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The Greening of the Garden

May 17, 2010

With spring in full swing and warm weather once again heading our way, K and I got back into the garden this weekend. The last couple of weeks had been absolutely bitter, with the nights getting below 30. I was really concerned with how our garden had fared.

With a last frost date in our area of May 24th, we had taken care not to plant anything in the garden yet that couldn’t make it through cool nights, but I still thought below 30F was pushing it.  Still, the spinach, peas, carrots, onions and leeks are all supposed to be planted as soon as the ground can be worked, which in our area is late March/early April.  Surely the weather then gets below 30, so I hoped it would be ok.

And it was!  Everything has come through with flying colors and the peas even are going gangbusters!

Peas are climbing our homemade trellises at an alarming rate.  They’re now almost a foot tall already.

The “renegade” lettuce from last year is nearly harvestable already.  Salad anyone?

“Renegade” Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce.  This lettuce is also being found randomly around the garden.  It seems to like hanging out with the leeks most of all.

Look at all the green baby strawberries we have! Our plants are doing much better this year than last.  Let’s hope the birds don’t get to them before we do.

The advice that says give the plants a year to mature (pick off all their flowers before they produce) is definitely sound.  I think they would have done better had we done that last year.  Oh well, you live, you learn.

Our heirloom spinach that was grown in the cold frame has already gone to seed, as seen here. I kept waiting for it to get bigger, but I keep forgetting that it is heirloom and won’t get as big as “conventional” lettuce. Oh well, I picked the leaves and have other spinach growing from seed throughout the garden. I wanted a ton this year, but so far am not seeing the results.

The garlic we planted last fall is looking thick and green. It’s so much bigger than the garlic we transplanted last Spring from Terri’s garden (and picked in August).  I can’t wait to see how this does.  We also keep finding random garlic around our plot. Apparently some bulbs moved around during the winter?  Weird.

The onions and leeks are solidly set. I quickly counted 60+ onions, so it looks like most of them made it past the initial planting.

Our four rows of carrots.  This is how much we had planted last season, and they lasted through mid winter for us! However, this time, we plan on thinning them more so we get larger carrots.  We’re not sure when the best time is to thin them, but we’ll give it a few more weeks.

So after checking out the veggies, K and I headed to Home Depot to rent the smallest rototiller ourselves to turn over the double plot we have.  Turning over 1000 square feet by hand is a huge pain the butt, and even though K did probably 400-500 of it himself, it looked mostly daunting.  The CDCG will do it for us, but not until almost mid-June, and we want to plant tomatoes and everything else next week, so the rototilling had to get done.

We found this baby and rented it for 4 hours from HD for $25.  And even doing it by machine, it was still hard work. I tilled about half a row myself before giving it up and K did the rest of it.  Even though it was hard, he still said it was so worth$25 to not have to do the whole thing by hand.

We also finally mowed under the winter rye that we planted as a cover crop last fall.  The rye shot up about a foot before K cut it down, providing “green manure” – adding organic matter which worms and organisms eat and turn into nutrients for the soil.

The big planting is next weekend!

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 18, 2010 1:11 pm

    I love your lettuce! I’ll enjoy some salads with you :-)

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