Sunday, May 2, 2010

Early Everything

We have more than just king flowers blooming on most trees this week.
I now have plenty of space for cold frames on the landing.
Some of the short growing spinach goes to seed to quickly.
The arugula are doing nicely.
The pea crop is out of the ground and on its way.
This is the first planting of the Blue Bonnet Upland rice.

Fragrant V. carlessi
My yellow magnolia did not last long in this hot spring

Wow, this is certainly an early spring. The lilacs and apples are already blooming and we are not past frost free dates yet. Tulips, daffodils and even iris are in bloom and my apples are nearing full bloom and May is only two days old. My yellow magnolia is done blooming with these hot days and my Viburnum carlessi has really been fragrant by our bedroom window on these warm nights. I even have spinach that is going to seed because of the hot days and I have only been harvesting for less than a week. This one is down for a record, I am sure. I even have at least three robin nests in the yard and eggs in all of them.

With the brick landing done in front of the greenhouse I brought the cold frame back up and that becomes a great place to start to harden off plants. The second marigold crop is safe in this location, I hope. I planted lettuce, cutting broccoli, and some mustard today. I also got the rest of the annual flowers started as seeds in the greenhouse and did some thinning of the tomato plants that I hope to graft later this month. The other tomato and pepper plants are getting big enough to transplants into individual pots so this week looks to be a transplant week.
This year one of the experimental corps is RICE. I found some upland rice seed at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I have always wanted to grow rice but as a "paddy" crop that would be difficulty unless I wanted to develop a very wet space in the garden. Upland rice does not need that paddy environment. I decided to transplant the rice into the space it will grow in so I started the seed this week. The pictures above show how the first batch was started with multiple seeds per container. The peas are up in the garden so as they grow I will be filling in soil to get their roots covered to keep them cool. Some of the onions have sprouted but the shallots seem to be slow to root - maybe they are just not going to work.

I saw my first baby bunny today! With this season so advanced I sure wish I had my potatoes by now so I could get them started. With any luck I will be able to till the garden space this week as the winter rye is big enough to rototill under. I use this green manure each season to enrich the heavy soil that is my garden. As we work on making the space bigger this summer, I will try to till in as much peat moss as I can afford into the new area soil. Peat moss is a great way to add organic material quick - it just depends on how much you can afford to put in.

With these warm days accumulating, I am concerned about the arrival of our first apple pest - Plum curculio. As this warm spring continues, this pest will emerge and attack my small apples before they can size enough to bag them. Only time will tell what will happen because I really do not want to have to resort to a single spray to keep them off the fruit. And this season I wanted to try "footies" as part of the bagging but I really need the fruit to be quarter size to use the footies. If the plum curculio is getting fruit, that will make things difficult.

We were privileged to hear a presentation this week about a new development in Green Bay that will possibly bring a new green space to the area. Part of the citie's historical manufacturing area is being developed and there are plans in the works for using the roof top space as growing space. This is a fantastic idea that I think is perfect for a multi-use space. I certainly commend the developers for their forward thinking in this project. We will be watching with excitement the Larsen Green project as it develops.
Happy Gardening


  1. You have a great site.Is there any way you could show a rough diagram of your planting space- size and what you grow where? I'm wondering how much space you work with and how much you allot to each thing.

  2. Hi Anon,
    My current garden space is about 40 by 40 and I usually do not have a real drawn out plan, although the tomatoes will be in the same place as they were last year - five rows. The other space is filled as planted.
    I usually plant thick and sometimes too close; and I use short rows - six to eight feet or the size of my planting board. The tomatoes are probably the longest rows I have. As we are trying again to make the garden space larger so I will have more room for other plantings like melons and squash. You can see some of the garden if you take a look back at last seasons plantings. A map might be a good idea and will think on it.
    Happy Gardening