Garden snapshot, May 2014

The garden snapshot is back! I’ve been trying to post these photos for about a month, so I hope you’ve got a while to read this…

A late spring freeze got all my fruit this year. I covered all the trees, but it wasn’t enough. Of course, immediately afterward I read a tip about stringing Christmas lights on small trees to provide extra warmth. I have to try that next time! I took these photos before the fruit fell off. T_T

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I got a ton of stuff done in the garden after it warmed up a bit. Here’s what it looked like earlier this month.

20140421-174410.jpg At this point I had planted cucumbers, zucchini, corn, peas, lentils, onions, leeks, thyme, dill, cilantro, lettuce, kale, arugula, spinach, bok choy, squash, pumpkins, watermelon, and cantaloupe.

Here were all the little bok choy plants. They have since bolted prematurely, so I won’t be getting any bok Choy this year.

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Here is the garlic then.
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And now. It’s looking great this year, although I didn’t plant nearly as much of it.

20140524-104037-38437169.jpg Here are the strawberries a few weeks ago, which I just started picking last week.

20140524-104204-38524458.jpg This zucchini plant had just come up.

20140524-105045-39045662.jpg And here they are now. They seem to be off to a slow start this year.

20140524-104450-38690702.jpg Check out the corn in perfect little squares!

20140524-105733-39453865.jpg This year I’m using a garden stamp to plant my seeds. It’s such a simple yet brilliant tool for square foot gardening! And the best part is that I don’t have to bring a measuring tape to the garden any more. When we installed the edging I placed the stakes every two feet and stapled the plastic pathways every foot. Between that and the garden stamp my plants are perfectly spaced, which makes me so happy. And the perfect corn is a little taller now.

20140524-110208-39728540.jpg These peas had just sprouted.

20140524-110330-39810486.jpg Last week I made a pea trellis. We already had the bamboo poles, so I just attached some pea netting. I really like the way it turned out.

20140524-110451-39891877.jpg Right behind the peas are the lentils I decided to try. Neither of the seed companies I ordered from carried lentils, so I just got some from the bulk section at Earth Fare. Nearly all of the French lentils germinated, but only a few of the pink ones did. I’m very interested to see if they produce well. They’re pretty little plants.

20140524-111034-40234758.jpg Right beside those are the parsnips.

20140524-111140-40300186.jpg And green onions.

20140524-111312-40392216.jpg I decided to try a new trellis system for the tomatoes this year. Most of the varieties I grow are indeterminate, and the regular tomato cages weren’t cutting it (although I think they’ll be perfect for the peppers and eggplant). We had great success with using cattle panel as a giant trellis archway last year, so we bought a few more panels and cut them to size for the tomatoes. I think they’ll work great.

20140524-112055-40855846.jpg I just finished planting the peppers and eggplant last week. I’m trying Anaheim peppers this year (poblanos were too spicy!) and several kinds of eggplant, which look better than ever.

20140524-112242-40962950.jpg This is cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli right after I transplanted them.

20140524-112929-41369714.jpg And yesterday, from a different angle.

20140524-113053-41453238.jpg The mesclun greens are finally big enough to be picked. I’ve been waiting forever for salad!

20140524-113254-41574916.jpg These are the beans from earlier. I’m trying more drying kinds this year. I’ve had great luck with growing beans, but a surplus of green beans which Matt isn’t that fond of.

20140524-113522-41722891.jpg They grow fast! Fava beans, chickpeas, and edamame are there too.

20140524-113614-41774668.jpg The squash and pumpkins are just getting started. This bed really needs mulching before the weeds take over…

20140524-113711-41831750.jpg Last but not least, here are the potatoes.

20140524-113750-41870028.jpg This photo was taken just two weeks later. I can’t believe how fast they’re growing! It’s going to be a good year for potatoes.

20140524-113946-41986228.jpg And very last, sweet potatoes.

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Visitor in the garden

20131029-225303.jpg I was mulching my winter vegetable bed with some straw this afternoon when who came slithering out of the straw bale but this adorable little snake! I’ve seen one in my straw before, but didn’t get to take a picture that time. I think it’s a Dekay’s brownsnake, which doesn’t grow more than a foot long. After his photo shoot I put him back under the bale of straw, nice and cozy…

Snow Days

So this morning it snowed some again and then I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen. (Anyone noticing a trend?) It also reminded me that I didn’t post the pictures of the snow from two weeks ago (which finally melted this week!).

This is a dog who does not normally like to play in the yard. I’ve never seen her so excited to go outside! It was hard to get a good picture since she was busy running laps out there.

20130131-224046.jpgGarlic isn’t scared of a little snow. Nor was it phased by being encased in ice with the freezing rain last week.

20130131-224444.jpgOur backyard looked like the Family Circus after Story was done playing in it.

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Although I did spend a good part of today in the kitchen, not all of it was cooking. Because the gardening season has officially begun! I don’t exactly have a potting bench or anything, so I use the kitchen counter as my planting station. Today I sowed the first set of onion seeds (yellow, red, and green bunching). I haven’t had good luck with onions yet, but I’ve also always direct sown them. Hopefully starting them inside will work out better this year.

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Do you have any onion-growing tips…?