Dignitatem Societatis

The Garden Chronicles - Week 5

  
By:  Dignitatem Societatis  •  Gardening  •  3 weeks ago  •  58 comments

The Garden Chronicles - Week 5
After three days men grow weary, of a wench, a guest, and weather rainy. ― Benjamin Franklin

This week's blog post almost didn't happen. Mother Nature just doesn't want to cooperate. It was rainy and unseasonably cool all week. As such, there's been very little growth, and this week's garden looks about the same as last week's. Fortunately, it was dry the past 2 days, and I was finally able to mow and get a little work done in the garden (raking up bucketfuls of rocks washed out by the rain, mostly). 

Speaking of Mother Nature not wanting to cooperate... I had frost on Friday night, I might have more tonight (everything's covered that can be covered), and I have rain in the forecast for the next 7 days in a row.

Yay me.

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Some rock piles I haven't cleared away yet.

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It's not as dry as it looks. It was muddy all week long. I couldn't even walk in there until yesterday.

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About ready to let the asparagus go for the year.

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Potatoes and onions.

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The iceberg and the mystery red. And boy is it red.

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Turnips and beets.

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Turnips.

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Kohlrabi.

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Blackberries just starting to bloom. The flowers are hard to see, but they're there.

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The nearly-drowned cucumber survived and even perked up some, but it isn't growing much. It's not enjoying the cool weather.

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The peas don't mind it, though.

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Poor zucchini. It's about as happy with the coolness as the cucumber is.

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Zucchini and cucumber seedlings (1 each in top row) don't seem to mind it as much, for some reason. The lettuce seedlings probably like it.

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Next batch of lettuce popping up. A mix of romaine (red and green), red leaf lettuce, and regular head lettuce.

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The greenhouse opened back up, and I grabbed some tomatoes, peppers, and a couple of eggplants. I really want to get them in the ground, but I'm hesitant because of the forecasted entire week of rain I'm about to get.

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Yellow irises.

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Multicolor.

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Clematis.

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Chives blooming in a flower bed.

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Goldfinches.

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Not impressed with this year's snowballs at all. Must be the wacky weather.

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It might be a bit hard to see, but there's a new hanging wren house on the left. It was occupied in less than 24 hours. I love the sound of wrens when they're nesting.

See you next week.

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Dignitatem Societatis
1  author  Dignitatem Societatis    3 weeks ago

Sorry this was posted late.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2  TᵢG    3 weeks ago

That looks like a ton of work and your work seems so perfect.

Clearly this is a passion.   I would not have the patience.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
2.1  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  TᵢG @2    3 weeks ago

It's such a healthy and rewarding hobby, though. Outdoors, clean air, refreshing evening breezes, plenty of exercise, and fresh veggies to boot. What could be better? :)

A garden the size of mine isn't that much work, to be honest. I keep my batches small, so there's never an overwhelming amount of picking and processing, and if you stay on top of the weeds they never become a frustration. Once everything is in and growing it only requires a little time on summer evenings to take care of. It's really not that bad.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @2.1    3 weeks ago

My wife is our gardener.   We built an English garden so it is very decorative but there is plenty of room for her to grow her herbs.   The garden is right off the kitchen.   My outdoor work is more conventional:  cutting and trimming the lawn, distributing mulch, pruning trees, clearing brush, various chainsaw jobs (we are surrounded with trees and sometimes they die), etc.    We also have a ⅓ acre pond (with Koi) with a waterfall system and a central fountain ... all of which always seems to require maintenance and I always try to do the work myself.   Most of the time I can handle it.

I hear you on the weeds.   I could live without weeds (and moles).   jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
2.1.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
We also have a ⅓ acre pond (with Koi) with a waterfall system and a central fountain

Wow. I bet that's nice to look at on summer evenings.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @2.1.2    3 weeks ago

The view (and sounds) justify the work.   Plus we are frequented by deer and other creatures of the woods.   Deer see our property as a great place to stop for food and drink.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
(and moles)

I used to have a terrible time with mole tunnels through  my yard.  The dog gets them now.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.4    3 weeks ago

Mine just sniff at them.   jrSmiley_84_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.5    3 weeks ago

LOL!  Some guard dogs!

Moles, rabbits, chipmunks - Casey pounces, and they're done.  Or he digs ferociously, and they're done a while later.  Seventeen pounds of hunting instinct that curls up on my lap later.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.6    3 weeks ago

Yeah, we have Havanese dogs.   They are great at being gentle and cute and the male is a great deer chaser, but he just sniffs at the mole tracks.  Our female does not like it when the grass is wet or cold so she surely would not dig in the dirt for moles.   But she loves to chase the squirrels.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.8  Kavika   replied to  TᵢG @2.1.7    3 weeks ago

Hi, my name is Friendly and I love squirrels, moles and rabbits, they are my best friends. Humans, on the other hand, are on my menu. Just a little something for you to think about. 

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sandy-2021492
2.1.9  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.7    3 weeks ago

Mine is a Dachshund/Rottweiler mix.  It seems like the doxie side is dominant, and they were bred to hunt small animals in dens, so he's all over moles and rabbits.  He also chases deer.  He has no idea he's a little dog.  But he's gentle with kids and the kittens we just adopted.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.10  Kavika   replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.9    3 weeks ago

Actually Dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers in their den. There are few animals in the world that what to deal with a badger let alone a badger in his den. Doxie are completely fearless no matter the size of their opponent. Dachshund translates to badger dog.

BTW I have a mini doxie. 

I have never in my life seen a doxie/rottweiler mix. I'm trying to imagine how in the world that happened considering the size of each.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
2.1.11  sandy-2021492  replied to  Kavika @2.1.10    3 weeks ago

Apparently, the mama was the Rottie, and the dad was a very determined doxie.  I'm told this was a planned breeding.  The owners who bred him ended up neglecting him, so my ex asked if he could take Casey off their hands, and they agreed.  When my son asked to get a dog, the ex offered us Casey.

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In this pic, we're walking past a neighbor's house.  Their pig had a habit of getting loose, and Casey and the pig made friends.  He's looking for the pig here, but it was after butchering time, so no pig.

 
 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.13  Kavika   replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.11    3 weeks ago

LOL, OK, an interesting mix. 

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.14  Kavika   replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.12    3 weeks ago

Well, that sure is an interesting mix A dachsweiler.

I have seen a couple of doxie pit bull mixes. You did not want to mess with them.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.15  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @2.1.14    3 weeks ago

Sorry DS, we got a bit off-topic.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
2.1.17  Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika @2.1.14    3 weeks ago
I have seen a couple of doxie pit bull mixes. You did not want to mess with them

You don't want to mess with as a singular breed, but, a mix like that, you sure as heck don't want to piss them off. jrSmiley_85_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Raven Wing
2.1.18  Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika @2.1.8    3 weeks ago

Oh my...do I love that look!  I have a feeling that the wolf is not the one who will be the first to back off.

 
 
 
Nona62
2.1.19  Nona62  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @2.1    2 weeks ago

I'm just waiting to see if our weather will finally be decent enough to get out in my  garden.  gardening is my therapy!!!

My veggie garden is 100 percent organic..... I make my own compost to add to the soil......

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
3  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

You mentioned the words "rock piles" and reminded me that The Rock Pile was the name of the place in Detroit that we drove to once from Toronto to see Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention perform back in the late 60s or 70s. There was a fantastic light show during their performance. "It can't happen here".

 
 
 
bccrane
4  bccrane    3 weeks ago

As I'm typing this, it is snowing here.  Last Thursday we had near white out and light accumulation and yesterday almost an inch, now that is wacky weather, but not unheard of.  The only thing I have done to the garden is the first tilling to turn under last years trash, nothing planted yet.  Quite a few farmers in the area, when we had a brief warm spell, hurried in the corn, the problem with corn is it sprouts and grows towards heat, right now the soil surface is colder than the sub surface if we don't warm up here soon the corn will not have the energy to break through the surface.

 
 
 
bccrane
4.1  bccrane  replied to  bccrane @4    3 weeks ago

Another thing we did this year was put up a fence to keep the deer out.  Last year was a bust, I had a starlight moving laser light show on my garden, which the year before worked, but alas the deer got used to it and in one night invaded the garden and ate everything that was tasty to them, which apparently there isn't much they don't eat anymore, would you believe they even eat asparagus. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
4.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  bccrane @4.1    3 weeks ago

Either deer or rabbits eat strawberry vines, too.  Just so ya know.  I can understand eating the fruit, or flowers, but the vines?  They cropped mine back to the roots once, before they'd even bloomed.  No berries that year, but the vines recovered.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
4.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  bccrane @4    3 weeks ago
As I'm typing this, it is snowing here.

I saw that there was going to be snow in the northeast. I guess I shouldn't complain so much about my own weather. 

Another thing we did this year was put up a fence to keep the deer out.

You're going to love it. Fenced gardens are definitely the way to go.

 
 
 
charger 383
5  charger 383    3 weeks ago

Cold, rain and wind means no progress here.  A tomato plant I bought last month, that is still in the window with grow lights, gave me 2 small tomatoes     

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
6  sandy-2021492    3 weeks ago

I planted my lettuce and spinach last week, and they haven't sprouted yet.  Same for my cucumbers.  The strawberries are looking good, but none are close to ripe yet.  We're supposed to have rain this week, too, and we've had some pretty cold temps for this time of year.  Some places in the county had snow Friday night - not unheard of in May, but not common, either.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
6.1  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6    3 weeks ago

I can't grow spinach without bugs eating holes all through it. Not very appetizing. I keep telling myself I'm going to give it another go someday, maybe in low tunnels with insect fabric, but I never do.

Strange thing, though - bugs almost never bother my lettuce. Even my head lettuce stays clean inside. Go figure.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @6.1    3 weeks ago

I get a few bugs in my spinach, but not too many, usually.  Not enough that I can't tear around the holes while I'm washing it.  And they also never bother my lettuce.  I only grow leaf lettuce, not head lettuce.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
6.1.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.1    3 weeks ago
Not enough that I can't tear around the holes while I'm washing it.

I try that with beet greens sometimes, if they're not eaten too badly.

Growing spinach in the spring probably matters, too. I'm pretty sure I was trying it in the fall, on ground opened up after the corn came out. That's probably why the damage was so bad. There was already a full population of summer bugs right from the start. I imagine spring plantings get ahead of the bugs somewhat.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @6.1.2    3 weeks ago

I've only tried growing spinach and lettuce in the fall once.  Nothing sprouted.  I'm not sure if it was too dry, or what, but I never bothered trying again.

 
 
 
pat wilson
7  pat wilson    3 weeks ago

Looks like you have a lot of asparagus. You say it's done for the year ?

 
 
 
bccrane
7.1  bccrane  replied to  pat wilson @7    3 weeks ago

Our asparagus hasn't even started yet, but when we get tired of eating it, I still pick it, blanch it, put it in freezer bags w/water, squeeze out the air and seal them, then put them in the freezer for later.  Usually till the middle of June then I let them go, even the new plants start getting tough by then.

Looks like this weekend I'll be planting the peas, radishes, and other cooler weather crops. 

 
 
 
bccrane
7.1.1  bccrane  replied to  bccrane @7.1    3 weeks ago

Our asparagus hasn't even started yet, 

Take that back, just went and checked, it has just started to peak through the soil and tasted good raw, however with the temps they are predicting for overnight this week, they will get froze off.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
7.1.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  bccrane @7.1    3 weeks ago
when we get tired of eating it, I still pick it, blanch it, put it in freezer bags w/water, squeeze out the air and seal them, then put them in the freezer for later.

I don't even bother blanching it. It's awfully fragile. I just throw it straight in the freezer. I've never noticed anything wrong with the quality from doing it that way, but maybe that's just me.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
7.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  pat wilson @7    3 weeks ago
You say it's done for the year ?

Well, it started coming up in the first week of April, so it's been getting picked for about 5 weeks. I'm happy with that. A few batches of the smaller shoots still might get picked in the near future, but I think I'm going to let the rest of it go. 

Besides, the asparagus beetles have started showing up, and once they start laying eggs on it I'm done. :)

 
 
 
pat wilson
7.2.1  pat wilson  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @7.2    3 weeks ago

Ha ! You don't want a little protein with your asparagus ?

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
7.2.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  pat wilson @7.2.1    3 weeks ago

Lol. Not that particular kind of protein.

I like asparagus scrambled up with eggs, but not bug eggs.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
8  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

I have had a hanging basket on my porch for years with artificial flowers and greenery.  Now a bird has built a nest in it.  I hope to get pictures of the babies when they hatch.

 
 
 
Split Personality
9  Split Personality    3 weeks ago

I had one potato from last year that the top froze off twice. 

I was looking for it yesterday and saw sprig of Yam vine coming back, so who knows, I hear the tubers get huge if they are a couple of years old.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
9.1  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Split Personality @9    3 weeks ago

I've never grown yams or sweet potatoes. They're great keepers, aren't they? I hear they can last all winter, just in a paper bag in a kitchen or pantry cabinet.

 
 
 
Ender
10  Ender    3 weeks ago

The peas look great. Amazing the rocks that come up.

I finally bit the bullet and ordered the tree for my yard. I got the Rising Sun Redbud.

Never ordered something like that online, so will see how it looks when I get it. Should be a couple of days. It was one I found that actually will be in a pot (or bag) instead of bare root.

 
 
 
bccrane
10.1  bccrane  replied to  Ender @10    3 weeks ago

 so will see how it looks when I get it.

Reminds me of my grandparents, in the 60's they bought what was billed as a Chinese Elm, it grew fast and it wasn't long when that Chinese Elm started to produce Black Walnuts, don't trust the salesman.  Nowadays I trust the tree has to be what it is sold as.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
10.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Ender @10    3 weeks ago
Amazing the rocks that come up.

I'm a rock gardener extraordinaire. I can make them appear out of thin air, or dirt, as it were. :)

I got the Rising Sun Redbud.

Awesome.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
10.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ender @10    3 weeks ago
I got the Rising Sun Redbud.

That's going to be so pretty.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
11  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

I thought that Irises were a summer flower. Am I wrong?

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
11.1  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @11    3 weeks ago

There are some twice-blooming varieties that are supposed to bloom again in the summer, or maybe it's the fall (can't remember), but I'm pretty sure most of them are spring bloomers.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
11.1.1  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @11.1    3 weeks ago

Just looked it up and apparently there are varieties that will bloom continuously all summer. I didn't know that.

 
 
 
Dulay
12  Dulay    3 weeks ago

Just came in from 3 hours of installing wire fencing along the bottom of the deer fence we had installed. 

I woke up, looked out the window and saw a YUGE rabbit within the garden fence. Opened the window and shouted profanity, which had absolutely NO effect on the furry bastard. I went out in my jammies and found 3 holes chewed in the fence and all of my rainbow chard nibbled to the quick. 

I have no idea why I expected the 700 lb tensile strength deer fence to stop a rabbit. Utter brain fart. 

During the 3 hours I spent cutting and installing the wire fence, I loudly threatened the offending rabbit and warned him/her that our next encounter inside of the garden fence will result in a tasty fricassee. 

Your plants are farther along than mine. My iris and chives are barely budding now. My turnips, onions beets and lettuce are just peeking their little heads above the soil. All except the onions are from seed. 

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
12.1  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Dulay @12    3 weeks ago

Sorry about your chard. Sounds like you have some awfully determined critters where you live. Was the fence the rabbit chewed through some of that poly deer fencing? 

 
 
 
Dulay
12.1.1  Dulay  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @12.1    3 weeks ago

Yep, poly. The whole garden is now surrounded by chicken wire. Got my tomatoes and peppers in today. Rain tomorrow and days in the high 60's up to 70 for the next week or so. Fingers crossed. 

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
12.1.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Dulay @12.1.1    2 weeks ago

I managed to get my tomatoes and peppers in as well. Yesterday was cloudy but the rain had stopped during the daytime hours. The ground was wet, but I got it done. Had to cover some of it for a windy storm that blew in again overnight, though. Three more days of rain in the forecast, but after that I should finally have some nice gardening weather.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
14  sandy-2021492    3 weeks ago

My lettuce and spinach are just barely showing some leaves.  Strawberries look healthy, none ripe yet.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
14.1  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @14    2 weeks ago

Now I want to plant a little spring spinach. I think I'm going to try to cram some in next week, after the rain quits. It'll be a little late for a spring planting, but it might work out.

I think I'm gonna cram some ruby red chard along the top fence as well.

My garden plans never survive the spring intact. :)

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
14.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @14.1    2 weeks ago

I'm always afraid to plant spinach late, since it goes to seed pretty quickly once the weather turns hot.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
14.1.2  author  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @14.1.1    2 weeks ago

You know, I think the cool weather has messed up my sense of season. It won't be ready until mid-July if I plant it now, and that'll be too hot. I already picked up a pack of seed, but I maybe I'll just wait and try it again in the fall.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
14.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @14.1.2    2 weeks ago

Can't say I blame you.  It was cold enough last weekend that I had the wood stove going.  I can't remember having a fire in it in May before.