May 16, 2022

Spring Planting & Growing: Late Edition

Spring's last anticipated frost date divides my planting season into early and late. If the weather turns warm early, I'm always tempted to take a chance and plant early. Last year I did that and we had a late frost. This year I waited. I'm glad I did because we had another late frost this year! We're on the other side of that now, so we're busy planting and transplanting warm weather veggies and crops.

Warm season seeds planted so far:
  • cantaloupe (Hales' Best)
  • cowpeas (Ozark Razorback)
  • okra (Clemson spineless)
  • peanuts (a Virginia type, I think)
  • my landrace cucumbers (F1)
  • calendula
  • sunflowers
  • corn (Painted Mountain)
  • winter squash (Sweet Potato)
  • summer squash (White Scallop)
  • Swiss chard
    • Fordhook
    • Rugy
    • Rainbow blend
  • sunflowers (Russian Mammoth)
  • dill
  • marigolds
  • scarlet runner beans

Plants planted or transplanted:
  • asparagus roots
  • sweet potato slips (Georgia Jet)
  • tomato plants
    • Matt's Wild Cherry (volunteers)
    • Better Boy
  • table grape (green seedless)
  • olive tree (Arbequina, supposedly okay for my growing zone)
  • redbud seedlings

Working on:
  • pasture

Still to plant:
  • green beans (Cornfield, when the corn is about 6" tall)
  • more summer squash & cukes (for extended harvesting)
  • more herbs (hopefully)
  • purple sweet potato slips

Purple sweet potato sprouts for slips

 I got the purple sweet potatoes from Misfits Market. They were excellent keepers and very tasty, so I saved one to sprout for slips. It's been slow, I reckon because it's been a fairly cool spring. Eventually I'll get them in the ground to grow my own.







Red raspberry leaves to dry for tea


Peppermint for tea

Oregano for seasoning

Waiting to harvest:



Multiplier onions

And of course, we're waiting on everything else! The challenge, now, is getting enough rain. We had a very rainy spring but no rain since our last frost, except for an occasional drizzle. Without moisture, things don't germinate or grow, so I'm doing a lot of watering of transplants and baby plants. We're really enjoying the lettuce and snow peas, and I'm hoping with plenty of watering they'll continue to produce. But I hesitate to water newly planted seeds, wondering if it isn't better to wait until it rains for nature to take it's course.

The transition from rainy to not-so-much rain pretty much marks our transition from spring to summer. That, and the days are getting hot. Those days are upon us, so it's definitely time to finish planting and shift seasonal gears.


Ed said...

Since we essentially garden just once a week due to the location of our garden, we often get burnt by a late frost or don’t get things planted in a timely manner. The latter is where we are this year.

daisy g said...

So exciting! You have a great start to your growing season. The garlic looks amazing!

Leigh said...

Ed, it's impossible to predict conditions, so the best we can do is make an educated guess! Some years we win, some years we don't. :)

Daisy, thank you! Yes, my most of my garlic has done really well. And to think I started out a couple of years ago planting grocery store cloves. :)

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Looks great Leigh! I have to admit I have become a complete convert on growing sweet potatoes, which was unexpected (to me, any way).

Hoping you get more rain. We had a late frost as well, which made me feel like a genius (instead of behind the eight ball, as I usually feel).

Florida Farm Girl said...

Things are looking good but I know what you mean about the rain. We got plenty earlier in the year but we really could use some now. However, no real chances of it in the forecast for the next 10 days. Let's hope things change.

Leigh said...

TB, did you know that sweet potato leaves are edible? Apparently, both raw and cooked. I haven't tried them yet, but it's certainly a good thing to know.

Sue, it seems like the forecast is always for a possibility of rain the next weekend. Then the weekend rolls around and the forecast changes to possibility of rain the next weekend. Maddening!

Mama Pea said...

Love your garden posts (at any time of the year) and the comparison to ours. (A world of difference!) What do you do to "harvest" your multiplier onions? Our neighbor gave me some a couple of years ago and he says his mother used the bulbs as any other onion but my research tells me to use only the green tops. :o\ I'm confused.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, definitely use the bulbs like any other onion! I pull all the plants when they start to die back, cut off the tops, and cure them. I set the biggest ones aside to replant the following fall, the the rest go into a bin in the pantry to use whenever I need onions.

Most people call these "potato onions" but I don't get the connection because they don't look, taste, or grow like potatoes.

Joy said...

The wheat looks perfect... are you going to grind it for flour?

Leigh said...

Joy, yes! We usually harvest it in June, and then spend the next month or two threshing and winnowing. Homegrown wheat makes the best flavor bread!

Joy said...

What variety of wheat do you grow and do you plant it in the fall? How large of an area do you plant?

Leigh said...

Joy, we plant two kinds of wheat, both in the fall. The one in the photo is Hourani wheat, an heirloom landrace variety. Of that, I just have a 3x16 foot bed for seed. The other is saved seed from wheat originally purchased from our feed store. I don't know the variety, just some sort of hard red. Of that, we plant a larger patch, this year it was about 55 feet by 25 feet (that's a guesstimate.) I always save some for seed the following fall, and the rest is for flour.

Nina said...

It's still not really warm enough to plant the garden proper, but instead of planting flowers in my large deck pots, I've been planting a small kitchen garden instead. Anything tender is under a cloche. We'll see if it works. I thought I might miss the flowers, but nope, I'm just as happy with veggies and herbs in those planters.

Leigh said...

Nina, I would love some of your cooler weather about now! Sounds like a really good use of large pots. I think kitchen herbs and veggies are just as pretty as flowers. :)