Mary's Veggie Garden

May 7, 2011

Finally a Post! May Day Garden

Filed under: Gardening,Greens,Lettuce,Peas,Vegetables,Wildlife — marysveggiegarden @ 5:36 pm
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I feel a bit bad that my last post was two months ago. Of course I have excuses: I taught two overlapping courses on vegetable gardening, starting in late February and finishing up early April; at the end of March our drain field failed (it was constructed in 1955) so I spent considerable time at the laundromat during the 3 weeks until we had a new drain field; then we took advantage of my daughter’s spring break to visit  Washington D.C. Despite the distractions I managed to start my garden but there wasn’t any time left to write about it. So here is what’s happened.

Snow peas 'Dwarf White Sugar', planted 3/31, photographed 5/2

These snow peas were planted 3/31/2011. Although it takes a couple of weeks for the sprouts to emerge, they grow rapidly once above ground.

It is time to weed, mulch, and trellis the peas. They are tall enough that the plants are starting to entwine their tendrils across the gap between the rows. The fence must be installed before the rows twine together.

My procedure: weed thoroughly, water, then mulch.

The greenish-yellow mulch is Norway maple flowers. They were so deep on the driveway that it was easy to blow them into a pile with a leaf blower. The flowers are fine and easy to get between the pea plants plus the worms love them. The brown mulch is shredded leaves.

The long piece of wire fence I use as a trellis is stiff yet floppy and difficult to control. It must be installed while the plants are short and flex easily, and bend instead of breaking when the fence runs over them. We installed the fence after I finished mulching.

5/2 Lettuce, started 3/5, transplanted 4/3

I planted lettuce and radishes on  the other side of this bed. The lettuce transplants are mulched right up to their cardboard cutworm collars. I’ll be harvesting these plants soon.

I also tried direct sowing some lettuce but none germinated. The problem may be old seed or it may be this toad, which dug a couple of holes in the middle of the planting then settled in for several days.

Toad, at home in my newly planted garden bed.

The piece of fence  is to prevent animals (mostly squirrels looking for buried acorns) from digging in my newly seeded area.  It worked for squirrels but not this toad. When I filled his first hole, he moved a few inches away. Since he seemed happy in the hole, I decided to let him be, thinking he would stay there and not dig any more holes.

During April I harvested rhubarb and greens. We’ve been eating garden fresh salad since April 7.

April salad

The greens are Claytonia, mache, violet leaves and flowers, parsley, sorrel, and chives. These greens return every spring without much work on my part.

I described  the ingredients in a similar salad last year. Comparing the salads, the mache is bolting about the same time this year and last, but this salad has no mustard greens; the mustard is sprouting 2-3 weeks later than last year.

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