Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Frenzy of Action on the Garden Scene

I like things like rhubarb and strawberries that come up every year. I don't have to feel guilty for not getting out there and getting things planted. This year, with our lows in the 40's and highs in the 60's for the past 3 weeks, growth is insane.

The rhubarb is over a foot tall already!
Last year at this time the rhubarb was still under snow probably, or just peeking the first shoots out of the ground. It is ready to be picked right now, and I haven't even used up all of the rhubarb in my freezer from last year (Guess what I'll be making the next couple weeks? Rhubarb crisp, rhubarb get the idea...)

Strawberries blooming...with horsetails messing up my already once-weeded berry bed
Last year at this time I threw some strawberries that were being choked out by weeds in a flowerbed into this raised bed in hopes of saving them. Right now they are blooming madly and growing despite all the horsetails that threaten to overwhelm them.

This time of year is crazy busy with all the various things I am part of ending for the summer. Normally I'm not even considering planting till the end of May (last year I planted on May 25th and I thought that was exceptionally early). This year I'm feeling like I am planting 3 weeks late. I keep waiting for the frost or the snow--the typical nutty weather we get this time of year. It has not materialized so I was finally home for a day with no plans so I was determined to get the greenhouse and garden planted today.

A quick run to Wagon Wheel got all of my seeds and most of my starts: zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower. They were light on tomato plants so I ran up the Sterling Highway to Baycrest Greenhouse and was pleased with their selection and also the health of their tomato plants. 

Supplies to plant
Back home I gathered my supplies: rake, hoe, fertilizer, buckets to throw weeds into, my roughed out garden map, gardening gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, baseball cap and a waterbottle for hydration. The hose got hooked up and covers for the broccoli and cauliflower plants pulled out of storage.

Laying out the plants in the greenhouse
In the greenhouse I laid out my plants. They look like they have too much space now but they will be filling out soon enough. The lettuce was planted 3 weeks ago and is coming along nicely, though in need of weeding. However, most of the weeds that grow with the lettuce can be thrown into the salad too (chickweed, goatsbeard, chamomile) so I'm not too worried about pulling them out of there too soon.

Outside I am planting my usual mix:  heavy on potatoes, onions, carrots and kale. This year I'm back to some broccoli and cauliflower and zucchini outside, all of which I avoided last year due to extensive summer travel. Spinach and lettuce fills in the spaces and if something doesn't come up I'll sow those in the bare spots. The one new thing this year is beets. Last year I discovered both my kids love beets and beg for them, so I'll see how they do in my garden.

Visiting moose
As I was busy planting I heard a crunch-crunch and looked up to see a moose right outside the garden's moose fence. He wandered on by, and I was grateful for the fence to keep him out. (As have been sitting here writing this blog post, another moose, a younger one, started eating my roses so I had to run out a couple times and shoo him away.)

Garden all planted!
A day's worth of work and the garden is planted. Now I have to stay on duty for the summer to water and weed and coddle my plants along! But so worth a few hours of work and $70 of seeds and plants for the year-round bounty that goes into our freezer or cool storage!


cherishjord said...

I am insanely jealous of your garden!!! And your moose. ;-)

Michelle Waclawski said...

My garden is such a humble little thing compared to many gardens around here.... ( :

And the moose traffic, well, that's been up lately. The little ones are being born right around now so they're hanging closer to civilization!