Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In the Garden; May 20

I think this idea is brilliant- a weekly update on the garden, on the blog. I planned to keep very good notes about everything this year, but somehow it seems like whenever I sit down to write in a journal I suddenly have two little monkeys hanging onto my arm. Or I make a mental note of something and don't actually write it anywhere, thinking that I'll never forget it- but I inevitably do- or at least forget the specifics of it. So I'm going to follow Amanda's lead over at Soulemama, and post weekly garden updates.

So last week we got the space cleaned up- and then we marked out our rows, and planted the potatoes, onions and garlic, also all the seeds, except the squash and corn and grain. And then it rained, beautiful and soft, just right for newly planted seeds. Inside the plants are growing well- the Tomatoes are just right for hardening off- not too big- which is our usual problem. The Celeriac are growing like champs, nice and big, and the cats have eaten all our leeks, so then I bought more plants, and they're trying to finish off those for me too.

The watermelon are growing really well too- though they were slow to germinate. my last few 'Cream of Saskatchewan' watermelons are now up and doing well. Last year these watermelons kept on germinating, and then damping off; it was really depressing. I tried to fix it by sterilizing the containers, and sterilizing the soil, and sprinkling cinnamon on top of the soil, and watering them with a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol in the water, and well and I ended up using 'Sugar Baby'* seedlings that I bought instead  because every thing I started died. Damping off is a fungal thing, and when nothing else worked I deduced that it was on the seeds itself. This year I took my remaining five 'Cream of Saskatchewan' seeds and swished them in rubbing alcohol and let them sit for about ten minutes before I planted them into a sterile potting mixture, inside of sterilized plastic pots (sterilized by letting them soak in the bathtub in a bleach/water solution). Four out of Five germinated, and they are all well on the way to producing their first leaf, so I think it worked. (I should note that 'Cream of Saskatchewan' is not a really hard variety to find, I could have bought new seeds, but I wanted to test out the method, for future reference).

Outside the Asparagus is up- and we've been eating a few stalks every day, it's really producing well now- in it's fourth year. The rhubarb is growing up nice and big too, the Strawberries all seem to have made it through the winter, and the patch is flourishing now, if a little weedy. The Raspberries likewise have started putting out new leaves. I'm so grateful for the Perennials that I have planted out there, it's such a treat in early spring to see stuff already poking up it's head.

*the Sugar Baby watermelons were totally delicious, and I ate half of one every night while I was up breastfeeding A. I would carefully cut it up into small pieces before bed and store it in a Tupperware container next to bed, so at night I'd just wake up and crunch away while I was nursing her- it kept me awake, and was so refreshing (but probably super annoying for K, though he had the grace (or common sense?) to only mention it once... or twice) anyhow they lasted until October- so it was a really great keeper too.


  1. Look at all your beautiful seedlings! I wish I had big windows like that to set mine in...although if I did I think the cat would probably eat them... xo

  2. What a great idea. My tomatoes are definately too big and I've been carrying around a mental note to start them later next year. I ended up throwing them in the ground really deep and now I'm being punished with frost. I've got a sheet to cover them. What do you think about watering the soil to prevent frost damage. I found Internet references that do and don't recommend it.

    1. Hmm- I think that water helps for a light frost and hinders for a heavy one- but at this time of year should help-I don't think there are too many heavy frosts called for, Ice cream buckets or milk jugs with the bottoms cut out would also make great covers- like mini greenhouses/frost covers.
      We always plant tomatoes very deep- at least 8 inches down- because they root out of their stems, and with dry summers- they get great moisture so deep- you'll be glad of that in august!