May 27, 2023

Garden Notes: May 2023


  • 7th-8th: 0.55"
  • 14th: 0.07" 
  • 16th-17th: 1.05"
  • 18th: 0.37"
  • 20th: 0.2"
  • 27th: 0.75"
  • 28th: 0.35"
  • Total: 3.35 inches

  • range of nighttime lows: 39 to 64°F (4 to 18°C)
  • range of daytime highs: 65 to 86°F (18 to 30°C)

Weather Notes

The second week of May saw our seasonal weather shift. We got our coldest temperatures the first week of the month, and the wind blew from northerly directions. Then, the wind started coming from the south and the temperature pattern changed. We've had some hot days, but mostly, it's been glorious.

  • watermelon (Orange Glo)
  • sweet potato slips (mostly purples)
  • okra (Clemson Spineless)
  • grain sorghum (mixed seed)
  • cherry tomatoes (Matt's Wild and Tiny Tim)
  • summer squash (Tatume)
  • winter squash (Sweet Potato)
  • pole beans (Cornfield)
  • peanuts
  • bell pepper transplants (Giant Marconi and Red Bell)


Potatoes in the African keyhole garden
Also pictured - yarrow and butterfly weed.

Potato flowers

On the front porch trellis, I have yam berry vines growing.

Buckwheat and corn

Where's the corn, you ask?

Finally outgrowing the buckwheat! Can you see it?

Tomatoes are flowering, but no tomatoes yet.

Harvesting & Eating

Peas, cherries, and the last of the asparagus and strawberries

Pea, asparagus, lettuce, and peanut salad

Cherry pie

The pie used up the bulk of my cherry harvest, but it's such a treat that it was worth it. The remaining pickings will be frozen to add to jelly or wine.

Lambs quarter

Years ago, when I first started harvesting lambs quarter for eating and canning, I followed the advice to harvest it when it was under one foot tall. I cut down the stalks and picked off all the leaves. I've since figured out a quicker and easier way, one that gives me a longer harvest too.

Instead of cutting down the entire plant, I just harvest the clusters of leaves that grow at the end of the stalk and branches.

I cut them at the base of the leaves.

When harvested like that, all that's required is to wash and cook them. No tough stems to discard, and the plants will grow new clusters of leaves that can be picked no matter how big the plant gets. I find I can harvest this way until they flower and go to seed. 

Canning lambs quarter, a favorite cooked green.

Oregano drying

Daikon radish over a foot long! Even though it's large, it's
still sweet and makes an excellent addition in our salads.

Chopped peas & asparagus, grated daikon, feta cheese, & hard boiled egg.


Not Harvesting

At least not harvesting much of.

Multiplier onions and garlic.

I've gotten a very poor harvest of these. I'm guessing it's because our winter was so cold that most of them didn't make it. Some years are like that.

There you have it. May has been a busy month in the garden. How about you?

Garden Notes: May 2023 © May 2023


Goatldi said...


I am wondering if there will be a harvest this year. I did starts on everything figuring to plant the last full week of May. They popped up and grew about the same time more cold temps came along . I did get a few in the ground . I put in some seeds for Bell peppers variety into the pepper raised bed of last year another false start. The above creeper cold front came with clouds and rain. When I didn't see anything growing after several weeks I switched gears and put in starts for bush beans.
The bean starts did ok but I ended up putting in more seeds as the sneak attack weather change did in the last row and one half. Still too soon to know if they will sprout. I did find a lonely single Bell pepper growing after our mini heat wave. And it is still growing a week after it left town.It is back in the low 80's and high forty's in the mornings.
Despite the fluctuating temperatures both the beds of sugar peas are producing very slowly and not as many as I would usually have. My first attempt at radishes with seeds planted at a warm time then went cold then back to warmer and grew promptly went to seed? My asparagus is coming along just put them in so have no expectations for them as the are in planting year now. I have one Cherry tomato start of three still fighting the good fight. Plus half a dozen of two squash varieties. Still hopeful for the seeds put in for standard large slicing tomatoes,cukes and a few other seeds not in the ground .
Not certain where all this is going but remain hopeful or I may just hit the nursery and put in some late starts and begin again.
The most amazing thing is I still have flannel sheets on my bed. Yes I run hot but after the sun goes down the cool winds start and pick up again in the early morning and I do enjoy my windows opened. Who knew?

Leigh said...

Goatldi, wow, you're really having trouble with late cool temps! It's always frustrating when that happens after stuff has been planted. I've delayed putting my potted ginger outside because it gets too cool some nights, but I haven't had the problems you have. I noticed potted starts are starting to go on clearance around here. That may be a way to get a garden in after all!

daisy g said...

I love the interplanting of the corn and buckwheat! What a glorious sight that is!
And I love the herbs drying over the stove. You've had a productive month planting, harvesting and sowing.

We got more than an inch of rain overnight (with more expected today), and I just went out to check on the garden and things have exploded! Rain is an amazing provider.

Continued blessings in the garden!

Leigh said...

Daisy, and it's only just begun! I'm glad to hear you're getting some of this rain. We got 3/4" yesterday and it's raining lightly today. I agree it's amazing how things respond to rain. Much better than irrigating!

Kate said...

Your kimchi looks terrific - would you mind sharing the recipe? What vegetables have you included? I always use napa cabbage and would love to branch out

Leigh said...

Kate, thank you!

My kimchi generally has napa cabbage, daikon (both leaves and root), carrot, onion, and a little ginger. I'm not particular about how much of each, it's mostly based on what I have. Everything is shredded, packed into a gallon jar, and covered with brine (for each quart of water I add 2 tablespoons Himalayan salt and 1/4 cup whey. The whey is optional but I have it and find it kick starts the fermenting process).

Fermenting time is to taste, generally, that means 3 days for us. After that it's refrigerated. I'm going to try freezing some, because I understand that will preserve the probiotics.

Anonymous said...

Amen 🙃Goatldi

Nina said...

We had some really unusually late frosts this year, which put the brakes on the garden last week. I had planted some plants under cloches, and even covered them all with sheets and blankets on the cold nights. I only lost 1 tomato plant out of 4, and the cukes and peppers survived, so not a huge loss. . The late frosts and plant loss is a risk you take when planting before the last frost date. I gambled and figured I pretty much won this year!

I'll finish planting later this week when the second raised bed is finally finished

Ed said...

Our dryness from nearly two months of no rain, has made our garden pretty easy to care for. Most of our work is simply carrying water to those plants in which we might still benefit from, like tomatoes and peppers. Our peas are probably done as well as the bulk of our early season stuff. We did have a great asparagus crop and our strawberry bed may produce a small amount of berries yet. We have yet to plant any squash or pumpkins because there is absolutely no moisture for them anyway and I'm not sure I could keep up hand watering them.

The plus side, it has been easy to keep weeded this year. We haven't even applied much mulch simply because it would just blow away without some moisture to anchor it down.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, :)

Nina, it's good you could save them! What a relief. Hopefully, a nicer summer is on the way.

Ed, no rain is worrisome, but at least you've been able to water things. Here's hoping for a wetter summer.

Retired Knitter said...

Diakon is one of our favorite radishes. My husband and I went into an Asian market recently and they had Diakon there that were about the size of baseball bats. Just huge. I am betting they aren’t that good for eating but probably plenty good for making edible flowers.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Looks great Leigh!

Seeds are done. I am going full on "what will actually grow here" this year: okra, sweet potatoes, two kinds of black eyed peas, daikon, and sorghum. I am revamping my watering system; in principle the emitters/low pressure system worked, but I needed a bigger supply hose.

Leigh said...

RT, I wonder if they use them for kimchi. There are probably a whole lot of recipes out there for daikon. I should do some research.

Thanks, TB! I'm pretty much sticking with grows well here too. Nice to hear about your watering system. I'm glad it worked and am sure it will be much better with a larger hose.