. So frustrating for us. My spearmint died. I'm trying to decide if I want to order seeds from Etsy or not. I don't like their price of shipping for just a packet of seeds.

wisps of words said...

Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!

Gonna' remember the hammock. And what you plan on. >,-)))) And keep you to it! >,-))))

Gentle hugs,
✨🌼✨🌼✨🌼✨

Judyk2310 said...

I'd love to send you some rain from Indiana!! This afternoon I'm hoping it's dry enough to mow grass. I've been mowing grass since early April and with all the rain it needs to be mowed twice a week but once is all I'm getting done. I've been eating lettuce and spinach out of my small garden. I have beans, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, lots of flower seeds are coming up and I saw yesterday where my strawberries are getting berries on them!! I garden in a fiberglass huge cow water tank and two horse feeders with some pots. I can't get down like I used to. Very exciting to be able to go out in the yard between showers now that we need to stay home.

Mama Pea said...

Sooooo frustrating! I've lost these replies to your comments twice now and don't know why. But one more time. I'll try sending this note as a test. Fingers crossed!

Mama Pea said...

Yay!! Okay, let's go:

wyomingheart - I've been thrilled to find freezing spinach works without blanching! I use baby to medium sized leaves, no big ones. They go straight from the garden to being stuffed into a quart sized freezer bag which is enough for the two of us. Really stuff the bag as full as reasonably possible because you know how spinach "cooks down." I don't even wash the spinach because I mulch to keep the rains from splattering dirt up onto the leaves. (Hasn't kilt us yet!) When using, I bring a small amount of water in a saucepan to a boil and then break apart the frozen lump and plop it into the pan, cover and it's done in short order. I don't see any reason why you couldn't use a gallon size bag for more servings. Sure hope this works for you!

Mama Pea said...

Sam I Am - You're in good gardening climate and I envy you the ability to grow things like luscious tomatoes! I'm sure with your heat, it's a challenge to keep it all watered enough, but it seems we all have to work around lots of dos and don'ts to raise our food!

Kristina - Yes, the price on shipping (for everything!) these days is discouraging. And have you noticed that though the price of seeds is much higher this year, the quantity you get is less? Grrrr! Hope your rain subsides to normal really soon!

wisps of words - You are my special (pesty -- ;o]) relaxation/take-it-easy fairy that I know will help me spend that time in the hammock this year!

Judyk2310 - We have a yard that is over due for the FIRST mowing and it's not because we've had too much rain. (Oh, let me list the reasons!) But I know you in your area have had way too much moisture so I sure hope we can even it out. Thanks for commenting!

Carolyn said...

Are you still wanting for rain? Please, for the love of all that is good on this earth, come get some of ours! My tomato and pepper plants that I put out a month ago haven't grown one centimeter. All this rain has stunted everything and I'm afraid that they won't survive this constant moisture. As such, you're garden is farther ahead then mine now....and much more tidy looking!

Look forward to getting back on the Blogosphere and reading what you all have been up to!

((Hugs))

Retired Knitter said...

You have the neatest looking gardens.

JustGail said...

Your gardens look great, and it's nice to find an active garden blog for the midwest. Yes, I can believe the hammock was not put up last year - it looks like lots of work to keep the gardens up! I'm paying the price for ignoring the gardens due to lack of time/energy for a couple of years.

In Iowa, we've gotten hit by a couple spells of cold damp or stormy weather since the start of May, still a few days of scattered storms to go. Hope you get a bit more rain soon...