Hmmm...what's new and exciting? Well, we transitioned from winter to summer in 3 weeks for one. We've been getting highs in the upper 20's (80F+) for the past few days, so I'm trying to get into the garden in the mornings and evenings which, unfortunately, is also when the mosquitoes are out. I'm not a fan of mosquito spray, as is evidenced by the lack of an expiry date on the can - THAT'S how old it is, 'cause everything has an expiry date on it these days, doesn't it? The spray has come out a couple of times in the past week though as, in order to keep working into the evening, a little spritz on the arms & neck is a necessary evil. I don't mind wearing pants (and actually prefer that when I'm constantly kneeling on the mulch), but a long sleeve shirt in this heat is a no-go.
I'm a bit behind when it comes to transplanting, but by the end of this weekend I'll be more or less caught up. The cucumber, melons, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are all hardening off and will be in the ground by Sunday.
|Final stages of hardening off - don't mind the blur....it was a bit windy today|
Speaking of ornamentals, I've learned my lesson on that one - last year most of my annuals, including my beloved zinnias, ended up as rabbit chow. This time round, I've decided to grow them on the INSIDE of the chicken wire fencing, the benefit of which is two-fold. (1) The flower chomping bunnies will not be able to get at them and (2) the veg garden will be surrounded by pollinator attracting floriferous gorgeousness instead of the functional but admittedly hideous chicken wire.
|Zinnia seedlings next to the chicken wire fencing|
In other news, there will be no straw bales this year - it all came down to timing. When using straw bales, timing is critical especially when it comes to long season crops like melons and squash. Since I condition the bales organically, they take longer to get going than those conditioned with chemical fertilizers. In addition, the conditioning process requires daily attention, either in terms of fertilizing or watering. In a perfect world, the bales would have been ready to plant by now, but with our late spring and then going away at the beginning of May, I simply couldn't fit it in.
|Thai Rai Kaw & Jing Orange from 2016 -|
two varieties of squash that won't be grown this year
|Straw Bales - Staying in the shed this year|
I'll finish off with a surprise. You may recall I was doing a bit of an experiment this year on sowing onions, specifically with regards to timing. The main lot of onions was sown in early March, but I also sowed a few cells of Copra in both February and April. The surprise? They have been in the ground for only 3 weeks and you would be hard pressed to tell which is which:
|Look at the two rows going down the middle of the photo -|
the April sown seedlings are on the left, the February are on the right.
As for the March? They looked basically the same as these.