The garden is shaping up nicely as I continue to direct seed and transplant summer vegetables into the raised beds.
The leafy spring greens that were harvested beginning in March are finished producing and have been removed from the garden to make room for summer crops. One reddish tinged wild kale plant was left behind in the garden to produce seed.
Raised Bed Preparation for Spring Planting
All four of the raised beds have been prepared and are ready for planting as needed. The preparation was as simple as loosening the beds with a garden fork without actually turning the soil over, and mixing in an inch or so of compost, mushroom soil, and composted manures into the surface of the raised beds.
You just can’t beat the ease and convenience of using raised beds to grow a vegetable garden. No tilling, fewer weeds, a deep loose soil that can be planted whenever you’re ready, and flexibility that you don’t have when growing in the typical row format. Those are just a few of the reasons to make the switch if you haven’t already.
Garlic, Lettuce, Rhubarb, and Perennial Herbs
The garlic that was planted last fall looks great and is over four feet high with stems that are almost as thick as mature leeks. That’s just one of the advantages of getting your garlic seed into the ground during the fall rather than planting it in the spring.
The gourmet lettuce transplants have reached the stage where the plants are forming heads and really take off as the heads grow large and heavy. The rhubarb has taken over the perennial herb bed with huge leaves and thick stalks that are ready to be harvested. Anyone have any simple rhubarb recipes?
Also on display in the herb garden are chive plants in full bloom loaded with edible flower blossoms. All of the perennial herbs survived the winter, even the ones that are reliable in this growing zone. There are also plenty of chive and epazote volunteers that I’ve been removing from the herb bed.
Improving Precipitation and Weather Conditions
The weather has been on the cool side for most of the week and despite a frost warning just two nights ago we should be in the clear and safe to set out frost tender vegetables and herbs such as peppers and basil. It’s been a rather dry spring so far but we’ve finally started to receive more consistent rain showers and thunderstorms.
Cabbages, broccoli, and other spring crops are enjoyong the moisture and cool temperatures and growing rapidly. The Chinese cabbages in particular are looking healthy and the heads are beginning to fill out.
I took advantage of the precipitation and cloud cover last week to set out the heirloom tomatoes and also space out other plants that were direct seeded and germinated too thickly. Cooler and cloudy weather conditions provide the perfect opportunity for planting and transplanting to your raised beds.
New Additions to the Ornamental Edible Garden
I purchased an American Elderberry plant and a few ever bearing strawberries to provide a little more fruit from the garden. The blueberry blossoms have fallen off leaving behind the berries which are green but growing quickly. The one blueberry bush that I was worried about because it didn’t have a single leaf finally came around and pushed out new growth.
The only disappointment in the garden has been the sugar snap peas which germinated very unevenly. I used fresh seed so I’m not sure if it was a poor batch of seed or if the seeds just rotted in the ground.
The most interesting new plant has been a new variety of spinach that I’m experimenting with. The plant is on the small side but has unusual red stems and pointed arrow shaped leaves.
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