Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weeds And Other Garden Plants

The month of May brought with it lots of rain, a few nights of frosts, and about a week and a half worth of random 80 and 80+ degree days!  This led to the inevitable growth of weeds in large numbers.  I have yet to completely rid the garden of the bulk of them (not that they won't come back), but I am working on it.  I did clear a rather good portion and then immediately covered it with black garden plastic, so at least I don't need to re-do that section.  Now to do the same or similar with the rest of the garden and I am good to go!

Since the temperature did not want to remain stable this month, I decided to delay planting my tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and watermelon in the garden.  But since they were all outside already, I had to do something to protect them when we got two nights of frost in a row.  That is where my lightweight row cover came in handy.  I simply made a giant tent for my seedlings, and therefore avoided mass death!  And mass death is something my peppers had already flirted with earlier in the month, so I wasn't in the mood to take chances.  For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you already know about the "pepper incident".  For the rest of you and for those who would like to revisit the horror (there is a happy ending though!), you can view it here:  Pepper Incident

Even with all the insanity, I did manage to get some actual non-weeding work done.  I finished digging those pesky old fence posts out of the garden and put down the plastic for the pumpkin and watermelon vines.  I got my lettuce bin half planted (seen at right) and swore at a squirrel just this evening who decided that the lettuce babies looked rather delicious.  This prompted the covering of the lettuce bin with more lightweight row cover.  (Take THAT squirrel!)

I finished off my direct-sow list with zucchini (first sprout seen at left) and cucumber.  When I planned my garden, I didn't realize that the cucumber seeds I got were a variety that prefer to be on a trellis.  So next on my list of things to do is build a cucumber trellis using bamboo sticks and twine.  Luckily I figured it out before I planted them, or that would have been interesting!

And speaking of trellises, two of my bean plants magically appeared out of nowhere (At right; May 24th).  There were signs of one plant peeking through earlier, but that was it.  I checked again two days later and BAM!  Two plants had come up in a completely different area!  And to confuse matters even more, the original plant I saw peeking it's head out of the ground, was still in the exact same position.  As though it had pressed the 'pause' button.  After seeing today that the 'paused' plant does not seem to want to press 'play', I went ahead and replanted.  It seems like I have had that happen every year with one or two bean seeds, even though I am trying a different variety this year.  I think they may be toying with me!

Even with the high winds today, I decided to put the pumpkins in their summer home.  They were getting way too big for their pots and I didn't want them to become root-bound.  I am sure they will enjoy their new home even with a bit of wind.  The watermelon seedlings will be joining their fellow super viners in the next few days!

And while I was getting the pumpkins acclimated, I noticed that the radishes looked ready.  Sure enough, they were ripe for the picking!  Now I don't like radishes, so I can't tell you if they are any good, but one of my radish-loving family members can fill me in and I will get back to you.  This is the first year I have grown French Breakfast radishes, so we will have to see how they compare to the round ones of years past!

I ended my day, and month, with the filling of the pots.  All 14 of them.  The two green ones in the back were already filled, so I am not counting them.  One never realizes how many pots one has until they fill those pots with dirt.  I think it is safe to say I have more than enough. :)

I hope to return relatively soon with a post or two about accessible gardening and a guide to growing and preserving catnip.  Until then, I wish you pleasant growing weather and happy gardening!

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