Garlic! After waiting and waiting for scapes, finally did some reading to realize there are hard neck and soft neck varieties of garlic, and only the former reliably shoots up scapes. Al the other signs of being ready to harvest were there (tipping over, browning stalk), so I went ahead and harvested them today. Elsewhere in the garden there have been a reliable half dozen cornichons every few days, and over a dozen carrots came up last week. The succession plantings of those are finally showing first leaves. Earlier in the week I planted a few fall crops, radicchio and Brussels sprouts in particular. This past week was mid nineties for the majority, with lots of heavy rain and thunderstorms. Not too much wind damage, and surprises the heat hasn’t caused the tomatoes to turn more. Still all green. Raspberries are nearing the end of their run, while peppers are recalling hitting their stride. Should have at least one or two bells ready by this time next week. Soybeans and green beans are doing alright, but too crowded and not enough of them for great yields. Someday with more space…
Well, the cold frames worked well. TOO well. A sudden heat wave last week (a few days in the 80s out of no where) and I forgot to take the tops off on a particularly sunny day. All the seedlings are fried (well, 90%, a few might be able to be saved).
Fortunately, May Market was yesterday and today at Phipps. I was able to find Garden Dreams, who stocks most of the same varieties I was planning on growing, and pick up some tomatoes and peppers to make up for what was struck the hardest.
Pretty upsetting given that I was trying to start seeds for two others, had invested in a better setup than any year prior, and yet have the worst results of any year. Shows what a delicate balance this whole thing can be!
Finally made two cold frames for the beds. The whole idea of switching to ‘modular’ 3’x3′ beds was to better allow moving things like netting, cold frames, shade cloth, etc between the various beds. These two are made from rigid plastic used for green houses on the sides, and are sized to allow re-use of the former cold house windows on top. They are just set loosely on the bed, and the window loosely on that.
Wheat has germinated! A bunch of little grass-like shoots have come up, so the anti-bird net can go away, fingers crossed it grows up big and strong!
Turned over one bed of winter rye to make room for cauliflower and broccoli planting. Had a lot of trouble with bolting last year, trying direct seed earlier this year to see if any difference.
Also noticed that a majority of the asparagus crowns have shot up new shoots by now. I should have kept a better record of how many there were when I separated and replanted them a few weeks back to see how successful. Judging by the number now visible, working well! This will be their second summer, so possibly a few harvests, but next year will be the real payoff.
Cut them three days ago, fuzzy and partially black, eyes had small growths.
Planted an inch or two below surface and loosely covered. Cold frame is over to help manage moisture and increase heat.
High of 44, low of 33. Some snow this morning.
Planted another large flat with a combination of later flower starts, and some additional tomatoes and herbs to bolster some weaker looking seed starts. I let one tray get a bit dried out, and those starts have really suffered as a result.
All of these starts went into a 50/50 mix with pittmoss as before. Its a really neat product that seem to be working well, the earlier flat of flowers is over 50% germinated already. Definitely helps with moisture control.
Finally warm enough to directly plant a few earlier season crops. Put in early radishes as well as greens (a few lettuces, arugula and spinach).
Also finally got the red fife wheat planted, which probably could have happened weeks ago, but had some dirt to move around between beds that made it easy to delay until now.
Small update, have reached germination of about 50% on seeds planted at seed swap. Certainly achieved faster using an actual starter mix.
The most recent flower starts were in a 50/50 pittmoss and regular soil mix. Will compare those results as well.
Earlier starts have reached almost complete germination, so I feel good about the odds of these more recent ones, especially with better soil conditions.
Weather is looking up in the forecast, hoping for some direct seed planting soon!