End of May Update

 As is always the case at this time of year, things have been busy in the garden.  Our first frost date is on May 10th, so the two weeks before and after always see a flurry of activity with lots of transplanting, seeding and, of course, weeding.

Last week, however, we ran into a bit of a glitch when we had a string of truly horrible weather that was cold, wet and windy.  One day in particular really did a number on newly transplanted seedlings.  It started out a bit chilly, at 11C/52F, but then the weather kept getting colder as the day progressed, a rare occurrence.  By early afternoon, we were sitting at 1C/34F which is unheard of for this late in May.  Unfortunately, I had put the cucumbers in the ground only a couple of days earlier.  They survived but are definitely worse for wear.  We'll have to wait and see if there is any lasting impact.

Cucumbers took a beating during the recent frigid/windy weather

The basil (which I had transplanted a week or so earlier in the soon-to-be tomato bed) fared a lot worse.  Many of the seedlings were completely fried.  I pulled all of those that had no hope of recovering and left those that still looked like they stood a chance.  I also direct seeded the resulting empty spots.  I've actually never direct seeded basil before so this will be a nice test to see how well it does.  Thankfully, the tomatoes had not yet been transplanted, so they spent a few days indoors.

The tomato plants were safe and sound inside
while 'the weather outside was frightful' 😜

So today, I thought I would do a quick tour of the 7 beds that are being used this year for veg.  As I mentioned in a previous post, this summer I'm working on replacing the beds in the side garden with 12 new raised beds so I've pared the vegetable garden down to the few available beds in the other areas of the garden.

Bed #1

Tomato & Basil Bed

This is the only bed in the main garden area (all the others are on the hilltop) and it will house the basil and tomatoes.  It's currently covered with Agribon, more to keep the rabbits out than anything else.  Once the tomatoes are planted, I'll be putting a barrier around the perimeter.

Bed #2

Garlic Bed

The garlic bed just received it's 2nd feeding of fish emulsion and it's looking amazing with nice thick stalks.

Bed #3

Onion & Shallot Bed

The onion bed also houses the shallots (at the far end).  The onion seedlings were planted later than usual this year, but they should start to bulk up soon.

Bed #4

Broccoli & Carrot Bed

I'm growing 6 broccoli plants this year, including a new-to-me variety from Baker Creek called "Purple Peacock" which, apparently, has prolific side-shoots (my favourite part of the broccoli harvest!).  At the bottom of the bed, I'll be squeezing in a few rows of carrots.

Bed #5

Potato Bed

The potato's have just barely emerged from the bed....

Newly Emerging Potato Plant

.....and so has something else

A mystery critter hole that won't go away

I'm not sure what this is, but I've filled in the hole a few times & whatever it is keeps coming back.  I'll be setting up the sonic device tomorrow - it seemed to help when I had a similar issue a few years ago.

Bed #6

Cucumber and Bean Bed

My original plan for this bed was to grow cucumbers and squash/melons on one side and beans on the other.  I ended up deciding to forgo the squash/melons as the cucumber beetle invasion last year is still front of mind.

I couldn't go without cucumbers, though.  I'm covering the plants with netting which will be removed only when it's absolutely necessary in the hopes that, by that time, the beetles have found somewhere else to set up camp.  I also direct seeded a few more cucumbers on the other side of the bed, just in case the recent blast of cold has stunted the existing plants.

Covering the cucumbers for now, in an attempt to avoid a repeat
of last years cucumber beetle invasion

Bed #7

Lettuce and Brassica Bed

The last bed is filled with lettuce, kale, kohlrabi and heading cabbage.  I've had seeds for heading cabbage for a while but this is the first time it's made it onto the grow list, so I'm quite excited.  Even though I'm not growing anywhere near as much as usual that doesn't mean I can't try something new 😊


  1. We're always at the mercy of the weather, sometimes it plays nice and sometimes it doesn't, always a guessing game. We got such a lot of rain in May, it never let up, and it was very chilly too. We're just encountering some good weather now with our hottest day of the year yesterday so I'm hoping it's on the change now and that we see some nice summer days for some time to come. That garlic looks fantastic.

    1. Same here - our weather has finally turned and I'm hopeful that our bout of bad weather is over.

  2. You are incredible, Margaret! Always so organized and industrious. We had the truly weird weather this spring, too. We seemed to only have the extremes--back and forth between summer 80sF (27-32C) and early spring 40s/50sF (4-10C) for highs, from April through May. Not much of the truly comfortable stuff, which we are truly experiencing now. Yay! Hang in there: I hope we'll both have wonderful, comfortable, productive and fun, gardening summers!

    1. It seems as if this weird spring was pretty much everywhere, doesn't it? Finally, the last few days have been in the "comfortable range" & I'm just hoping that it lasts!

  3. We are in a similar position to you and reckons that we are about a month behind schedule. The spell of good weather last week kick started our potatoes as we were beginning to wonder whether they would ever emerge.

    1. Everything is behind, especially when it came to transplanting - I'm just getting my tomatoes in today, over 2 weeks later than usual.

  4. I'm sorry to hear of your late cold snap! It's great that you avoided damage to the tomatoes. Your mystery hole looks a lot like the gopher holes I've experienced in my garden. I recently watched an online video by a California edible garden guru (Laurie Kranz) who recommends lining the bottom of all raised planters with gopher wire (narrower than chicken wire, which I gather gophers can penetrate).

    1. We normally don't have burrowing critters as our soil has so many rocks - one of the few benefits of that! I think the hilltop has much nicer soil with fewer rocks which is why I've only seen this type of activity there. At this stage a tunnel into one bed is not that bad - if I start seeing this in multiple beds, lining the bottom may be the way to go.

  5. The weather here has been yo-yoing between cold and hot, mostly cold. I had to replant a couple of the cucumbers in the greenhouse because of the cold temps. I still haven't set out my basil yet, but it is on the schedule for this week. Your garlic looks lovely, and it doesn't seem to be minding the weather at all!

    1. You were obviously much smarter than I was to hold off on planting out your basil!

  6. Wasn't our weather weird and still is Margaret ? .. No real soaking Spring rains and we just got our sprinkler system working today .. I was hand watering which takes 3 hours at least .. not a chore I like at all.
    What a lay out you have here .. so neat and organized .. you could run your own little Farmer's Market ! LOL
    I wonder what that little creature is .. I hope that is all you see, after all your work you don't need a problem like that.
    Well done you !!

    1. Thank you Joy :) 3 hours hand watering really is a chore - Good thing you are fortunate enough to have a sprinkler system to help with our droughty summers!

  7. We had that same cold snap for several days - right after I planted the basil and caladiums in outdoor pots. They suffered, but seems they will live. Starting tomorrow we will be in the 80s (F).

    1. You would think that we wouldn't get such severe cold snaps at this time of year. I'm really looking forward to having a caladium in the garden for the first time this year - just planted it out a few days ago.


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