Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Garden Season Finally Gets Going.

Watch these tulips the next picture will be when they turn yellow.

Tomatoes from seedling tray to 2in pots.

Transplanted pepper that will be in an EarthBox planter.

Cucumbers and squash seedlings - guess the pumpkin?

Lettuce, beets, and the quinoa.

Watercress grows in an aquarium in about 3 in of water.

Trench for the leek seedlings.

Leeks in clumps that I will thin later.

These cucumbers will be transplanted into this pot.

Last years cotton hung for the birds.

We have a downy woodpecker that made a next hole in our old crab apple tree.

The season has started to move along and one of the cold frames if full of transplants.  Tomatoes and peppers were moved outside last week after being moved into larger pots. That gave room for a few more trays to be planted - cubits, nasturtiums, and lettuce.  I got most of the cucumbers and squash started and with the help of bottom heat they quickly germinated and they too have gone outside now that nice weather has seemingly arrived.  I used more compost to fill a pot to plant one one the greenhouse cucumbers that I am growing this year.  The seedlings will be transplanted into that 5 gallon bucket and the vine will be strung up in the greenhouse for early cucumbers. The trays of basil and zinnias are still in the greenhouse for another week to gain some size before they join the rest of the seedlings outside. 
The garden ground is still not ready for anything but cool season pants.  I will plant the tomatoes and peppers after I get back from a fishing trip and by them the ground will have warmed.  Planting tomatoes too early just has them sitting in the ground and not advancing.  My tomatoes will probably bear fruits just about the same time those plants put into the ground this week.
Cool ground is fine for onions and so I planted the leeks seedlings in a shallow trench this week and will thin them in a week after they have taken hold.  I will also pull the soil in around them to help make nice white roots.  The onion sets, the garlic that was re planted are doing nicely in this part of spring and the parsley seed planted weeks ago is sprouting nicely after we had a crop failure last spring.
Apple trees are blooming and I think the low flower set is due to the very hot weather we had last spring when the trees were setting blossom wood for this year.  I did my pruning the same this spring as always and am sadly noticing a small amount of flowers on the trees. 
The old crab apple tree in the front yard is now a home for a downy woodpecker. The pair worked diligently opening a nesting hole in a portion of the tree that has been dead for some time - yes, shame on me for having not removed the limb a long time ago but now it is a home for someone - so the stump will stay.  The ground below the limb is covered with bits of wood that the birds removed to make their nest cavity.
The first crop of bunnies is running around and squeezing through the fence so I will have to get busy and rectify this intolerable situation .  I have some plastic fencing that I want to install as a six inch barrier at the bottom of the fence and that should keep them out permanently.
Happy Gardening

Friday, May 3, 2013

Gardening Finally Begins in May!

I have pre painted the lumber for the second of two new cold frames.

I like to add handles on each side for easy movement for the frame.

I will try to add a screening compost video below...

Blueberries planted in EarthBox planter.

Time to forage for Ramps.

And then cook them - They are great eating.

After what has seemed like forever gardening weather has finally arrived.  The newest cold frame got a paint job and is in use with plants already.  I got the current and blueberries in the mail this week and so had to make the decision as to where to plant the currants.  The blueberries are going into the Earthboxes as way to ensure the soil can be amended to acidify the pH.
Luckily the compost was thawed so that I could screen enough to use that soil and peat moss to mix a soil to plant these small bush types in. I use a wire screen and do this to the compost bins in spring - putting the big stuff that needs some more time back into a new bin.  I mixed the compost and peat about half and half and added a 7/7/7 fertilizer mix and later I will add some ammonium sulfate around each of the plants.  The smallest variety - Northsky - I decided to get another plant to have a total of two in one planter.  The other planter has one Northcountry and one Northblue and I hope to find one of these varieties that does the best in this planter experiment.
The Rovada currants I decided to put in part of the old perennial bed just off the path leading into the garden for easy picking.  I really like red currant jelly – some of the easiest to make because red currents contain great pectin and jell almost by themselves.
The fig trees have been in the greenhouse for at least two weeks and have not sprouted yet - I think they are done for.  If I have to replace the Chicago turkey fig, I am going to carry the experiment with figs into the ground - literally planting them in the ground as close to the house as I can.  The cloning experiment did not yield a new plant as I had wished.  I think I tried to plant the clones too soon and they both sadly did not have enough roots to survive.  But it was a good learning event.
Seeds seem to be more difficult than normal to sprout this year - or maybe it could be the old gardener!   Parsley and lettuce seem changeling as well as some pelletized onion seed.  This year I did ship in some set of "Candy" onions which I got in the ground this week.  I also had some blanks in the garlic patch so I tried to replace them with some to last year’s garlic harvest that was sprouted and maybe will grow.  This week I should get to the flower seeds and herbs and maybe tomato transplanted.  The peppers need at least another week before they have true leaves - the marker that they are larger enough to be transplanted into a larger pot.  Remember don’t go too big with transplants keep the intervals small so that the little plants are not lost in a big pot.
With the weather continuing to get better we will try to use the rototiller and get the garden space on its way.
Happy Gardening