I know we really don’t have a rainy season here in Central Pennsylvania like a tropical region; but it’s sure starting to feel like it!
Not that I’d ever be the one to complain about rain for the garden, I just want a break so that I can finish with my planting. There are plenty of new developments around the garden this season beginning with a few new raised beds that I have put in.
Stretching Out in the Veggie Garden
It seems like there’s never enough room for growing plants and my motivation for expanding the garden was to add a perennial vegetable bed that contains asparagus, blackberries, and rhubarb, provide space to do more cover cropping, and to raise more of the varieties that I’ve longed to grow but just couldn’t squeeze in.
My heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants were all planted about two weeks ago. I held off a bit with them and was glad that I did because the weather was so unsettled during May with cooler than normal temps, wet weather, and late frost in parts of Central PA.
New varieties in the garden that I’m looking forward to trialing this year include; Purple Smudge Tomato, Golden Marconi Peppers, Ma Zu Eggplant, Chocolate Amazon Tomato, Green Goddess Eggplant, and Matt’s Wild Cherry Tomato.
Let the Veggie Harvesting Begin
The early spring vegetables look great thanks to the cool weather and plentiful rainfall! Broccoli is ready to harvest and the greens are yielding plenty of leaves for salads and other kitchen uses. The kohl rabi and cabbages aren’t far behind either.
In addition to the usual harvest of spring greens like kale, collards, and chard, there are always wild edibles such as chickweed, lambs quarters, and dandelion greens available and free for the picking at this time of the year when production in the garden is somewhat limited.
I’m psyched about the maturing garlic as the plants look incredible and have started forming scapes which I always remove and use in recipes or by themselves for a burst of delicious garlic flavor.
A Look at the Garden’s Wild and Untamed Neighbors
A new fence is almost completed and will hopefully keep the garden off limits to the rabbit population that has exploded this year. There’s nothing like the frustration of planting and caring for tender young seedlings only to discover that they’ve been chewed to the ground by that not so cute bunny rabbit.
I also noticed a possum strolling alongside the garden early yesterday morning and was rudely awakened last night by the passing of a skunk that was obviously nearby, fortunately the skunks have been less common in the area but are a growing concern and nuisance in neighboring communities.
The soil dried out long enough earlier this week to give me a chance to finish preparing the new growing beds. I will soon plant my beans, okra, squash, melons, herbs, and other summer corps. They are going in a little later that I would have liked but some things are beyond a gardener’s control.
Overall things are shaping up nicely in the vegetable plot, I just hope that the plentiful spring rains don’t lead to a hot and dry summer growing season!
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