MAY I start planting now? by Dan Christina
It’s May already!? Yikes!!!
While I would like to say I have made tremendous progress in the Vegetable Garden, the weekly downpours are sogging up the soil and keeping me from getting any dramatic forward momentum. Even as I write this a thunderstorm is passing by, raining down delays and reducing the likelihood that I will get the rest of the garden beds laid out and finish planting the transplants this week. Those veggie starts (from many posts ago) have been languishing these last weeks, itching to break free into the earth to stretch their roots and start bulking up for harvest. However, even when faced with seemingly endless interference from above, perserverance and dogged determination have helped me push through and get a fair amount of change enacted.
As you can see, the paths have been weeded, and a fresh coat of riverbed stone laid down. The color looks great with the edging and it feels and sounds great to walk on. Progress!
There were a few warm and dry days which I was able to take advantage of and get the beds for the lettuces (which will be followed by tomatoes) cut and shaped. Each bed is 30″ wide with three rows of lettuce running the whole length. As the lettuce grows and fills in the area, they will naturally cover the soil keeping weed growth down. After about a month, the heads will be large enough to start harvesting, which will be just in time for the tomatoes to be planted. Basically, I will pull the center row out as each tomato plant goes in, leaving the two outside rows for the weeks that follow. I tried this technique last year with great success, and doubled the output of the rows.
Even better yet is the reinstallation of the raised beds in the northwest quadrant of the garden. I decided to allow for better foot traffic around the beds this year, and have cut out a 3 foot path in front and between them. I also am going to split that area in half with another path for ease of movement and hopefully will encourage our visitors to get in and among the plants. I cut the size of the raised beds down to 5×5′ from 6×6′ which will make the centers a bit easier to reach.
With the raised beds in place and filed with soil, I started getting some seeds and transplants into them, and will have each bed half full this week.
Hopefully I can get that whole section finished this week and then can move onto the eastern half of the garden.
I almost forgot to mention, the Asparagus leapt out of the ground this weekend, the peas are about 4 inches tall and those radishes from March 12th are harvest ready! Something to be happy about!
I’ve heard from others that peas and asparagus have been slow this year all around. Anyone having better luck than I? Is everyone about two weeks behind?