Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Not Panicking . . . Quite Yet

 I have all but five of my twenty-six 4' x 8' raised beds planted.  The field garden and two other flat planting areas are still bare, but tilled up and ready when the weather cooperates.  And when I can get to them.
The only seeds that should already be in and that I'm feeling really anxious about are the shell peas (our favorite vegetable to have in the freezer for the winter months).  They like growing in cool weather and should be one of the first seeds to be put into the soil.  Nope.  Hasn't happened yet.  But Papa Pea helped me mark out the rows and put up the trellises in the field garden for them yesterday so as soon as I can, the pea seeds must go into the ground.
We also put up the trellises for the pickling cucumbers but they will definitely have to wait for warmer weather.  I grow a variety of cukes specifically for making pickles only every other year.  I get enough of a quantity of them to make a two-year supply of our dills and sweet pickles which works out well for me.
The weather has been crazy.  Still down into the 40s at night, but reaching the high 70s and close to 80° with lots of bright sunshine during the day.  How are my seeds supposed to germinate with these fluctuations in temperature?  
Plus, after all of our snow melt earlier this spring, we've not had  but a few drops of rain, and our area is currently under extreme fire danger alert.  Go figure.  If I'm not watering nearly every day with the hose, we're setting up the sprinkler system for the strawberries, blueberries or haskap berries.
I just went out to turn on the sprinkler a few minutes ago (6 a.m.) with a temp reading of 46° and without any sun yet it felt darn cold out there.
The beginning of the gardening season for me usually means everything needs to be planted at once.  But there's no way I can sensibly put in the warm weather crops such as beans, pumpkins, squash, peppers and the like when the soil still gets such a shock of cold every night.
I did give myself a good talking-to yesterday while weeding the old strawberry bed.  (Hey!  That's not fair.  I'm not even done planting everything and I have to work at weeding areas that are sprouting big, healthy, invasive weeds already!)
What did I say to myself?  Believe it or not, I've finally realized I can't do it all.  No question that I love gardening and each year think of new and different things I would do if I could somehow find the time to make it all happen in a perfect way.  You know, the way it would look and grow in my fantasy wished for world.  But for that to happen (sigh), I'd have to have a crew of twelve  full-time gardening helpers and another crew to help handle my other responsibilities each day.
No worries.  I'm through teetering on the edge of panic and have decided to cut back on the plans for all I'd like to create out there using every inch of fertile, could-be-so-productive and possibly even beautifully photo-shoot worthy area I'm so fortunate to have available.  Well.  I can't do everything so why feel bad about what I can't do and be more appreciative of what I do accomplish. 

Besides, there's always next year when I'll find a way to do it all.  (Snicker, snicker.)

Thursday, May 25, 2023

The Garden Today

Seems I do nothing each spring but grouse about how cool it's been and how far behind we are for the start of the gardening season.  But this year I feel totally justified because the weather has been really cool (38° this morning), and we are definitely behind this spring season.

For instance, here's a clump of our daffodils that are just now finally, almost, just about, ready to blossom.  I know, I know.  Everyone else's daffodils have been long gone for over a month.  Or two.

However, good ol' reliable asparagus has been doing its thing, and we've already had many servings from our patch.  It's going strong.  I shan't complain about that.

Also the chives, which are always the very first green to show, have been ready for preserving (my frozen stash for the winter) for a few days now.  So far, I've only worked up one of the four clumps but must do more soon as I noticed blossoms starting to form this morning when I took these pictures.  The horseradish in the center of the bed is coming on like gangbusters, too.

Our apples trees.  Oh, my.  Although we have our small wire enclosed orchard (foiled you, you pesky birds!) pruned, weeded and heavily mulched, compared to the below picture, you can see how far behind their growth is this season.

This shot is from this same day in a past year.  Oiy.

Garlic is looking good.  I grew w-a-a-a-y too much of it last year so cut down considerably for this year's crop.

Rows of spinach and a mixed variety of lettuces in a raised bed is finally poking through.  I'll have to thin the plants soon.  The carnations planted down the center of the bed are shivering.

This is the old (very old) strawberry patch ready for its last year.  No matter who (
Papa Pea) tries to convince me to leave it in for "just one more year," it's coming out this fall.  There is too much intensive work to keep two patches in good shape.

The new strawberries daughter and I planted last year consist of five double rows of plants instead of the three single rows I experimented with for the last several years.  Garden space is used more efficiently as the double row planting contains the same number of plants as the single row configuration.

Well, that's it for this first of the season garden report.  I planted a raised bed of slicing cucumbers and another of edible podded peas yesterday.  The cukes are under a cold frame (their own little greenhouse) as they will be for nearly the whole growing season.  They certainly would have caught chilblains and died last night with that ridiculous low temp we had if they hadn't been protected!

Friday, May 19, 2023


Finally trying to get a bit caught up on my blogging.  'Tis a struggle just now, and I know most of you can understand why there simply aren't enough hours in the day this time of year.
Here are some pictures from our trail camera.  The first of the deer was captured on April 26th when there was still plenty of snow 'round about.

We thought this looked a bit
like a twelve-legged deer.

And then, look at these pics taken on May 6th at 6:17 a.m.!  It's not often we see one of these big creatures on our property.

Is he/she looking to cross the driveway safely?

"Yup, all clear."

Off he/she goes.
This moose seemed small and wasn't looking the best after the long winter.  Perhaps a young'un from last year? 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Not Complaining, Just Explaining

No doubt about it, I've let myself become a bit of a grump for the past several weeks.  I have no real reason to succumb to such morosity (yes, I just made that word up) and sincerely apologize to any of you facing any real problems.  Which I am definitely not.
Although I do love our winter season with lots of snow, cozy down time spent inside in front of a crackling fire in the wood stove, when the month of April arrives and we're still receiving one heavy snowfall after another that requires hours spent clearing, shoveling, snowplowing . . . one does get a smidge bit frustrated wondering just when the ice and snow will recede and temperatures will rise up out of the 30s as a daytime high.
I'm trying to take it as a promising sign that in the last several days, snow has turned into rain so not much chance of our area facing the dreaded dry spring forest fire danger.  That's good.  However, the ground is currently so saturated that our wind storm of the last three days has brought a lot of damage to large trees and just about anything else that isn't anchored firmly in cement.
Grid power has been spotty with some surrounding areas out for longer periods than others.  The weather has been reminiscent of the "gales of November" . . . in April.
I had plans to do many outside tasks during the month of April.  Ones that I could accomplish before being able to concentrate on this year's garden.  Those plans have been blown away (literally) because of the continued snow, rain and uncomfortably low temperatures.
One would think I'd be happy to enjoy this unexpected time in my quilt room.  Or knitting on the couch.  Or reading.  Or blogging!  Or, hey, what about spring house cleaning?  (Scratch that last item.)
So that's my explanation . . . which probably does classify as complaining.  But, oh, what a few days of sunshine and air temperature that actually felt w-a-r-m would do to propel me out of my grouchy, lethargic mood and infuse my mind and body with energy.  As a wise lady (who a couple of months ago felt the same as I feel right now) told me yesterday . . . this will pass.  Not in the time line one would choose . . . but it will pass!