It’s finally heating up, here in the Willamette Valley (OR). We’ve swapped out the poly- for fabric row covers on the raised beds and have spent the last few weeks preparing the soil for this year’s garden. Pepper starts (in the green house) and direct-sown peas, lettuce and spinach (outdoors) are doing very well. Here’s a snapshot of the garlic bed (planted last Fall) and the onion/shallot bed (planted earlier this Spring). Next week we’ll do some serious planting: corn, beans, potatoes. Yippee!
I finished planting out the rest of my mail-order tomatoes Friday. The ones from Laurel’s Heirlooms (CA) look good, and the Territorial (OR) plants that went in last week are doing fine, but some of the Tasteful Garden (AR) specimens aren’t looking very healthy right now. (Not that I actually need three dozen different varieties, but any plant that doesn’t bounce back will leave me regretting its absence all summer.)
The irises have just about finished blooming here, but the white-edged magenta dianthus are going great guns, nicely complementing the classic pink Zepherine Drouhan and Jeanne Lajoie roses that are just emerging. I still need to finish transplanting all the blue and white annuals (lobelia, allysum, veronica, stock) from the latest garden center expedition, though.
How are things looking in your gardens?
For dinner, I harvested some of the volunteer chard–a carryover from last year’s mesclun–and sauteed it with salmon and couscous. I love eating things that were picked, oh, thirty minutes before.
Temps in the 80s/90s the last few days here in NE Illinois. I put the tomatoes and basil in the raised bed a few days ago. This year, I’m giving plastic red mulch a try. I need to mulch anyway, and this stuff is supposed to raise yields 20%. We’ll see. If nothing else, it will cut down on weeds and watering.
I scattered some more mesclun seeds–yes, I know it’s too late and too hot–but if they don’t come up, it will be months before I have anything to pick. The 3 W’s are now in play–weed, water, and wait.
I’ve been harvesting tomatoes for over a month. The stink bugs are brutal this year and are damaging quite a few of my tomatoes. I’ve got empty yogurt containers filled with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid sitting all around the garden so I can swat the stink bugs into them when I see them. The good news is, the assassin bugs are showing up in large numbers, so hopefully the garden is balancing itself.
As we transition the yard and garden from whatever it was before (chemical fertilizers and pesticides, I’m pretty sure) to organic, we have to go through these “plagues”, as we like to call them. Happened at the previous house and we’re going through it now in this one. Eventually it’ll all even out.
Other things being harvested at the moment are blackberries, beets along with their greens, pole and bush beans, cucumbers, some lettuces, and a variety of peppers.
I’ve absolutely got to get the long beans in or there won’t be any to eat this summer.
Edit: I forgot the potatoes! Harvested potatoes and beans last night and had them for dinner along with a fine steak cooked in the grill. Yum!
Here in the frozen North, we’re still in the midst of Lilac season.
I don’t even know what that is. I think I’m too far south for lilacs.
Great looking raised beds, commenter Marvel.
We are eating the zucchinis already and the yellow crooknecks will be ready in about a week. So far I have not killed my cucumbers. Often I plant them too early and they don’t like cold nights.
Speaking of pests, we killed a ginormous ugly looking grasshopper that was eating my beans. Yikes. I have never seen one that big around here. It was grey and black . . . just ugly.
Can we have an open gardening thread sometime about what various folks do about #%**@!!! ticks?
I actually bundle up to go out gardening, as I have had Lyme three times…in Massachusetts.
South of I-10
I made a delicious watermelon salsa today with my homegrown Anaheim peppers. My cherry tomatoes are exploding too.
The roses are gone, hydrangea’s, and magnolia’s are poppin and Raven’s Rest looks good.
The prophet Nostradumbass
In my yard, my pomegranate is in bloom, and one of my cherry trees is ripening.
@The prophet Nostradumbass: Very nice.
Yeah, I should do that, because now you’ve scared me. Our yard borders an industrial area & a freeway offramp and we’ve still been finding been finding (non-Lyme-bearing) ticks on our dogs since mid-March.
Some of my organically-inclined associates swear by diatomaceous earth, scattered liberally around the perimeter of the area you want to protect & renewed weekly (or after a hard rain). I may actually get around to trying that this year, if only in hope of knocking back the junebug population…
@Anne Laurie: The deer population has a great impact on them.
Pretty much all that I planted this year was a flower patch that I started from seed (direct-sowed), some flower vines, and five heirloom tomato plants.
The zinnias in my flower patch are just getting flower buds, the salvia and cosmos have a way to go yet, there are also volunteer petunias that come up everywhere that I dig in my yard. I just moved them all to better spots in the front of the bed yesterday.
The tomatoes are about 3-4 feet tall and they all are setting fruit now. The Cherokee Purple has the most fruits (except for the cherry), I counted fourteen green tomatoes on it. I’m hoping this is a much better year than last year–between the heat and the fruitworms, I didn’t get any Cherokees last year. So far, so good, and I’m spraying them with BT every week just in case.
@Raven: I enjoy your photos of your lovely garden.
@The prophet Nostradumbass: I can almost taste those cherries. Keep us posted with the pomegranate, I had some delicious pomegranate yogurt today.
@waratah: Thanks, my bride does the real work, I’m just support.
It’s lilac season here in Quebec, too, and suddenly hot and sunny so I’m planting like crazy. Today I transplanted squash seedlings – all grown from seed I saved from last year. A couple of days ago I planted my seed potatoes (all from last year, kept in the root cellar over the winter). Tomorrow the tomato seedlings go in. Still lots to do.
I just bought a house. I’ve wanted this for twenty-five years and it just became real. I feel like I am living a dream.
It has almost a half acre in the middle of the city. Right now, the surge of joy when I think AT LAST I CAN PLANT ANY PLANT I WANT is so delightful.
I lived in small apartments and basement studios for the last sixteen years.
Thanks for the opportunity to share, Anne Laurie.
I live near Denver; Friday night it was about 40 degrees, and tomorrow it will be 90; it is tough gardening/landscaping here but I like the challenge.
I can only plant veggies in self-watering pots in the front yard since the backyard backs to open space and the deer & elk are, well, deer & elk.
My first set of green beans mostly rotted out (it dumped rain a few times) and the tiny cucumber sprouts look like they are in shock thanks to the sneaky cold mixed in with weeks of early hot weather. The lettuce and cherry tomatoes look good though. I’ve given up on planting anything but cherry tomatos – the season is too short and the weather too erratic for regular tomatos, but the cherries do great (in relative terms).