Here we are at week 4, the first half of Green Season ends this week; next week the lettuce, at least, will be from the outside garden! The big help for that outside lettuce was to put a floating crop cover over it. The lettuce, the snap peas and the cabbage (all outside) are safely tucked away in their beds with the blankets pulled up over their heads…
Weather continues to be the big challenge otherwise here – some sun breaks happening this week; still only about a week since the last freeze. The outside potatoes got their earliest showing frozen off, but that seems to be done now and 7 of the 9 planted types are showing good growth above the ground. Kale is still pretty small, which is concerning.
Back in the day (high school, class of 1970) the Seniors graduated a week ahead of the rest of the school getting out. So, that last week there would be an assembly and each class could ‘move’ to the part of the auditorium reserved for the appropriate year- it was always fun, and felt a bit exciting. Well, that happens this coming week for the veggies. The Lettuces which were in bets 3 and 6 are graduating this week, and the Tomatoes move into the now vacant beds. Not clear if the tomatoes are excited about promotion, but it is cool to see. Part of the exercise involves raising the cover up to 6′ or so, and then adding the take up reel and twine for trellising. This year there will be three of the trellised beds in the greenhouse, and possibly a fourth outside.
If you have ever toured the garden later in the main season the trellised tomatoes are quite amazing – 7-8′ tall vines can be a bit of a shock. By the way – raising the ‘lid’ up for the trellis part of the year by one person is a bit exciting – lots of farm points can be lost if the trellis frame falls into the plants – not good on the plants, and really hard on the trellis frame.
The floating cover on bed three is there because of a marauding sparrow nick-named “Putin.” Putin likes to pull off the baby leaves from new seedlings – or, by preference, to pull up the whole baby pea plant. It is both concerning and annoying to come into the greenhouse and find Putin hard at work. Little stinker is not all that concerned about a farmer – there is a short game of chase, which Putin has many advantages at.
Bed preparation for seeding splits between raised beds which are hand-spaded and ground beds that are tilled. The tilled beds are either ones which had a paper mulch (no weeds) or those which had root crops like beets, potatoes, carrots, Parsnips. The root crop beds are rotated into paper mulch the following year; the paper mulch beds get root crops. The paper mulch is a miracle cure for weeds – they sprout and die; a very good thing. The upper beds are stony – which means that they get spaded about 12″ deep and the stones removed as spading progresses. The cut flower beds are on their third round of stoning and are getting pretty clear now – but still a bucket every 6′ or so.
You might notice that the bed to the right of the shovel is relatively clear of weeds – that bed was paper-mulched in 2021. This year the mulch will be alder sawdust: that soil is extremely sandy and needs more tilth, which the decomposing sawdust will provide.
The veggies that are going out this week are a rinse-and-repeat of last week. Next week will have Asparagus – it is just now getting more plants breaking ground. There may be a small portion for the end of this week – a lot depends on the sun breaks.
So – here is what IS in the box:
|There is 1 (one) large green romaine left – the rest of the lettuce is either a smaller romaine or a buttercrunch. If you have a strong preference, speak up.
|Waiting for outside cabbage to head up (1-2 weeks). There may be a few small Kale (green) for those who ask. It literally would of been ready with a bit of sun this last week.
|a few Minowase Radish, Beets with small bulbs. Young Carrots (SugarSnax54 – a longer carrot, the go-to here)
|Mustard … Lots and lots and lots… If you already voted Mustard off your island you won’t get any…
Chard – bigger small early leaves. Really growing fast
Spinach. Looking a bit ratty, might need to reseed.
Arugula – those who want a ‘lot’ will get a ‘lot.’ Also a very fast growing crop.
Vit – tiny little green – sweet and almost ‘nutty.’ Test planting this time – it is so tiny it is hard to get much of… ask.
|Mint, Oregano, Chives, Green Onions. Small portions of Cilantro, if you like;
Coming soon… Asparagus – maybe later this week.
After cut flower starts are set out there will be an inventory list of flower starts for sale. Generally, Stock, Statice, Snapdragon are possible – Coleus and Red Geranium in 5″ square pots as well. If all goes according to hoped-for plan, that list will be available next week.
Not quite soon, maybe a few weeks: Outside peas, Cabbage are on a fast track. New potatoes maybe in mid May.
Broccoli and Cauliflower get set out after 5/1, as well as new crop small bulb onions, more cabbage.
Monthly Update coming next week…