Earlier this year when writing about the planning of this year’s garden, I mentioned that I thought it was going to be an “early” season. Well, basing my decisions on weather forecasts- always a chancy business- I took the leap and put an awful lot into the ground last weekend. About a week before I normally would.
The weather for transplanting was good. It was very hot both Saturday and Sunday, in the mid-to-high 80s each day, with the promise of thunderstorms in the afternoon of each day. The seedlings were large enough and hardy enough at this point to weather T-storms without issue, as long as there was no hail. Hail would have been really bad- the stones can flatten plants.
Got out into the garden early on Saturday morning, fully armored against the onslaught of mosquitos and the dreaded black flies that are found in The North this time of year. Long pants, long sleeve shirt, a hat, and for the first time ever, a bug net pulled down over my hat to keep the flying vermin off my head and face. I had never used one before, and I’ll say it now: That was the best $3 I’ve spent in a long time. The bug nets look kind of silly, but they work.
The downside of the rest of the uniform is it was hot and uncomfortable. I was sweating pretty good just getting everything set up for transplanting. In about two hours Saturday morning the Brussels sprouts, cauliflower (white & purple), cabbage and broccoli were installed into their respective beds, and watered in. Our rosemary plant of the last two years was also replanted for its third summer in the herb bed, after I spent a little time cleaning it out. Here are a few photos of the transplants:
While I was working in the garden, my wife spent some time going after the raspberry and blueberry plants, getting everything weeded out and ready for the growing season. The raspberry plants were newly planted last year, so this will be the first harvest year. They look fantastic so far!
Saturday night brought some strong thunderstorms to the area, with no hail. Everything weathered the storms successfully, and the water was welcome. In fact I was counting on it- when I watered in the transplants it was done lightly, hoping for nature’s assistance.
Sunday morning came on just as warm as Saturday. More work beckoned in the garden this day, and it’s my least favorite gardening activity. Sunday was direct seeding day for the “big crops”. This is hands & knees work, which while good exercise isn’t the most comfortable. It also takes a lot longer than popping seedlings into the dirt. Each seed area needs to be measured, and in some cases gridded before the actual planting. I spent about 3 ½ hours Sunday planting a full bed of carrots (4 different varieties), ⅔ a bed of Golden Detroit beets, and about a third of a bed of Swiss chard. Pictures don’t show much at this stage, so I’ll only include what the carrot bed looked like after planting. Sharing any more would just be too exciting.
As for critter updates, there was a George sighting Saturday afternoon. He came larruping across the back lawn where it meets the wild growth, heading southwards towards a hayfield. He seemed in a hurry. Later that night, after we got back home from dinner, we discovered these guys wandering about the yard, eating something that was in the grass. They ended up parking on the lawn for a while, and were gone just as the sun went down.
Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and is my usual time to start planting. This year it’ll be the time I finish. On the docket for that weekend is putting in the rest of the seedlings, Nightshade and squashes, along with a few herbs. A bit more of direct seeding as well, and Garden 2022 will be planted.