Monday, 3 May 2010

A Garden Update

It's been a while since I reported on the garden; I've been too busy doing the actual gardening. In particular, our tomato, chile and eggplant seedlings ( and others) have been growing like mad, and we have been hauling them in and out according to the weather. Hopefully after next weekend, when we are expecting to get some low night-time temperatures, we can plant them out permanently. The plan is to start the first batch under the hoop-house, then move the hoop-house for next batch of even more tender plants a week or two later. Yes, there are rather a lot of them. Too damn many.

Here's the compost set up, hopefully composting away. Actually, after this photo was taken we emptied the bin in the back, and put it on a bed which will have potatoes planted into it this evening. And yes! It was real, if slightly lumpy, compost.

A closer look at the compost bins. In spite of all this composting, we need more, so we will be aquiring another manure mountain in the driveway shortly, we hope.

Here's a bed we just finished digging. You can see how dry and sandy it looks compared to the one next to it, which was treated with composted manure last year.

First batch of peas are up and looking good!

Strawberry, raspberry, asparagus and rhubarb beds all look good too... from a distance. I need to get out and weed. All this rain in the last couple days has set things growing.

Yay! First asparagus! This photo is also out of date... first asparagus is now history.

This asparagus shoot - can you even see it? - is from seed planted last year. It will be a couple of years yet before it comes up thick enough to harvest. But we're glad to see it's surviving.

Onions, garlic and shallots continue to do well.

As does the spinach in the coldframe. We've been picking it and eating it, and picking it and eating it, and it still just keeps coming. Amazing. Huge but tender leaves. From now on I will plant spinach in the fall.

This is the only remaining quarter of the veggie garden that has beds that need to be dug, and where nothing has been planted yet this spring. This is where tender, fruit-bearing vegetables will go: tomatoes, chiles, eggplants, squash, melons and cucumbers. Still, we need to get digging. Time is ticking on, and we're getting sick of hauling tomatoes around, into the sun, out of the cold and rain.

Our other big spring project besides finishing the veggie beds was to plant some trees. We ordered 11 nut and fruit trees and picked them up last week. Each one had to be given a sturdy chicken wire cage when planted to keep the deer from eating them. We saw two deer this morning when we went out to check the trees. Actually, Mr. Ferdzy is working on fencing off about half our property from the deer. He still has a long way to go, but we can see that some of the paths are growing over already as he disturbs their usual patterns of movement.

We've been able to get a lot done as it was SO DRY in April. Thank goodness we have had 2 really good, long soaking rains this last weekend. It looks like raining off and on a lot in the next two weeks which may slow us down a bit, but which is very welcome as it was SO DRY in April. We were already worrying about the well running dry and I was out there watering for about 2 hours every morning. Things were still not that happy - plants can sure tell the difference between well water and real rain, and even at 2 hours they were barely damp. The frogs have also been singing away ever since the rain.

Anyway, we are disorganized and behind; what else is new. Still, it will all get done at some point. It's still very early. Everything was about 3 weeks behind at this time last year, so I'm sure we're not as late as I feel like we are. This is plainly going to be a very different year from last year.


TheSweetOne said...

Your gardens look amazing. I'm green with envy. How do you keep the grass from creeping into the sides of your beds?

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, SweetOne. The short answer: we don't. The longer answer: we're going to try to put in plastic edging around all the beds, but it's a slow and expensive project. Right now most of the beds look pretty good because they've just been planted, and before we plant we dig out all around the edges and remove all the weeds. But they'll be back. Oh yes. They'll be back.

TheSweetOne said...

Phew! that makes me feel MUCH better!! okay. sad for all of us and our struggle with having nice lawn in all the wrong places (my best patch of grass is around the garden...) but encouraging all the same!

marisa said...

looks great! what is that your doing with the water bottles in the ground?

Ferdzy said...

Marisa, the bottles are for when we have to water. They can be filled with water which then leaks out deeper into the ground. Hopefully, this waters the roots well without us losing huge amounts of water to evaporation - or watering the weeds too much.

We don't have enough though, because we rarely drink pop or juice. We're going to have to go on a recycling bin raid tomorrow night.

Marnie said...

I like the way the photo after "Yes, there are rather a lot of them. Too damn many" shows the white flag of surrender. :)

Glad you got some rain -- I wish we could have some in Toronto. We keep getting dire forecasts followed by insignificant drizzles.

Happy gardening!