More and more is happening in the garden space this week. We’ve had consistently warm days and not-too-cool nights. We had a great heavy rain from a spring storm which made up for the 10 days with no rain. All that means perfect growing conditions for the garden. The peas have started to bloom. The favas have tiny little pods on them, but the plants are a little yellow and aren’t looking very happy (too warm? not enough water? normal?). Lettuces are growing, and the cut-and-come-again patch seems to never end. We are eating salads nearly everyday. But, speaking of salads, the spinach has decided it is too warm. All the leaves started to point up and the plants are ready to bolt any moment. I think I am going to pull them all out and plant beans there this week. We have so enjoyed the spinach patch – in salads, mostly, but I made a risotto with spinach, tomatoes, and sausage the other day that was good (though, of course, 3 out of 4 children boycotted it).
I’ve had my first ever radish crop failure! How does that happen, you might wonder? Aren’t radishes the easiest things possible to grow? They should be. But, the poor radishes were at their very tenderest when the last frost knocked them back. Then, it got quite warm and those that made it through the frost just got woody. Maybe it was the variety (Easter Egg – which can be very pretty, but can tend towards the woody). Anyway, I composted all that remained.
The tomatoes seem to be growing and are putting out a few flowers. I mulched them with straw to keep down the weeds. I need to stake them (really soon!). Potatoes are all up and growing rapidly. A friend looked at our potato patch this past weekend and said, “Now that’s some food.” That’s what I think too, when I see that patch. Those potatoes will (hopefully) feed us through the fall and winter. I am looking forward to new potatoes, and I know the children always like everything I make with them.
I put a wheelbarrow load of compost in the garden, then got some okra planted (2 varieties: Clemson Spineless and Burgundy). Okra is a favorite in our house, so I hope they do well.
I did something different with the cucumbers, winter squash, and melons. Instead of planting them in mounds, like last year, I planted out seedlings I’d grown in the farm greenhouse. I planted them in an alternating pattern in the same area as the okra. I hope they will cover the ground well and have enough room. We’ll see if it works out any better than the mound system (which was fine, too). I mulched between the plants with straw. And, the cucumbers (slicing and pickling), I planted with the peas, hoping they can also climb the trellis and will be thriving when the peas are dying. I put in the cucumbers randomly with the peas wherever there was a break in the peas (i.e. where a few plants did not come up) and at each end of the trellis.
I still want to plant a few cantaloupes, but I am not sure I have any more room. Hythe is a little indignant that I did not plant his beloved pumpkins or corn. But, I just couldn’t justify planting crops that take up so much room with little return food-wise per area. I probably need to make a little space next year for him to plant what he wants. Maybe a new garden space.
Finally, my peonies have large buds that the ants are working on. So exciting!