We were able to get mostly caught up on most of the planting and garden prep after our week down with the flu and before the rain hit.
We hardened off the tomatoes, cabbage, and cucumbers on our deck, and then moved them out to the main garden. The tomatoes and cucumbers are all inside wall-o-waters to protect them from frost – we are still several weeks from our average last frost date.
The cabbages went directly into the garden. And we are trying a new pest control solution this year. Last year we had our cabbages, spinach, beets, and turnips devoured by cabbage worms, leaf miners, and root maggots. Towards the end of the year we built a raised bed with a screen cover and planted beets and turnips in it and found they were pest free. So this year we are using that bed again, but we also ordered two pest control tents from Gardener’s Supply and are trying them out. The cabbage went in a 4x4x4 foot one (it also has seed carrots in it), and the spinach went in a 4x4x2 foot one. We will see if they help with our pest issues.
So with all the WOWs full of plants, plus the cabbage tent, and the pea trellises set up waiting for their peas to sprout, the garden is starting to take on some life.
As far as seeds go, we planted over 1,000 carrots, hundreds of peas, the beets and turnips, and the first round of succession planting of lettuce and spinach.
We fully uncovered the plants we overwintered under straw, which included mint, asparagus, carrots for seed, the strawberry patch, and the grape vines. The strawberry patch is looking pretty sad and smooshed at the moment, but it will perk up soon, and we are already seeing new sprouts coming off of many of the plants.
We are trying something new with potatoes this year – planting them in wooden crates. The crates were pretty simple to build from pallet wood.
We made three of them. We lined the bottom with newspaper, watered it till it was soaking, then added a layer of straw/compost mix from the barnyard and sheep stall, then put the potatoes in, and covered them with another layer of straw/compost mix. We will continue to pile the straw/compost mix on them as they sprout upward until the crates are full. Hopefully we will have a successful potato harvest this year using this method.
Last but not least…the berry bushes. The berry bushes all have leaves on them. The honeyberry bushes took a hard hit last year and did not like their transplant. By the end of the year we thought they were dead. But lo and behold, they have leaves on them – they are still alive. We are hoping they will thrive this year and grow. The gooseberry still doesn’t have blossoms, just leaves. But the honeyberries, and both currant bushes all have little blossoms starting on them. Hopefully they will be able to tolerate the frosts that are sure to continue to come.
Overall, a good start to gardening this year.