|I love my cattle panel trellises. The t-posts are placed |
permanently; I just set up the cattle panels as needed.
Our cooler than usual April temperatures have meant the lettuce is thriving and not bolting! Peas will be ready soon.
Of strawberries, we've had our first strawberry short cake! (Complete with goat cream whipped cream).
Fall planted parsnips have done very well. I plant them for both us and the goats, who eat chopped roots and tops alike.
|A handful of the harvest of my fall planted parsnips|
Several of the parsnips show symptoms of root knot nematodes, so I planted the bed in marigolds. I have read that marigolds are most effective against these nematodes if planted in beds, so we'll see. I'll feed the stalky part of the parsnip plants to the goats now, and dry the leaves to add to their herbal vitamin and mineral mix for next winter. I left one parsnip plant to go to seed.
And the potato news. Do you remember how all my potato plants died in our frost the middle of April? I'm relieved to report that they have recovered!
|My potato plants recovered from the frost. Also note the patch of clover.|
The clover volunteered last year and its patch is growing. I am hoping to experiment more with living mulch and would love to have it (and violets plus something like creeping thyme) growing in all my garden walkways. I'll have to work on that.
Along those lines I mulched my Jerusalem artichoke bed last fall with most of my pulled marigold plants in hopes the marigolds would reseed there.
|Jerusalem artichokes are thriving.|
That is if they can find room to grow as the sunchokes are coming up thickly. Marigolds are just starting to emerge, so we'll see.
Summer garden planting is almost daily. I like to plant my beds in companion groups, i.e. mixing as many types of garden plants in a bed as possible.
|I planted bush beans amongst the fall carrots|
First I rake the winter applied mulch back over the walk-path between the beds. There, it helps keep weeds down but is available to be raked back once the plants are growing. I turn the soil with a shovel or potato form and pull out all the wiregrass I can. I learned a long time ago that I cannot win the war against this tenacious invasive, so I just try to stay one step ahead of it. Compost is applied and seeds planted. Larger seeds like beans and okra I don't plant and thin later, because I can't bear to pull the sweet little things out! I plant to recommended thinning distance and fill in the gaps with other plants if needed.
Planted so far:
- Tendergreen bush beans
- Amish paste tomatoes (seed)
- Roma paste tomatoes (seed)
- summer savory
- white horehound
- Mountain Okra (new variety for me)
- marigolds (Brocade Mix from Baker Creek)
- Boston pickling cucumbers
- Zucchetta Rampicante summer squash (new variety)
- Truckers Favorite corn
- Green Nutmeg melon
- light seeded sesame
- more to come .......
Here's a shot of the Truckers Favorite.
|Truckers Favorite Field corn, a small patch.|
I plant double rows, these being a lawn mower width apart (so I can "weed"). When the corn plants are about ankle high, I'll plant Ozark Razorback cowpeas in the middle of the double rows. I will also plant pumpkins at the ends of the rows. I'd like to sow the pathways with a short clover, like Dutch White as a living mulch. If I can get the seed, I will do that.
At the bottom of the garden I planted two small sections of wheat and one of hull-less oats last fall.
|Winter wheat and volunteer vetch|
The oats never emerged and the wheat is spotty, but it's growing with volunteer vetch and other lovely weeds the goats love. Dan and I decided to cut this to dry for the hay pile because there wasn't enough to make much of a wheat harvest. The wheat berries are in the milk stage so they won't shatter, but will give the goats a little grain in their hay next winter. In it's place, I'll plant a large patch of giant amaranth. More on this soon with some exciting equipment news!
How is everyone else doing with their gardens? Planting? Or harvesting and preserving? Depends on what part of the world we live in, doesn't it!
Potato News & Other Garden Happenings © May 2014