If the chairs are out front, then it is officially the start of our CG! We were granted a brief reprieve on April 3rd, from any significant precipitation, and were able to spend time seeding various lettuces, spinach, scallions, and mesclun mix. I was contemplating doing a “sun dance” to invite the solar rays to part the weather system.
Chairs are out...the CG is in session!
As beautiful as the soil is, it is still so wet, that turning fertilizer in by shovel was a bit more than our bodies wanted to deal with. For now we scratched in some 6-4-2 organic blend in the planting area, and will side-dress more as the plants become bigger. Hopefully, before mid-May, we will dry out more, so the rest of the area can be turned before warm weather veggies are brought in.
Really, there are seeds in the ground.
We take the sun when we can get it! Many locals are feeling like it would be good to have much more….SUN…..please! In the last couple of weeks there have been a few 1-shot days scattered amongst the confusion of rain, drizzle, and hail. Even a little more snow in the foothills. Hail? That means it is spring.
Brightest color spots to herald spring...
Today there are a couple of rows of “green” showing, so our little seeds are responding to the call of father Sun and mother Earth. Hooray!
Why is it that the best weather of a 3-day weekend arrives after 4:30 pm on the final day? Nevertheless it was an excellent weekend to move ahead with garden tasks, dodging drizzles and rain. Although we don’t have the exceptionally fine weather that blessed our initial project one year ago, we celebrated by seeding the first phase of summer veggies. As various CG members filtered into town from their various journeys, different tasks were done, depending on who showed up and when.
With the air and soil temperatures being nearly equal at 70°F we seeded various squash, melon, and cucumber cultivars, corn, and basil. (Check out our 2010 planting list here.) One minute it was threatening rain, the next a few light rays of sun peaking through the clouds to make one want to don shorts; but wait 5 minutes, and the sun is gone. Do I need another shirt again? Yes. Wait, now I’m too warm. It came down to rolling up the jeans and a t-shirt.
Taking a stroll through the house yard to check on tomato seedlings keeping warm in their little greenhouse, my mouth dropped as I spied a group of deer pellets on some grass. Never in my residency here has one come this far into the yard! We decided to grab netting and place it over the cool weather crops immediately. He hadn’t managed to sample anything yet. (I think it’s the same young male who visited solo last year.) While tying out cloth strips soaked in Irish Spring soap solution on various young fruit trees and roses, I did notice some rose tips “nipped in the bud”.
Here is an update to the final harvest tally of our 2009 plantings, contributed to by our overwintering kale and leeks, which were removed in May for more garden prep:
- Kale: 10 (pounds)
- Leeks: 3.25
Bringing our 2009 grand total to……592 pounds!
As we celebrate our first birthday we have a new 2010 tally, from harvesting the thinnings of early spring plantings during April and May:
- Beet greens: 1.5 pounds
- Kale: 2.5
- Lettuce blends: 7.5
- Spinach: 2
Total: 12.75 pounds Off to a great start!
Posted in Community garden, Developing & Planting, Harvest tally, Oh..oh...., Pests of any size & species, Spring
Tagged basil, Community garden, corn, cucumber, deer, delicata squash, harvest, melons, spaghetti squash
There’s a reason there are a few hundred ladybugs in a bag when you purchase them. They don’t like to stay in one area, even with a food source; some don’t survive; and some refuse to go to work, even if presented with a banquet. I think a bunch of mine had other ideas in mind. It’s always fun checking around to see where they might be hiding after being released last evening, scattered over some roses, lavender, Jerusalem sage, and particularly upon a honeysuckle smothered with aphids. For some reason, this is the mother-lode plant for aphids this spring. Perhaps it is offering to serve as the prime bait plant, so as to lure them away from other plants.
While one worker has more than enough aphids to contend with, another two have "other ideas"...
Must be the feel of real spring in the wind! Irresistible to ladybugs who have been squashed together in a mesh bag for weeks. Maybe they decided they needed to generate more troops to contend with more aphids…..hooray!
Lavender is a great place to party....without aphids. Shhh....don't ask!
Some classic spring weather to start off our early spring planting. It was exceptionally warm on the official first day of spring, followed by colder rain showers the next day, when we were scheduled to plant (of course). But, it held off perfectly for us when it came to assembly time. I dashed in and out between showers beforehand to survey and lay out some boundary lines for the planting. Because I’m curious about soil temperature, of course, I measured it: 53°F, and the air temperature was about 54° when we planted.
A little soil prep before planting
It was wonderful to finally kick-off the garden season, and we were in high spirits. A little weeding, some fertilizing, shoveling and raking it in, and then…..seed sowing! To start off: a couple of rows of lettuce, a row each of Swiss chard, scallions, and beets, and a row split to spinach and kale. The kale started growing so fast we were able to harvest 1 pound of it about the time we quit! Just kidding. The harvest was from some overwintering kale, that is starting to flower and needs to get used up. Then there was a consensus to plant snap peas and some mesclun greens mix, which will be added during the coming week.
And now, for the patience part.
Two-thirds of the early spring planting crew...and Juniper nowhere to be seen.