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.
That is interesting about the onions! Well, good! It sounds like your weather is similar to ours--not much spring. We'll be in the 90sF/32C+ this weekend! Even Minneapolis, which is pretty far north will be into the mid 90s. So, I'm doing the same thing--gardening in the morning and late evening. Don't work too hard, and do drink plenty of fluids!ReplyDelete
Thanks Beth - the water is a-flowin' :) I'm rather unimpressed with this jump to summer. You know me - I'm rather a weather wimp, be it too hot or too cold. When it comes to working outside, you can't beat those moderate spring and fall temps.Delete
After the end of winter being so cold here we more or less jumped straight into summer, we've had some gorgeous weather in May but it does make it rather warm to do anything outdoors during the afternoon. It's cooled down a bit though now and we had quite a bit of rain yesterday which I'm sure the plants will be thankful for. It will be interesting to see how your melons do, which varieties are you trying?ReplyDelete
I'm really looking forward to a bit of a cool, down - or even a cloudy day! I find it's the sun that really gets me - I quite enjoy working in the shade, but once that blazing sun hits, I melt. I'm growing 3 short season melon varieties: Hales Best 45, Minnesota Midget and Melemon. I'll be getting them into the ground tomorrow and I'm sure at least they will enjoy the heat (once they settle in, that is!)Delete
I hate mosquitoes too but they tend to think of me as a fast food outlet. Things just move so quickly at this tome of ear that fitting everything in is a challenge. Good Luck with the melons.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sue - you are so right, and this year it has seemed doubly difficult since the warm weather pushed the fast forward button on so many plants (and weeds!).Delete
Your seedlings are looking so healthy and happy, especially the eggplants and peppers considering how slow growing they are. We're mainly growing melons as well, although I might grow cushaw winter squash in the corn patch.ReplyDelete
Thanks Phuong - I'm getting eggplant and peppers into the ground tomorrow. Won't be the best day for transplanting as it's supposed to hit 31C (89F), but they need to get into the ground.Delete
Hi Margaret, Mosquitoes and heat sometimes take the pleasure out of gardening but us dedicated ones plod on! Sounds like you will be reaping a wonderful harvest and a great idea to put the flowers inside the fence both for pollinating and keeping them from the bunnies. We have bunnies in this community but so far they have not made it into my yard! NancyReplyDelete
So true Nancy - we do plod on! I can't wait for the floral display, if my plantings make it through this torrid heat, that is - I have the watering can on standby :) Fingers crossed the rabbits don't find your garden!Delete
Biting bugs, yech! Mosquitos aren't such a big problem here but the no-see-ums love me and the best solution I've found is "bugsaway" clothing. I used to use Picaridin bug repellent but all it takes is forgetting to use it one time and I end up with super itchy bites and the no-see-ums get inside my clothing and even my undies. Bleah! Awful!ReplyDelete
Good luck with your bunny battles. Those turned out to be one of the easier pests to deal with, all it took was enough hardware cloth to surround the garden. And I have to give credit to the bobcats that hung out in the neighborhood for a while!
Well, I had to look that one up - I had never heard of no-see-ums...they sound even worse than mosquitoes. A couple of years ago I heard about chiggers for the first time from a friend living down in Georgia. Well, wouldn't you know that when I was in Texas, I had my first experience with them...the itch lasted over 2 weeks!Delete
Hurray for bobcats and, in our case, coyotes. We are actually rather lucky when it comes to the rabbits - our population is rather lazy and they don't bother digging or expending any extra effort to get into the fenced areas. So long as any gaps are plugged up, the veg beds stay safe. Its just too bad that I can't fence my entire garden!
I also don't like mosquito spray, though the mosquitoes seem to think my blood is especially tasty. Good luck with your melons - don't they need a really long growing season?ReplyDelete
I'm growing three short season varieties - we'll see how well they get on but I have a good feeling as this summer is supposed to be a hot one.Delete