Garden On!

29 May

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Post winter clean up of community garden plot. Chard and Kale in the back growing well post removal of the winter cold frame tunnel. Planted lettuce under the floating row covers.

Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow! Everything is planted and ready to go. My garden crew and I spent the past month and a half clearing out the community garden plot and patio pots, weeding and planning what to plant.  (Garden crew aka my husband Patrick and son, Calvin, age 9).

The swiss chard and kale planted in the Fall were doing great under the low tunnel cold frame so we pulled off the plastic and set them free. The strawberries planted the year before last were back and doing well.  So was my thyme.  Then we planted lettuce and sorrel seeds under the cucumber and squash trellises, thus providing shade once the vines start their trek upward.

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Greenhouse with the parsley that had been over wintered, the tomato seedlings from the nursery that were biding their time until planting and my newly planted basil and cilantro seeds in pots.

Next came beets and onions and a few seeds to begin replanting the swiss chard and kale. That was it for the “cold”weather planting.  So I started planting a few things in the greenhouse including basil seeds and cilantro seeds. I also kept back a few herb pots that I had over wintered until I felt they were ready to leave the protection of the green house.

Then I began my yearly period of angst trying to predict the weather and our last frost.   Every year, I know better but can’t help myself. I know that mother nature has her own rhythm.  Then of course global warning throws in a few curves just to remind us that we cannot control mother nature. But after a long winter, I just so want to plant my “warm” weather plants:  tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers and squash. I know that to do it too early will result in stunted growth and vulnerability to disease at best,  and maybe even premature death of the plant. But to wait too late could mean the plants won’t have enough time to root and get settled before the wicked summer heat settles in. So I need to work with the predicted last frost dates, my intuition and chance and hope for the best.

Calvin taking a nap at the garden nursery....

Calvin taking a nap at the garden nursery….

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Community Garden Plot

So this year I split the difference and planted tomatoes at home in my patio garden early (and ended up covering them with row covers and bedsheets a few nights of a cold snap) and waited to plant in my community garden plot.  The lettuce and sorrel were already growing strong. But eventually I could no longer wait to plant my warm weather crops so went ahead and planted my tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and squash in the community garden plot.

At the same time, I also added the peppers, cucumbers and squash to my patio container garden.  Okay, I guess I got a little ahead of myself, perhaps, and had to run out (well, Patrick did for me :)) and cover it all ever so tenderly with row covers and plastic bags to survive the freak cold snap two nights, but hey, it was worth it. Everything was planted just before a major rain storm period started and YES all was good.

Patio Container Garden

Patio Container Garden

I know from experience that planting on a gray day before a period of rain is golden.  It gives the plants a great head start. Then a few days of rain and next thing you know, the plants are well rooted and seem to double their size overnight. So all is well in garden land. We have been harvesting the lettuce and enjoying fresh salads each night. And this is just the beginning of the growing season. Garden on!

Lettuce in community garden plot

Lettuce in community garden plot

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Herbs in patio container garden

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Lettuce, basil and lavender in patio container garden

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Strawberries in patio container garden

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Swiss chard and kale that had over wintered in the tunnel cold frame, plus beets and onions that I planted this spring.

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Harvested lettuce from community garden plot.

4 Responses to “Garden On!”

  1. nancy June 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    green, green, green, full of vigor

    • Colette Rausch July 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

      Speaking of greens. With so many greens (kale, chard, parsley), we are doing green smoothies every day. Love greens.

  2. nancy June 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    I grew strawberries months ago, a roommate of me told me that never touch the strawberries before they are ripe, otherwise they will drop, I don’t know whether it’s true or not,because i won’t try in case they will drop!

    • Colette Rausch July 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

      I haven’t heard that before. Wonder if it is true? Went to the garden today and strawberries are still growing.

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