May 29, 2021

May Garden = Slow Garden

Who can relate?!

One of the things I love about blogging is that it's an excellent way to document things over the years. Like my garden. In looking back over my May gardens in years past, I can definitely say we had a slow start. But then, we had  cooler spring than usual. We had a late last frost, and even though it warmed up a bit after that, we dipped back into cooler temps this month. So much so that we actually lit a fire one evening because the house was so chilly! We've never had a fire in May before!

On the other hand, that kept my cool weather veggies have been happy. 

Snowpeas. Not a bumper crop,
so these usually go into salads. 

Jericho lettuce growing happily with
snow peas, dandelions, and violets.

Stored grocery store potatoes sprouted like crazy.

I planted some in the garden and some in large containers.

Sweet Lorane fava beans.

Seed patch of heirloom wheat in early May.

Same patch in late May.

Still to harvest:

Multiplier (potato) onion blooming.

Also in the onion bed:

Last year I bought and dehydrated a bunch of celery. I planted
the ends of the bunches as an experiment. This one made it.

Of summer veggies, almost thing has been slow to show and grow. First from the chilly temps, now from heat and no rain. But my tomatoes are doing well!

Tomatoes are blooming.

Most of my frost bitten tomatoes survived; I only lost a few. To fill in the gaps, I planted the last of the seed directly in the ground. I have a long enough growing season to do that. 

Direct seeded baby tomato plant

Also in that bed are marigolds, Swiss chard, and one sweet basil. 

Then there's corn, another slow starter. I think because the soil was cold the first planting didn't do well. I've replanted all the bare spots now that it's warmed up.

Cherokee flour corn.

In the same bed, 

"Sweet potato" winter squash.

Speaking of sweet potatoes, my slips arrived the other day and are now planted. My own slip growing hasn't worked out very well, although there's still a chance.

These are Virginia Baker sweet potatoes
from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.

I've been trying for slips since mid-April!
These are my tried-and-true Vardamans.

I could probably take a bazillion photos of the garden because I try to appreciate everything I see. 

Little bits of color from volunteer turnips, collards, and radishes.

Anyway, that's it for May. How about you? Hopefully, June will bring the right amount of rain and our gardens will thrive.


Michelle said...

My starts are looking good and each of my seeded crops (bush beans, snow peas, zucchini) are starting to sprout. I'll need to pick strawberries this weekend!

daisy g said...

That is hilarious! And so true. Our temps have been all over the place this month.

Your garden is doing well despite the changes in temperature and precipitation. Isn't it amazing how plants can adjust to the changes in conditions?

I will be planting my home-grown slips as soon as the garlic comes out, maybe this weekend. I use the tried-and-true method of suspending the taters over a can with water inside, but I've seen other folks lay the whole tater in the soil and as long as it's hot enough, they take off.

What's your opinion on the Jericho? I have tried to grow it a couple of times with no success.

You have such a nice variety of crops growing. Should make for interesting and creative recipes!

Leigh said...

Michelle, sounds like your garden is off to a good start!

Aiste, can't argue with lots of strawberries. :)

Daisy, suspending the sweets over a can with water inside? I don't think I've seen that, but now you've got me wanting to do some research.

I really like the Jericho lettuce. As long as it gets plenty of water, it seems to tolerate hot temps very well.

SmartAlex said...

We've been hot and dry. We're behind 7 inches in rainfall this year. By Wednesday my 500 gallon water tank was down to almost nothing. Now we're on day #2 of 40s and steady rain which is much needed even if it IS a holiday weekend! We have the remains of 5 dead ash trees to burn today. we've been holding off waiting for rain. I get my sweet potato slips from Johnny's seeds and I got an email earlier this week that their grower is delaying another 2 weeks because drought has made slip growing impossible. At this point I'm not 100% sure I will get slips at all so I haven't even prepared a spot for them.

Mama Pea said...

Probably no surprise to you, but we've just had our third night in a row of light frost. I guess I'm fortunate that everything in the garden has been s-l-o-w to grow. Nothing seems to have been hurt, so far anyway. Strawberries are blossoming and even forming little green berries much earlier than usual. Go figure. Soil is dry so I'm watering again. Loved seeing all the pictures of your garden!

Leigh said...

Alex, it's so hard being behind on rain. I wonder why drought has affected a grower, maybe stunted? I hope you get them.

Mama Pea, I can always count on you for an interesting opposite of my experience! Except we've been dry too. That's never good for anybody.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, we continue to be bombarded with rain - I know, what a problem to complain about, right? As a result, I have not gotten to complete my full planting plan. We are supposed to be dry today and tomorrow; hopefully it will be dry enough tomorrow to plant. On the bright side, what I did already manage to plant -mostly sprouting potatoes, sweet potatoes, and garlic - is all coming up splendidly. Hoping to post pictures later this week.

Susan said...

I gave up starting sweet potato slips in jars long ago. It's much faster and easier to bury the seed potato in dirt under a cold frame or in a pot in the house. When they are about 6 inches long they already have roots on them. Just pull them gently off the seed potato and plant them.

Ed said...

I just got done writing a garden post cued to run in a couple weeks. But like you, our progress has been really slow this year with the cold and unlike you, the excess rain we've been getting. We've had only one pleasant day of planting the garden when it hasn't been either extremely cold and windy or sinking to the ankles muddy and that was back around the first week of April! We spent today doing some mulching but it was a lot of squelching through the mud and the day started out at probably 40 F degrees! We really need some thermal units!

Leigh said...

Susan, that's a great idea. I'll have to try that next year. Last year, I had some sprout in the pantry!

Ed, mud is no fun to garden in! We finally got some rain last night, and I needed to get some squash seeds planted. Mud all over my shoes! But I reckon it beats bone dry soil.

Pricket said...

I stopped trying to start sweet potatoes slips in water years ago. In a good coldframe I place several sweetpotatoes in deep mulch, As they send up shoots to 4-6 inches I pull off the shoots and they have marvelous roots ready to plant out. You can do the same by placing a couple of potatoes deep in a three gallon pot and keeping it in the greenhouse. Doing this I get twenty to thirty slip in 3 to 4 weeks per pot and they are extremely strong and healthy.

daisy g said...

Good to know. I have a packet of it, so I think I'll try it again.

Leigh said...

Pricket, good to hear from you! This sounds much more reliable than putting a tuber in water. In fact, I'll transfer my one into a pot and see what happens. Thanks!

wyomingheart said...

Your plants look happy and healthy, Leigh! Our new beds are giving great results! I’ll have an update on the blog soon. Your peas are ahead of ours, but ours show a good sign of tiny babies! This cool front has slowed the growth a bit. We are enjoying it however!

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, if we get good rain this summer, they will hopefully stay happy and healthy! I don't think they'll mind if it doesn't get too hot, either. :)