Friday, May 21, 2021

The Waiting Game

Darned if it hasn't been a rough start to our gardening season.  First we waited through a very cold spring when temperatures were just too cold to tempt either human bodies or vegetable transplants or even seeds to venture out into the garden.
Then we were lucky enough to have a week of weather when the night time temps managed to move away from the freezing point so I felt okay planting my onions and sugar snap peas. 
In order to keep these few things and the emerging garlic, chives and berry patches alive, I watered nearly every day because of extreme dryness that made us fearful of actual forest fire danger.
Thankfully, this past week has brought very welcome rainfall (hooray, hooray) which has done wonders toward bringing the leaves out on trees and greening up sad looking yards.
I got my red and green cabbage starts set out the day before the rains came.  Also my started salad greens (wasabina, scarlet frill, arugula, and mizuna mustard) were planted along with spinach and several varieties of lettuce seeds.
I started another raised bed of peppermint with twelve purchased plants.  The old bed looks as though half of it died over winter which makes me sad.
The haskap and blueberry patch is weeded and ready for its annual dose of peat moss.  We also ordered, received and have planted eight new blueberry bushes to fill in a couple of bare spots and extend the size of the patch a bit.
The strawberry rows are completely free of weeds and mulched for the season.  Even though it's early, I can't help but check for the first little blossoms to appear.
All of the fruit trees have received a circle of cardboard laid around their trunks and a heavy layer of mulch on top of that.
It's not that I haven't had things to do garden-wise, but now I'm having to wait for the soil to dry before I can do more.  Lots of transplants to be taken out of their now too small pots and planted where they can stretch out their cramped roots and start to really grow.
This afternoon after the rain stopped I went out with my trowel but found only wet, sticky mud in my test spots.
More rain is forecast through the coming weekend.
Bottom line is that it's only the 21st of May and old-time (and successful) gardeners up here claim they never plant anything until the first of June.
So controlling the gardening itch and keeping my knickers from getting in a twist seems the sensible way to go.  That shouldn't be hard, right?  H-e-l-l-l-p . . . .  


Leigh said...

They don't plant until the 1st of June (!) Wow! Sounds like you've done a lot in spite of the weather. You don't have a greenhouse, do you? Or do you have a good climate for one?

Rosalea said...

You have accomplished a lot MP, despite the weather!
The 24th of May is supposedly the last frost date here, and beans, corn, squash and other vine crops don't go in until after June 1. We have had early rain, but it has been dry for over a week now, and I am watering my seedling rows. (greens, beets, peas) I took a chance and have just put my tomato and pepper plants in the ground, planted deep with a good layer of leaf mulch, as it is hot and night temps are what day temps should be this time of year! My strawberries are blooming, as well as zillions of wild ones all around.
That gardening itch....

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

This is the weekend I rototill my vegetable garden (all one, as opposed to separate beds) and I hope to get most of it planted. I started some seeds inside, but too soon, so many of them are toppled over and not really viable to be planting. I'm looking forward to seeing how all of your beds proceed! Hope the weather cooperates for you. -Jenn

SmartAlex said...

It has been DRY here and HOT! In April we had only 2.5 inches. So far this month we've had barely an inch. The past two days temperatures have hovered around 90. I have continued to water everything every other day, even the seeded rows to get them going. I'm hoping we get back down into the 70s today so I can put out my remaining seedlings and keep them somewhat watered. Things are pretty far along here this year but it has been more work to keep them from frying

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - We talk and talk (and talk!) about our need for a greenhouse. Time and finances and where to put it are the main stumbling blocks. All of our growing areas (and built-up good soil) are out in the open where we frequently have high winds. Hubby says we could build a greenhouse so it was securely anchored but I'm afraid the covering would be blown to bits in the first season. Ideally a greenhouse would/should be built onto some part of our house structure that faces south. It's a planning work in progress!

Rosalea - I love hearing about your garden progress, weather, etc. I've been surprised to see oodles of wild strawberry blossoms all over our lawn area already this year. (When I refer to our "lawn" that just means the green weeds we keep mowed!)

Jenn - It's always a cwap shoot as to when to start the seedlings indoors, isn't it? We want them to be big and robust when set out (otherwise, why bother with the hassle of starting them indoors?) but then Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate (like this year) and they have to languish inside too long. Arrrgh.

SmartAlex - Good grief! If it ain't one thing, it's another. Your hot, dry weather is not (NOT!) a good thing for first of the season. Plus, giving the seeds and plants the "artificial" waterings, as opposed to rain, just isn't the same. Let alone the time and fuss involved with that. Hang in there. I know you'll do well as you have the knowledge and experience to coax your garden along.

Rosalea said...

There are more wild strawberries than usual this year here as well. The critters usually get them all, if and when they produce. Ditto on our "lawn" here! It is full of everything, and some sections we won't mow just to have the wild flowers attracting pollinators. We mow it down late in the year when everything dies off, as one has to keep the forest at bay! It would not take long for our clearing to be taken over, if we didn't keep it shorn!

Tim B. Inman said...

I am now officially an old gardener. Hopefully, I am becoming a wiser one. My father in law always said if you didn't have some things frosted off, you weren't planting early enough. My Dad always said if you planted early, you were just wasting your time. By observation, their green beans were always ready to pick at about the same time. My wife and I always chuckled about this. Wait. The plants will catch up - and the light controls their growth the most. There's lotsa time.

Greenhouse: I built a plastic covered poly tunnel and I love it. Cost me under $500 all together. I have 50 mph winds here all the time. It is now in its 4th year and good as new. I have a smaller version that is about 8 years out. Still has the same plastic. Build one. I did a 'Greenhouse Edition' blog a while back I can get you the link, or you can search it out on my blog. Mine is a no-heat design, but I have since put in a diesel heater that helps me extend for very little cost. You'd love one, and it can be deducted as a mental health expense! Cheers

Mama Pea said...

Rosalea - Our "lawn" is COVERED with dandelions and Papa Pea always wants them left so our honey bees can work them. I think I've finally convinced him that even though you mow every single one of them one day, the next day (the very next day!) their replacements pop right up!

Tim - I can attest to the fact that whatever you plant in the garden early just stubbornly sits there until the daylight reaches the right point for their growth and then, and only then, will they start to grow. If only we humans understood the laws of nature as well as the plants do! I'm going to show my husband your comment and "Greenhouse Edition" blog. After which there may be no stopping him to get going on ours. Thanks for sharing your expertise!

Nancy In Boise said...

I hear you with the crazy weather! I bought some strawberry starts online and I've had them under a grow light and they're doing great but it's been wacky weather as far as trying to get them outside. We were down the 30 is only a couple weeks ago at night. Finally got some heavy rain a couple of times and so everything is really green. I envy you your blueberries! We have very alkaline soil here and they don't do very well except in a pot. We have some lettuce and kale that has been doing well but I grew from some small starts. Hopefully we'll be planning our veggie garden this next weekend over Memorial day since we have 3 days off work. Last year are tomatoes and peppers really struggled with wacky weather as well and were pretty stunted. I'm thinking with the way the climate is changing that we're just going to need to start planting a little bit later than we used to. The good thing is if you plant when it's a little bit warmer they take off much faster. Last year we plan it a bit earlier and it was cool and wet and we thought we were going to lose a lot of the plants luckily we didn't. Good luck with your plantings!

Mama Pea said...

Nancy - I hear what you're saying loud and clear! Weather all over the country seems to be unaccountable. Ya just can't count on it being as it should be! I do feel very sorry for the folks just starting to garden (during this crazy time of economical instability and rising food prices) because they just can't go by the books as far as when to plant certain crops. :o(

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