Monday, May 22, 2017
What a cool, soggy Spring. May long weekend is typically when we till the gardens and plant peas and potatoes. Sometimes, I can even plant my tomatoes outside on May long weekend. Not this year! The in-ground garden plots are too wet and heavy to till, so we will have to wait to plant potatoes and peas. The carrots, beets, and daikon radish I planted a week or two ago are just starting to germinate (cool-weather crops, indeed!). I transplanted leeks, parsley, and kale outside yesterday and sowed some Thumbelina zinnia, allysum, Swiss Giant Pansy, and Fairyland Dwarf Candytuft seeds in containers. Until it warms up significantly, everything else will have to wait.
Due to poor weather, my milk jug greenhouse transplants haven't been as successful this year as they were last year. The chard, cabbage, and even the marigolds are only up an inch or so and look feeble. The kale is coming along, but it is small. The best transplants of the bunch I started in jugs this year are the Red Express cabbage and Romanesco cauliflower. Despite the fact that I started 5 varieties of cabbage seed - all from new seed - I still think I am going to have to go to the greenhouse and buy green cabbage transplants for the garden. Frustrating!
The garlic cloves and bulbils I planted last Fall have come up and are looking good. The bulbils are in the pots, the cloves are in the ground (and are much larger).
I began hardening off the tomato and pepper transplants a few days ago. No sheet required to shade them today. It is 19 degrees, breezy, and overcast this afternoon. Two Galeux D'Eysines winter squash plants are beneath the milk jug tops. My experience starting winter squash plants indoors, hardening them off, and transplanting them outdoors successfully (meaning they don't croak) has been limited. Direct-sow is the way to go with winter squash, but some varieties require a longer growing season than we have, so... Sometimes, I gamble!