Saturday, May 18, 2019

May Progress

The tomatoes and eggplants are on their last weekend of intensive baby-sitting.
The spare tomatoes have been transplanted to gallon pots.  The plants that are going in the bed tomorrow are laying on their sides so the growing tips will turn up and I can plant them horizontally to get a better root system.

My broccoli and cauliflower are looking pretty good.  Especially when I compare them to the transplants available in the greenhouses.

I study them each day for the first signs of buds

The lettuce transplants that I half heartedly stuck in the ground are doing well

The potted lettuce transplants are ready to plant
The flat on the right that is taller spent two weeks under grow lights in the basement.  It did give them more growth, but they are not as stocky and strong as the outdoor plants.

Both plantings of all four pea varieties came in well.
Last year I had two kinds that were very sluggish.  One sluggish variety was the Penelope peas shown above.  This year they are thriving.  They turned out fine last year despite their sparse start so I have high hopes for these rows.
Other happening that are not photo-worthy:  the potatoes I planted last weekend are just beginning to poke through the soil and the carrots are beginning to germinate.

The tomato and sweet corn beds have been amended and prepared.  I am trying to warm the soil with polycarbonate greenhouse panels before I plant the corn.  I dug the tomato ladders and cucumber trellises out of storage and brought them up to the garden.

The catnip and spearmint have been re-potted.  If I don't dig them up, amend the soil and replant the main growing tips the whole pot will sit and sulk until I do.  For supposedly invasive, hard to control plants they are pretty docile and a bit finicky when potted.  I have to keep a wire cloche on the catnip or stray cats will come in and destroy it in the night.

Ninety percent of the annuals have been purchased.  Two flats of marigolds, a flat and a half of Sunpatiens, half a flat of begonias and some portulaca.  I keep the frost cover handy to place over them on cold nights or very sunny days when they could sunburn.  The floating row cover allows about 85% of the sun to come through which is similar to the greenhouse conditions they've been grown in.  If you have the time and ability to harden off greenhouse plants it can't hurt. Today I purchased the potting soil and pots I'll need this year and now I have a lot of planting to do.  When I plant annuals into the mulched landscape I put them in large fiber pots with good potting mix and they do much better than the ones that are planted directly into the native soil.

Daffodils are on their way out

The south walkway construction is done.  It was so wet and mucky when Tim was laying this out that when he placed the last railroad tie across the end into the area he had dug out, it floated in the water that had back-filled.  Yes, floated.  He had to stand on it to pin it down.  Yucky  Mucky.  But I'm really enjoying my new walkway and use it daily.

This ^ was the working conditions the days the walkway went in.
This is also why we are redesigning and landscaping the backyard.  It's an unmowable swamp that requires french drains and gravel.

The patio where the walkway pavers were has been dug out.  The sand and gravel mix went to extend a driveway back into the woods

We will replace the RR ties with newer more solid ties and fill the bed with topsoil dug up from other areas of (de)construction.  The top soil will be mixed with compost and I'll have all year to condition it and de-weed it to be ready to use next year.

Phase two of lawn re-construction and re-landscaping involves placing pavers out into the lawn.  
The second layer RR tie will be cut back and the ground beyond leveled.
The landscape bed to the left will be reshaped.

The garden looks pretty wide open today but there is a lot going on.  It's May and EVERYTHING needs to be done.  This year May has been wet and gloomy.  In addition to recording rainfall on my calendar, I've also begun recording sunny days because they have been so rare.  We've had four sunny days this month, and today is the 18th!

Tomorrow's To Do List:

Seed Cucumbers
Transplant Tomatoes
Begin potting Sunpatiens and begonias

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