Saturday, 2 June 2018

June Garden Ramblings



We have had a very dry and hot month of May but there is hope on the horizon, rain seems to be forecast over the next few days. Fingers crossed for a day or two of really good ground soaking rain.

While I often do my planting in early June, I am late, late, late with some of my crops this year. If you are in the same boat, not to worry, we can still plant just about anything and everything, and we can still do it from seed, but we gotta do it now!

With the craziness of the busy season at the greenhouse, most seedling 6-packs sat for weeks waiting for me to get them into the ground. The Brussels sprouts bolted in their sad little plastic packs before I got to them, so for the first time in many years, I have planted them from seed straight into the garden.


The onion seedlings were just planted yesterday and look great already today, won't take long till they are rooted in and growing. I need to grow onions under bug netting as I tend to get maggots, ugh! Netting is the only thing that will keep that fly from laying it's eggs on my seedlings.

You can also use this netting over your carrots if you have issues with the carrot rust fly, or over your brassicas to keep them aphid free.


The hardest part about growing from seed when it is this hot and dry, so dry that that water just seems to float on top of the beds, is keeping the seeds moist till germination happens.

Some veggies can take an incredibly long time to germinate and be a bit fussy, like carrots and parsnips. Carrot seeds are not planted very deep, so tend to dry out quite quickly. I use burlap sacks to help keep them moist till I see them sprouting. If the seeds dry out during the germination process, they die and we are left with no carrots.

Plant your seeds, water well, cover with burlap sacks, and water well again. Lift the bag daily to see if germination has occurred, remove when you see carrot tops. Till then, water through the burlap daily.

Any crops that germinate quickly and are planted deeper, like cucumbers, squash, beans, etc.. water daily and they will be just fine.


Veggies, herbs, etc...

Most of you probably have the gardens in by now, for the most part. If not, we still have time to put in pretty much any crops at all from either seed or starter plant. Do not buy over-grown and root bound veggie starts as they often tend not to fare well, you are much better off going from seed instead. I will put a list of what you can plant from seed at the bottom of this post.

Herbs, on the other hand, will root out just fine usually, no matter how root bound. Pull off the bottom bit of roots and loosen up the root ball, plant and water in well.

Heat loving crops, like squash and corn, love this warm soil and will germinate quickly. They also do not transplant well as they dislike their roots being disturbed. Do not be afraid to start crops from seed, as many actually tend to grow much better and faster than starter plants do.

Remove any bolting vegetables to make room for more of the heat loving veggies. Things like radishes, lettuces, spinach, cilantro do not like the heat and will soon start to go to seed.
These cloudy grey skies may have bought us some more time though, so water well, harvest lots, and keep your fingers crossed.


Add lots of flowers and herbs to your kitchen garden to bring in the good bugs that eat the bad bugs and to feed birds and bees. The best companion flowers for your veggie patch are marigolds, calendula, sweet alyssum, nasturtiums, and zinnias, but anything you plant will attract someone good to your garden, so go ahead, add lots of colour!


Berries and fruits... 

When your fruiting bushes/trees are putting on flowers and fruits, they need more water, more often. This will give you plenty of big, juicy fruits and berries. My blueberries are pretty loaded this year, the raspberries are starting, and strawberries are ripening like crazy. Water well and often. This applies to all other berries and fruit trees, too.


Garlic...  

Garlic scapes are forming, is time to harvest! Yay!

Removing the scapes them will make your bulbs bigger and also makes it easier to braid the hardneck varieties, should you want to do so. Plus, scapes taste great, too.

To remove, snap them off as close to the leaves as you can, or simply pull them out when they are growing straight up. Scapes can be made into a delish pesto or added to any dish that you would generally add chives or garlic to, like potatoes on the bbq, stir-fries, even add to anything you are pickling.

Scape time also means that we are only about 3 weeks from harvest time. Stop watering your garlic 2 to 3 weeks before harvest... in other words, right about now or very soon.

For more garlic information, when to harvest, how to know when to harvest, etc... please see that post HERE!


Tomatoes.. 
Nothing to say about tomatoes yet, really, hahaha, just that I love them! Can hardly wait for fresh home grown tomatoes.

For now, just deep water every third day with soaker hoses or drip system, interplant with lots of marigolds to keep them bug free, and basil to help them grow and taste better.



Please do not fear starting from seed, I always start most all of my veggies from seed. This bed has a couple of volunteer sunflowers growing, but everything else was just planted up this week, including the pollinator plants. This bed will soon be green and fantastic, though it does not look like much as of yet ; )   

What to plant from SEED now... so many more than you probably thought ; )
- Beans
- Beets
- Broccoli
- Cabbage
- Carrots
- Corn
- Cucumbers
- Lettuce, greens, spinach (unless you face due south like I do and have no shade beds - too hot). Head lettuce will tolerate the heat better than loose leaf.
- Parsnips
- Scallions
- Squash of all kinds... butternut, delicata, gourds, pattypans, pumpkins, spaghetti, zucchini...

You can still plant some flowers and herbs from seed, too...
- Cilantro
- Chives
- Dill
- Cosmos
- Nasturtiums
- Sunflowers
- Zinnias



Happy growing! 

Monday, 7 May 2018

May Garden Ramblings

Well, here we are, it is finally the month of May... the busiest planting month of the year. This is when everything happens!


We will all be planting like mad people ... the warm season veggies go into the ground, and we also begin to harvest the cool season veggies we planted back in March and April.

Remember that many of your cool season crops will bolt (go to seed) when the hot, dry summer weather hits, so eat and enjoy now, when stuff is ready, do not leave them to get bigger or better. Things like broccoli will not actually grow and produce all summer long.

Yard and Garden Chores...
Weeding... still weeding. So much weeding to do. The lawn is 'flowering', as are the pathways and perennial beds, too. We have been so diligent about weeding for the past three years that I figured we would get less and less each year, but nope, that just never seems to happen.

Mowing.. spring is the only time of year that the grass needs regular mowing here on the island, it will soon be golden brown as the rains stop for the summer. Yippee!

Planting... doing up all the containers, pots, planters and baskets, plus the veggies, of course. The fun stuff! Yay!



Tomatoes!
The weather has been pretty fine the past few days, so is time to start thinking about putting out the tomatoes. Tomatoes are heat lovers, they like warm soil, warm air, and lots of sunshine.

I always wait until the night time temps have been +10°C consistently for several nights in a row before I even consider (selling) putting out my tomato plants. This means that the soil temperature in the beds is warm enough for the tomatoes to thrive instead of struggle. There are years when I do not get around to planting out my tomatoes until early June, and then they take right off as they love that warmth.

If you plant out your tomatoes in the garden beds too early, they may go dormant from the cold. Should your leaves start to purple and the plant go into dormancy, it can take a great many weeks for it to recover. You will have lost production time rather than gaining. It is worth your while to wait.

Plants in pots or planters are fine to go out a bit earlier, if you want to push the timing, as the soil in the pots stays warmer than in gardens. Raised beds warm up a bit faster than in ground beds, as well.

Harden off your plants before putting them out. Plants are prone to sunburn if they go straight from the greenhouse to the beds. The leaves will turn white and they do not ever go green again. You just have to wait for them to drop off and the plant to make new foliage. Small plants may not ever recover, while larger ones will just be ugly for a while.  

To harden off your plants, place in a shady spot where they receive dappled light for 2 or 3 hours the first day. Each day, introduce your plant to a couple more hours of sunshine and plant out on the 4th day. I do not bring mine in at night as I do not harden them off until the night temps are +10°C. You can cover them with a frost cover for the night, if you are leery.


When planting... Plant your tomatoes nice and deep. Remove a few of the bottom leaves along the stem, new roots will grow from these spots, loosen your root ball, and bury the plant deep into the garden bed. Some will lie them on their sides to plant the stem under ground, but I prefer to go deep rather than wide so that I do not jab it with the tomato cage or try to plant companion plants on top of it ; )
Do not plant anything else in this manner, only tomatoes grow new roots along the buried stem.


Veggies you can grow from seed this month...

When planting from seed, you need to keep the soil moist until you see germination. If you were to let the seeds go dry as they are beginning to sprout, the seeds will die, no amount of watering will revive them.



Beans.. plant from seed straight into warm soil, anytime this month or next. Plant 5 seeds per pole for pole beans and thin out to 3 seeds if they all germinate. For bush beans, plant them about 3 inches apart in rows.


Carrots... Carrot seeds can take up to 3 weeks to germinate so you need to keep them moist for a really long time. Letting them dry out even one day may cause you to lose the entire crop. I cover mine with burlap sacks to help keep the seeds moist till they germinate.
Just water thoroughly through the bag. If you do not have burlap sacks, buy the burlap in a roll but double it up when you lay it on the beds as it is pretty thin. After 7 days, begin to lift the bag to check for germination, leave on until you see the little green tops coming up.


Corn... loves warm soil, so wait till the long weekend to plant. Corn started from seeds usually does better than from starter plants, as they do not like to have their roots disturbed.


Lettuce, spinach and other greens... Can be planted from both seed and starter plant. I do a bit of both as I know that I will only be able to harvest till about mid-June till the heat does them all in. In this pic you see both spinach starters starting to grow and the seeded spinach coming up nicely on the side. Extends my growing season just a bit before they all bolt in the heat.

If you have a less sunny yard than I do, or are able to provide them with shade, you can sow fresh lettuce seeds every two weeks all summer long for a continuous supply of lovely tasting greens. One package of seeds costs around $3 and will provide you with months and months of lettuce/greens. Totally worth your while instead of buying a head of lettuce for $3 to $5 at the grocers every week.


Potatoes ... pop in your seed potatoes some time this month, too. I like to grow mine the traditional way in my raised beds, so these spuds that have just begun to sprout will be hilled twice yet before I leave them to grow for the summer. The soil that you see beside the spuds will slowly be pushed on top of the potato greens as they get taller, until the hilled part is where the potatoes are.


Peas... you can still keep planting more peas till the end of the month so that you have a fresh batch coming up for a good part of the summer. If you only plant the once, when they are done, they are done.


What else to plant from seed this month?

Beets, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, parsnips (mmm, love parsnips!), radishes, turnips, all squash (zukes, pattypans, etc..) gourds and pumpkins.  


What to plant from starters?

Tomatoes, of course, but also peppers and eggplants, too. Grow them in pots for the best success.


You also still have time to grow broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, lettuces, greens, onions, and more from starters.


What else to do?
- Check for bugs as tis the season for aphids! Wash off with a strong jet of water or with a soap spray.
- Mulch your roses and perennial beds for happier and healthier plants this year and to retain more moisture.
- Harvest asparagus. Leave at least one stalk per crown to get tall and ferny so that your plant gets bigger and better each year.



Water slow but deep for the best results and to conserve water. Weeping hoses are terrific for watering your veggies after they have germinated. Till they germinate though, you need to hand water daily. After that, the deep soak of a weeper hose helps them to make deep roots for the hardiest veggies.


Don't forget to plant lots of different annuals to draw in the pollinators, ladybugs, birds, hummingbirds, and other beneficial insects that eat your bad bugs. In the above picture you see two types of marigolds and both are fantastic for the veggie garden.. Orange Gem Tagetes and French marigolds (plus zinnias in the background).


Happy gardening and growing!  




Tuesday, 10 April 2018

April Garden Ramblings

The cold and damp spring has kind of dampened this ole gardener's spirit.


Time to haul your citrus trees out from the greenhouse 

However, while I am less than impressed with Mother Nature, the cool weather veggies love these days of rain mixed with sunshine, so I keep slowly plugging along, prepping and planting!


Starting to think that we may have a super short spring and then go right into summer with a bang.... and cool weather crops do not like summer heat!

So plant them now, enjoy them fresh tasting, crisp and yummy, straight from the garden.          

Early spring veggies!

So, what to do in the garden this month? 

Pull out winter veggies going to seed. Harvest any leeks or winter broccoli that did not get eaten by the bunnies during the long, snowy winter.

Weed and top dress beds with manure or compost if this was not done in the fall. Add organic nutrients like blood meal, bone meal, kelp or seaweed, if needed, to feed your soil. Scratch these goodies lightly into the surface so that you are ready to plant right away.

Not sure what to add? Do a quick soil test to give you a basic idea of how your soil is for nutrients and pH.


Watch the garlic grow.... If it needs an extra boost of nutrients, side dress with a bit of manure or compost, plus blood meal for good strong tops and bone meal for bigger bulbs.


Plant a row or two of strawberries! June-bearing and Ever-bearing for berries from spring through fall.

This is a great time to plant new fruit trees of all sorts and berry shrubs as they require a whole lot less watering and tlc than if planted later in the season.

Use companion plants everywhere

With those beds all ready to go, what to plant in them now? All the yummy stuff that loves this cool, wet weather!

Plant in the garden now, from seed ....
Beets
Cabbage
Carrots 
Kale
Kohlrabi
Leeks
Lettuce
Onions
Peas
Parsnips
Radishes
Scallions
Spinach
Swiss chard
Turnips


Plant now from transplants...
Asparagus
 Broccoli/broccolini/broccoli raab
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Kale
Leeks
Lettuce
Onions
Peas
Spinach
Swiss Chard


Sow Zinnias from seed for a fabulous selection of colours!  


Companion plants... 
 Sweet alyssum
Calendula
Marigolds
Nasturtiums from seed
Zinnias (toss in seeds closer to the end of the month... or from starter plants in May.)
Sweet Peas

The ones above are some of the very best companion plants for your veggie garden, but there are a great many flowers that can be planted or sown this month. The more diversity you have in the garden, the happier your plants and pollinators will be.


Herbs to plant now... 
Dill (seed or starter)
Cilantro (seed or starter)
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme

Ama Rosa, Banana, and Purple Russian potatoes. So pretty! 

About potatoes. I usually plant during the first or second weekend of April. This year, with the gardens so wet and the soil still so cool, I am holding off for another week or two. They are currently sitting on the window sill chitting (sprouting). We can plant spuds anytime between now and mid-June, so no real hurry.

For how I plant potatoes in raised beds, see HERE! If you want to read even more about potatoes, I have blogged about them often over the years. Put the word 'potato' in the Search Bar and several great posts will pop up.


What starters NOT to buy yet?
Tomatoes! Plus peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, or squash. Is simply too early and too cold.... especially this year! These are all hot-weather (summer) crops.  

I see that some box stores and even some nurseries (for shame!) are selling tomato seedlings already. Please do not buy them! Tomatoes are heat lovers and cannot go out into the garden till the night air temps are +10°C (sometime in May or even June). 

Just waiting for a bit more sunshine so these tulips start to show off

What else to do? 

Transplant your tomato seedlings, and start  feeding all your starts every week or two with a weak organic tomato food or alfalfa tea. Find the tea recipes HERE!

Never fertilise on dry soil, water your plants first and then feed to prevent burning the roots.

No colour yet, but soon, very soon!  

Feed your over-wintered geraniums (pelargoniums), mini roses, and fuchsias bi-weekly.

Pot up your dahlias, canna lilies, calla lilies, and other bulbs for a head start. Transfer to the garden in a few weeks time.

This fabulous picture from Pinterest, no credits provided.

Plant some pots of pretty colour for spring and your Easter table.  


Happy Gardening! 

(Originally posted in April of 2017 but the weather is the same this year)
  

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Spring Sowing.... Seeds, Starter Plants, and Succession Sowing




Confused about whether to grow from seed or starter plants? Which way is the best way to go? Truth is, a lot of our cool season crops can be started either way... or both.

As we are all getting ready to plant out our spring crops, you may be wondering which route to take.

If you did not top dress with manure in the fall, you can do so now.  All of these veggies will thrive in soil that is rich, full of organic matter (manure/compost), most prefer full sun, with once a week watering. 

The following can all be planted right now, late March or early April, about 3 weeks before the last frost date, from either seed or seedling. They all actually like rain and cool soil temps.

You will notice that carrots, parsnips, beets and beans are not on the list, is a bit early for them yet, hold off for a few more weeks. They will not do well, will just rot in the ground if planted into this cool soil.   

Tip #1. The best seedlings are the ones that are still young, about 3 or 4 inches tall and kinda flopsy. If they are root bound in the cell packs, do not buy them, they will not thrive and may just bolt right away without giving you any crops.  Plant all seedlings just slightly deeper than they were in the cell packs. 

Tip #2. I plant both seeds and starter plants now, at the same time. The seeded plants will mature about 2 weeks later than the seedlings. Easy peasy succession sowing without having to do a thing extra. No more trying to remember to go back to toss in more seeds. This gives me ample cool season veggies to harvest before they bolt and get yanked out of the garden, to make room for my warm weather goodies.

Tip #3. Seedlings will die if they dry out during the germination process. Keep the soil moist until you see growth popping through the soil. You need a spray wand or watering can for this surface watering. After germination, give them a thorough deep soak once a week, use drip tubes or weeping hoses for this, a wand will not water deeply enough to give you sturdy, thriving veggies.



Veggies...
Broccoli/broccolini - Cut the main head of broccoli when of good size and it will develop many smaller side shoots, thus lengthening your harvest.
Broccolini types will produce lots of smaller shoots with no primary head. I love this one.
Seed - Plant a couple of seeds every 6" to 12"  at about 1/2" deep. They will germinate quickly, in just 2 or 3 days. Pinch out the main stem of the broccolini/broccoli raab/rapini types about a month after sowing to promote bushiness and many more shoots.
Starter - Plant 12" apart and just slightly deeper than they were in the container.

Cauliflower - Does best from starter plant.
Starter - Plant into rich, well draining soil with 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. Needs regular moisture to thrive and produce well. Plant 12" to 18" apart in rich soil.
Cauliflower needs to be blanched or the curds will turn yellow and bitter. When the curds are still small, fold or tie the leaves over the curds, an elastic band works great for this. Not too tight as you still want the head of curds to grow.  
Seeds - pre-start in an unheated greenhouse or on windowsill.

Spinach - Easier to start from seed as does not like it's roots disturbed, but if you prefer starter plants, make sure to buy young seedlings that are not root bound in the cell packs.
Seed - Plant seeds 1/2" deep into a sunny or part shady bed, 1 inch apart or scatter sow in broad rows(like feeding chickens). Thin as they grow by harvesting every second plant.
Starter - Plant 8" to 12" apart.

Lettuce - Super easy to start by direct sowing seeds or from starter plants. Make sure you have well draining soil and a sunny to part shady area. I always grow both.
Seeds -  Sow 1/4" deep in rows or broadcast sown and thin out as they sprout. I like to let them get big enough to use as baby greens and pull out every second plant to 'thin' them out.
Leaf lettuce - 2"to 4" apart. Can be sown every 2 weeks for a continuous supply of fresh greens.
Loose head lettuce - 4" to 8" apart
Iceberg types/firm lettuce heads - 12" to 16" apart.

Greens like mustard, kale, arugula, mache and mesclun mixes - Plant as for the lettuce in well-draining soil, 1/4" deep into a sunny or part shady bed. Can be sown every 2 weeks for succession crops of continuous fresh greens.
Seeds - Scatter sow into broad rows or plant 2" apart in rows, if you prefer.
These are usually considered cut and come again types, meaning that you harvest the outer leaves but leave the centre part to grow. Before you know it, you will soon be harvesting greens again.
Starter - Plant 6" to 12" apart, read the label as spacing will differ between the different types of greens.

Radishes - Grow and mature quickly from seed. Sow 1/2' deep and 2" apart, tamp down. Keep moist till germination, harvest in  4 weeks time.
Cabbage-  Plant in rich, well-amended soil, is a heavy feeder.
Seed - 1/2" deep into well draining soil. Plant a couple of seeds every 8" to 12". Thin out to 12" to 18" apart as they grow.
These seedlings can easily be moved into a new location instead of being tossed out, they transplant well. Read the package for size at maturity as the size of heads tends to vary widely.
Starter - Plant 12" to 18" apart. The closer they are together the smaller the heads will be. Read the mature size on the label. Some varieties (like Red Rock) get huge!

Swiss Chard - Grow in well draining, rich, soil. Can be grown all spring and summer, does not bolt in the heat like lettuce and most other greens do.
Seeds - Plant 1/2" deep, 1" to 2" apart and thin to 4" to 6" apart as they grow.
Starter - Plant 4" to 8" apart.


Kohlrabi - Grow in well draining soil, is easy to grow. Kohlrabi sit on top of the soil, unlike the turnip which is mostly buried. Sweeter than the turnip, crunchy and mild.
Seed - Easy to start from seed. Plant 1/4" deep, an inch or two apart. Thin to 5 inches apart.
Starter- Plant in rows about 5" apart.  



Turnips - Grown from seeds, very undemanding to grow. Well-draining, loose soil, water once a week. Sow 1/4" deep, 1" to 2' apart.
Is often grown for both the greens and the roots. You can start to harvest the greens when young and tender, in just 3 or 4 weeks time and thin to 4" apart. Turnips are ready 5 or 6 weeks from sowing.


Peas - Super easy to grow from seed. Sugar peas, shelling peas, and snow peas are all grown the same way. (This also applies to the flowers, to Sweet Peas). Now is the time, seed or starters.
Seed - Soak seeds for 24 hours before planting to speed up germination. Sow on both side of the trellis, 2 inches apart, 1 inch deep. Keep soil moist till germination. Pinch out the tops of the pea shoots when about 4" to 6" tall, this will promote branching and thereby more peas.
Starter - Plant 2" to 3" apart. Soak well once a week.



Onions - Grow from seeds, sets, or starter plants. I am not a fan of sets, they rarely bulb up as well as seeds or seedlings. For best results, go with seeds or seedlings.
Seed - Sow 1/2" deep and about 4" apart. When the tops are about 3" tall, trim them to 1" tall to help form bigger bulbs.
Seedling - Plant 4" to 6" apart in a shallow trench, just the white part gets buried. Snip the tops of the seedling to 1" tall to help them root in faster and make bigger bulbs.
For how to plant and grow, See the link HERE!
Sets- Plant 2" deep and 4" to 6" apart.  


Herbs...
Both Dill and Cilantro can be sown now from seed or starter plants. I do both so that I have fresh herbs all season long.

Dill - I like to plant at least one dill plant to start with, as early as I can, for my early spuds, fish dishes, and salads, but I also toss in a few seeds here and there, throughout the spring season, for a constant supply all summer. These early sown dills will be finished well before pickling season, so start a few more seeds or plants in late spring to put up your cukes.

Cilantro will bolt and go to seed as soon as the heat sets in, so to enjoy it for as long as possible, go with both seeds and starter plants now. Sow fresh seeds every 2 weeks, keep well watered to slow down the bolting, and harvest regularly. Leave in one or two plants for the summer, as the flowers are a great food source for our pollinators and beneficial insects.

Basil is easiest grown from starter plants, as is parsley. Most perennial herbs, like oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc... are easiest to grow from starters as they take so long to germinate and size up.



Happy sowing and growing! 

Monday, 5 March 2018

March Garden Ramblings


Welcoming the month of March! Bringing us spring flowers, longer days, and (with any luck) warmer, drier weather.

February was a tough month here on the west coast, lots of cold snaps and snow falls... all the way to the very bitter end.  Then along comes March... in like a lovely lamb, with sunshine and much needed Vitamin D.

Of course, if you believe the nursery rhymes, in like lamb means we may be having some lion like weather by the end of the month ; )


What are we doing in the yard and garden this month?



Start with garden bed clean up, amending soil, fixing, and prepping for spring/summer planting.

Prune the last of your fruit trees now. Most of us started this task in mid February and then were rudely interrupted by Mother Nature.

When pruning, never remove more than 1/3 of the tree per year, no matter how over-grown or out of hand it may be. Pruning too much at one time will stress out the tree and may cause suckering and water sprouts.

Cut back your roses by 1/3 to 1/2 in height. Remove and dead, broken, or criss-crossing branches now, too. This pruning will help them flush out beautifully this spring. 

Spray roses and fruit trees with the horticultural oil and lime sulphur mix if they have not yet started to leaf out.

Rake up the soggy messes last year's perennials left as they died down to the ground, toss into the compost.

Top dress with a couple of inches of manure or compost around your fruiting trees and shrubs, your perennials, ornamental trees, and roses, too. An organic feed that is super easy to do and slowly works itself down to the roost system with the help of the spring rains and earthworms.


Do a soil test and amend your soil accordingly with organic materials.

Top dress your beds. If you did not add organic material to your garden in fall, or if you feel like you need more nitrogen and organics, this is a good time to add it to your beds. Rake out 0.5 to 3 inches of compost or manure over the soil now, no need to feed your plants this summer.


If you are also adding blood meal, bone meal, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, etc...to the beds, mix it in a wheelbarrow or bucket with a bag or two of manure, rake that over your soil.

Do not dig in or you will bring weed seeds to the surface. Just top dress and let the elements and the beneficial organisms in the soil do all the work for you.  


When your soil is dry enough to be worked with, start seeding/transplanting cool weather crops. Never muck about in wet soil as that causes compaction.

This month you can plant these hardy cool weather plants ...
- Oriental greens
- All sorts of hardy greens, like mustards, arugula, spinach, radicchio, collards, kale
- Radishes
- Peas, of course!


Direct sow these flowers right into the beds now...  sweet peas, larkspur, poppies, calendula, ammi (Bishop's Lace), cosmos, lupins, rudbeckia, amaranths (Love Lies Bleeding), Bells of Ireland., chocolate daisies, sweet alyssum, cosmos.


Plant some lovely asparagus roots. They can be planted as soon as ground can be worked. Do not start from seed, unless you have the patience of a saint. It takes 5 years to go from seed to harvest.

The how-to instructions to grow a great and successful asparagus patch can be found HERE!


Spring is literally just around the corner!
We made it!  

Happy gardening! 

June Garden Ramblings

We have had a very dry and hot month of May but there is hope on the horizon, rain seems to be forecast over the next few days. Fingers ...