I’m still playing catch up after tropical adventure. But I am caught up enough that I no longer feel overwhelmed. Things in general are really greening up. We enjoyed our first fire last weekend, now that it’s not too cold in the evenings. I’ve been wandering the property and observing everything coming back to life.
According to Veseys, today is the last frost date. Never plan your entire harvest’s livelihood on it, but by all means, this is when I start deciding it’s ok to put a few things out and keep the cloches close at hand. Chances are, you’ve already got many things hardened off, and I’m hoping to as well. I won’t be putting any tomatoes into the bed until June, but I’m definitely going to be putting them outside to get ready for the big rough world.
I’ve already taken my veggie plants (ok, well, my peppers and tomatoes) out of the mini crystal and into the main greenhouse. The overnight temperatures in there are well above zero, and usually around 8-10 degrees. I’m going to shut down my seeding op this week, and probably start any succession herb seeding in the mini crystal so I can clear up the basement clutter for new things… like an elliptical or something.
So this day marks the beginning of hardening off for everyone. Everyone gets booted out of the house too, or at least, I begin to decide who will be going outdoors. It used to be that I would send many tropicals outside, but I found in this new home, scale seems to be more prevalent. Almost everything got scale this year from being outside during the move (sitting outside for a day or two in July as I unpacked my life into the new house). I’m going to probably limit it this year to my “Jasmine” vine (I say it loosely as I am still not sure since it won’t bloom), my big jeezus Hibiscus, bird of paradise, and a few others.
Now, I’ve already cleaned the weeds out of the beds to be used in the veg garden. Manimal helped, which was a huge benefit in time. He left feeling slightly disturbed, as he dug up a hibernating toad. So after weeding, I’ve got seeding done for my peas, some carrots, beets, radishes and strawberries all planted. Since that day of weeding and planting, my radishes are coming up. I’m hoping to see an improvement in veggie size versus my last house’s garden. I could barely get a good yield, but this bed’s soil feels richer and hopefully will pay off. Now that we are in mid-may, I’ll probably also be planting some beans too. I got my bean tunnel idea from Pinterest, of course, and I think it will be really fun to walk through (hopefully) a tunnel filled with food.
I’ve noticed there are a lot of existing plantings of bulbs, and I’ll be throwing down some bulb booster at the end of the month.
We’ve been watching the daily highs in the greenhouse and we know there isn’t much we can do to exhaust 40+ degree heat out there, so at some point this week, or the next, we are going to have a glazing party (I keep calling them this as it refers to something connected to the exterior of the greenhouse) where we’ll be throwing the shade cloth over the house and hopefully slow down the searing sunshine. Pizza and beer provided. If you know me personally, get in touch! Just need to know how to throw a rope end over a 20’ curve and help pull a rope.
Other than that, I’m still cleaning up weeds (I knooooow this is a hellish process). But this week I addressed the Goutweed finally, and hope to see results. If I win this war I will make a post of it. Right now, I’m only seeing minor stress (I may have resorted to larger ammunition, but I can’t utter the R word yet) and I’m going to continue to hit it, until I can find someone with a backhoe…or a flame thrower.
In other news, we have discovered that the ‘Canadice’ Grape vine is, in fact still alive. I’ve also gotten a little cutting crazy and did cuttings of my father’s grape vines last weekend. Hopefully I will have more ‘Canadice’ as well as some ‘Foch’ (to one day continue the winemaking legacy) and ‘Concorde’ . This all means I’ll have to start up a row for grapes somewhere on our property, but before that, I’ll wait to see if the roots take.
I will also have another exciting project (well, sort of a surprise gift built for me) of having a 2nd raised bed set up in the greenhouse, so we can grow even more food over the fall/winter. This means I can grow most of my ‘Chesapeake’ Peppers in it as well as the little hottie peppers (we do love our reapers and ghost peppers), and some tomatoes, cover them once the fall nights get cool again, and still be able to harvest late into the season. It was a wonderful thing to be able to pick peppers and tomatoes when you can see the snow flurries falling outside.
On the mantid side of things, I have no idea where they all went. I released them in my greenhouse and do you think I could find a single piece of frass? No. I check daily when I do my watering, and hopefully when I find a few, they will be a bit bigger.
That’s all I have for now for updates. Next week I’ll share some before/after pics of my gardens (well, the ones that had some sort of progress in them). I just finished doing my rock garden weeding yoga, so it should be looking fairly …clean!