May is ‘Get in the Garden’ month here. The last frost date used to be Memorial Day, but over the last few years it’s been more like May 15. We’re hoping that last night’s frost was the last, but we’ll be holding the tomatoes and peppers indoors for at least a week to be sure.
We’ve got all but one of the existing raised beds planted to early cold crops. We’re saving one bed with trellis for the cukes. We have given up on the “As early as the ground can be worked” thing, too. It doesn’t actually pay. If you wait two more weeks until most days are actually pleasant you only lose a couple of days growing time, and your germination is way better.
The garlic planted last fall is up and looking great, despite being snowed on and frozen several times. We’re trying to figure out why we didn’t plant three times as much. In 2005 we didn’t harvest soon enough. This time we’ll get it right (July) and save most of it for next years seed.
The chickens are uprooting onion plants left and right, which is driving us crazy. You only get one shot at onions, and we didn’t plant enough of them either. This afternoon we patched all the places the chickens are using to get into the garden, but they can still fly over the gates. Probably most of the fence as well, but the gates are shorter and flying is work if you’re a chicken. We’re hoping to at least have fewer of them in the garden.
The horseradish is doing great. Since we only use a quart a year, there should be a big surplus to split for future sale. Only one rhubarb plant survived (How can that be? It’s almost as tough as horseradish.) We’ve planted 5 more, three from Jung, two from Miller’s. The ones from Jung were perfectly fine little plants, but the ones from Miller were monster chunks of root albeit without much in the way of buds. I know which is which and we’ll how they look next year.
I remember posting last year that the purple asparagus was gone. It isn’t. There’s quite a bit of it left and we just planted another bundle of it from Agway to replace the ones the geese ate last year. The All-Male is all ferned out already, while the purple is still just shoots. We’re still getting new shoots on a daily basis. Next year, we eat some.
Today’s accomplishment was to extend the asparagus bed and plant 50 strawberry plants, 25 each June bearers and everbearers. We’re hoping the everbearers at least give us a crop this year.
We have two impossible and one hard thing to do between now and Memorial Day. Last year’s potato patch is supposed to be sweet corn this year. It’s full of grass and too many rocks to rototill. We have a place to put the tomatoes and peppers, but it needs raised beds. About six of them. And they’ll block the tractor from the corn patch. The hard part is planting 100 lbs of potatoes over in the pigs garden. We need to trench, and I think we need to trench by hand. It’s wonderful soil but there are rocks (boulders or ledge, don’t know, doesn’t matter) eight foot in diameter out there.