Sunday, May 14, 2017

Another Glorious Day

Our weather has been cool to start in the morning, warming up to shirt sleeves mid-day, and then back to cool 'round about 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  In short, perfect for working in the garden.  The very best part?  NO BUGS, yet!

I've got five cold frames filled.  (One in the picture above is still empty.)  Two hold broccoli and cauliflower I've planted out early.  They wouldn't need the cold frames except for the cold nights.  I don't think the plants would actually be hurt because the temp hasn't gone down to freezing, but I don't want to stress them either while they're so small and tender.

Yesterday I planted a bed (the seeds) of slicing cukes.  Those want to be kept as toasty as possible so I only crack the cold frames open enough during the day to introduce a little circulation of fresh air.  Then I cross my fingers that the soil doesn't cool down too much over night.

My bed of salad greens has sprouted and probably won't need the cold frame over it for much longer.

A good friend gifted me with many tomato plants (Big Boy and Brandywine) and several pepper plants (same ones as I've got started on my seedling rack -- California Wonder) but I don't have a cold frame or makeshift greenhouse, row cover, hoop house or whatever big enough for the tomatoes so I potted them (and the pepper plants) and have the pots set on the soil of a raised bed with a cold frame over them.  Where I'll put them when they grow big and it's warm enough to plant them in the ground, I don't know yet.  Will have to figure that out.  I've never any success growing full-size tomatoes because they need some kind of extra protection for the warmth they require.

I have about half the blueberry patch weeded and got a start on the strawberries today.  We're in need of rain and the soil in the strawberries where I'm trying to dig out weeds is like cement.  If we get the rain predicted over night, that should help.

We were planning on mowing the lawn for the first time tomorrow, but now realize it may be too wet if the rain materializes.  We really do need the rain as the fire danger is listed as High right now.

Our asparagus is coming along, just not fast enough for our taste buds that are all set for it.  The rhubarb, of course, is shooting right up.  I finally found a wonderful rhubarb cake recipe last year, and I fear as soon as the rhubarb is ready, I may break our rule of trying to avoid desserts!

I'm still working at getting all the quack grass out of the as-of-yet unplanted raised beds . . . and I think I may be gaining on it.

I was feeling pretty cocky yesterday thinking I was ahead of the game this year . . . until I checked my records and found I had all my potatoes and peas planted by May 10th last year.  I never should have checked.

Not a very exciting post, I realize, but good as record keeping for me.

Hope the weather in your part of the world is cooperating and your gardening season is starting out really well.


coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I have questions about your cold frames. Is that plastic? How do you attach them to the raised bed frames? Do you ventilate during the day? I love the neat orderly look of your raised beds. -Jenn

Vera said...

Hope it rains for you....we could do with some rain here as well! Rain clouds are about but they tend to drop their loads on the hills beside us and have nothing left to give us by the time they get overhead!

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - The wood framing of the cold frames is covered with greenhouse-type plastic. They're tied onto the wooden sides of the raised beds. Even as much as we try to secure them, they have been blown off (ties snapped by high winds). I definitely have to ventilate them during the day or they will quickly over-heat and cook the little plants inside. I have four openings that are held by arms on the sides: Just cracked about 2", one-fourth of the way open, half open and all the way open which is used when the day is very warm and/or I want to capture rain in on the soil.

Thanks you for your compliments . . . and questions!

Mama Pea said...

Vera - No rain over night! Day is kinda gray though so we may still get it. Hope so.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Fantastic post! I am not so ahead of my game but plan on getting close to it this week. This weekend coming is our green light to plant so I want to make sure I have everything (or mostly everything) I need. We are due rain tomorrow for the whole day so fingers crossed. I hate when my soil turns to cement.

Athanasia said...

Yes, your garden arrangement is very orderly.

We are predicted thunderstorms today through Thursday if the weatherman could possibly correct. The sun is shining. We don't need the rain that bad, some of our fields still have standing water in the low spots and our creek is up to the brim. But better rain than no rain.

We're having a cooler than normal spring so a lot of the plants are still in the greenhouse. Peas were planted a couple weeks ago since they don't care about the air temperature.

gld said...

I like the record keeping posts. It sort of shows us in very real terms the differences in our climates (and sometimes our degree of energy!) Mine is on the low end most times.

Kev Alviti said...

Things are moving along here as well, I'm running out of space already though! Each year I say I'm going to put in asparagus and each year I don't get round to it!

Susan said...

It's so green! Our weather has been wet and raw, but Wednesday is supposed to be 80! It's crazy!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

You're still ahead of the game in my book. Don't stress over the date in your journal from last season, just plow ahead.

When residing up in Marquette, Michigan we would always have a day of snow and cold hit us in the beginning of June, do y'all get a June snow/cold there? I pray not because of all the work you've done.

Rhubarb that sounds really good, never had rhubarb cake before. We always make rhubarb and strawberry pies.


Mama Pea said...

MrsDM - I said I wasn't going to plant my potatoes and shell peas in the field garden until we got rain . . . and it's been teasing us for two days now . . . but nuthin' happening! Darn.

I will get more seeds in the raised beds today though so I think I'm still making progress. Hope you do, too!

Mama Pea said...

Athanasia - Oh, how I wish my peas were planted! We heard distant thunder yesterday, but all the moisture stayed distant! Our spring is cooler than normal, too, which makes me hold off on putting out any more of my seedlings. :o( But I know one of these days it will magically be SUMMER! and all will be well.

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - And isn't it amazing that we can all grow successful gardens under such very different conditions!

Yours is on the low end? What, the temperature or energy level? ;o)

Mama Pea said...

Kev - I know, the initially prepping and planting of asparagus seems like such a chore! We put it off way too long, but now we're so happy we did it two years ago. Now it's your turn. Do it, Kev!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - You have those wild fluctuations in the temp that would drive me (all the more) crazy. Maybe just continued cold isn't so bad!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - I can't remember having actual snow in June but I do remember some whole months of June that were cold, cold, cold and we thought we were entering a new Ice Age! I'm hoping that's not gonna happen this year.

Athanasia said...

We just direct seed peas. Do you put out as seedlings? We usually plant beans in the same spot when the peas are done...there's just enough time to get both harvested. We do earlier beans elsewhere too.

Athanasia said...

Oh, we're zone 4B, you must be 3A? 3B?

Mama Pea said...

Athanasia - I direct seed peas, too. Last year I had them in the ground on May 10th but our weather has not been cooperating this year so they'll be a little later. My beans can usually be direct seeded the first week of June.

We're straight Zone 4 although sometimes it feels more like Zone -1!!

Anonymous said...

Could you please tell what your cold frames are made of? Hubby said he would make me some. Love your header.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Sue - I wrote a post several years ago regarding the construction of our cold frames which might give you the info you want. Go over to my right hand side bar, scroll way down to the Search box and enter "cold frame construction" and it should take you to that post.

The plastic we use over the wooden framing is a greenhouse type material that holds up well and lets the good rays of the sun in.

Thanks for the compliment on my new header collage . . . done by my talented daughter. Her photos, too.

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :))

Aaaaahhh...feet up, rain pouring, boyfriend sleeping. So I can read my friends' blogs with pleasure and relaxation! :) I love your new background photo! You know what's funny, as soon as I read your phrase "no bugs" flew right past my nose. We have some fruit flies in the house grrr...hate those things! But the skeeters are definitely here to stay for the next 6 months too!

I love how your cold frames look. The other day when I was driving to the hardware store, I saw some old windows at someone's garbage bin and I was tempted to go garbage picking...but I had a car full of dogs...but I notice people throw these things out more often than I thought because I saw another window the other day, though it was broken. I'll have to go hunting before August to see what I can find!

The rain is making our grass shoot up really quickly...we'll have to get the lawnmower out soon too!