Monday, 2 June 2014

Usual Manic Spring Gardening Post with Extra Bonus Chaos

So, here we are at the time of year when almost all of the spring planting should be done, and we should be moving into the time of weeding, watering, and whacking.

From a distance, things don't look too bad. Most of the main garden beds are planted. Trellises are behind, with only two put up, but overall things look fairly neat and appear to be moving along.

The spinach is going to seed, but the garlic looks lovely. Soon there will be garlic scapes. Beyond them, the peas, which were planted before the great Dadastrophe, are starting to flower. These are 3 beds of short determinate peas to be pulled and frozen, and the beds replanted with beans sometime around the beginning of July. There are also 2 beds of tall, later peas (with the trellises) which will be in for all season, or as long as they last anyway.

The lettuce has recovered from being pruned by the rabbit first thing in the spring, and the rabbit doesn't seem to have been back for seconds. Maybe it got eaten, I say hopefully. At any rate we are now eating lots and lots of salads.

Tomatoes still look pretty dinky, but they are in, and have generally doubled in size in the last week.

We have a number of beds covered with hoop-houses partly because they contain heat loving plants like sweet potatoes, peanuts, melons, peppers, and eggplants, and partly because we direct seeded many of those things instead of starting them inside in pots and planting them out and got a new problem.

We set little half toilet paper tubes around each set of seeds, to keep them from being destroyed by cut worms. However, a few days after we planted them, when they were starting to germinate, a crow (we're pretty sure, given the diabolical cleverness exhibited and the lack of footprints) discovered the seeds  under a tube, then deduced that this meant there were treats under all the tubes, and methodically went through the garden, destroying about three-quarters of the tubes and eating probably about half the seeds. We had to go through and check and replant pretty much everything. Now we will keep them covered until they are too large to be of interest to the crows.

Carrots have been planted. We lifted up the row-cover and weeded today, and then replanted all the bare spots, which amounted to about half the bed. Ho hum. Carrots are amazingly fussy when small, and I think they missed getting watered on one day at a crucial point. The onions, behind them, are doing fairly well.

The spinach is mostly over, as it is rapidly running to seed. You can see the potato sprouts coming up under them - we planted both potatoes and spinach in the fall, and it is a great system. I'll yank the spinach in the next day or so and freeze it, and then the potatoes can come up unimpeded.

In spite of the cold winter all of our kiwi plants look somewhere between very good and still alive, and I'd rate 10 out of 12 of them as very good. Maybe they will actually do some growing this year!

Haskap blossoms are almost over already; I could only find a few hidden ones to photograph - berries should be ready to eat in a few weeks! We will have to remember to drape them with cloth when they start to ripen. The birds have figured out that they are tasty.

Strawberries are in full bloom, and judging by the number or blossoms it should be a bumper year for strawberries - even better than last year, when they were extremely plentiful but could have used a bit more heat to make them sweeter.

Now for the bad news. There are all kinds of spots that are barely started. This is just one of three long vegetable beds that are still full of weeds. It will probably take a day each to weed them, and really, they should have been planted last week. With plants started indoors in late April. Instead, we will have to direct seed.

Also, rain. As in, there isn't any. Forecast is calling for thunderstorms scattered showers today, but they have scaled back their promises predictions considerably, and I will believe it when I see it at any rate. Our shallow well will go dry very shortly, and we will have to switch to watering with metered water. Watering is very time consuming as well as expensive, and means we are not doing other things that we would like to be doing. At least the lawn won't need quite so much mowing.

Aaaand the raspberry beds; oops.  All the perennial fruit beds are in terrible shape. Sufficient weeding has just not happened this spring, and I don't see how it can happen, given how behind we are on getting the annual vegetable beds planted. Mr. Ferdzy covered up some of the wet beds today; we are either not going to plant them at all or we are just going to let what is in them (leeks and parsnips) go to seed.

We have given up the idea of planting any brassicas to speak of. When we realized we were so far behind and that this this summer will be so full of family obligations that we will lose the equivalent of almost 2 gardening days a week in addition to the month we have already lost, we decided that something had to go. This is the plan we have come up with. Brassicas have done so very poorly for us the last few years anyway. They are being replaced with some of the things that are not going to go into the wet beds; leeks, celery, and celeriac in particular.

I am trying to to be philosophical about all this, but I admit to feeling kind of depressed and cranky. Honestly, even with all the problems and extra work we are having I lead a pretty easy life compared to a lot of people so I also feel kind of guilty about feeling depressed and cranky. But there it is. This is not going to be the summer I expected, and things will have to be let go.


kathy said...

Ah, the joys and sorrows of gardening in Ontario. I like your imaginative use of produce. Trying square-foot gardening to avoid dealing with very wet, heavy clay and getting inspired by your garden pictures.

Ferdzy said...

Thanks, Kathy. Clay is very difficult, no question!