May 20thPosted on May 20th, 2012 No comments
I still do not have my flower transplants in the ground but that’s a good thing I guess since we did have a frost last night. I covered any little seedlings coming up with flax straw, as well as my peas that are up, and the corn and onion transplants that are in the veggie garden. The tomatoes and peppers are in the greenhouse and are easily covered with row covers. The beans are up in the greenhouse as well. The cucumber seed planted in greenhouse have yet to germinate.
Hopefully this week it will be safe to put the cucumber, zucchini, squash and pumpkin transplants in – they are getting vines on them already and need to get in the ground. We been eating and sharing lettuce from the greenhouse, and have been eating asparagus from both the greenhouse and garden as well. The spinach that self seeded is almost large enough to pick.
The vegetable garden that is planted: carrot, parsnips, spinach, garlic, peas, potatoes, plus corn and onion transplants. Beans still to go in – maybe today.
Bloom: The Plum, Saskatoon, Hascap, Russian Almond and Nan King are getting past their best bloom, but the, Crab, Apple, and double flowering plum are just getting started. My daffodils and scallia are past, but I have lots of narcissus in bloom, and the tulips are starting to open. On the 16th I realized my plum tree was in full bloom but the companion tree I bought last year wasn’t so I made a call to my friend who usually shares some blooming branches with me. Hers however were not started yet so mine are that much earlier than usual. I did find some bloom though in the village so begged several branches, and after a mornings walk-about with another friend I now know all the yards in the village that have plum trees. The bees were flying in full that day but since then it has been either windy or cloudy and cool, … mostly all three so …so the bees have not been visiting my efforts. The blossoms from the branches (in water and up on barrels close inside the tree) are still looking fresh so hopefully the bees will get back to what’s left of the blossom today.
We mowed the front field and garden paths yesterday so the yard looks nice again, but it’s really been quite dry so even the dandelions are not very tall or lush. I’ve been watering almost daily either the self seeding flower beds or the rows of vegetables in the garden. This week I planted flower seed: tidy tips, wall flower (which didn’t come back from last year), cosmos, Agrostemma contessa, nigella exotica, catchfly, godesia, amni, hibuscus and snaps. Still have a few things to plant which will go in today: marigolds, more alaska daisy (which also didn’t come back well), laventera, and sunflower.
There are seedlings that have self started for: rudebecia, flashing lights dianthus, borage, calendula, nemophilia, holly hock, perennial purple dianthus, lupins, sweet william, soapwort, batchelor buttons, painted daisy, delphinium. The amaranthus will show when with more heat.
The transplants to go in: asters, strawflower, thymophilia, contessa, verbena, dianthus, rudebecia, marigolds, holly hock, snaps, and a few sick looking scabiosa and forget-me-nots. I have the bravo and lobelia in pots on the deck but can cover them easily if need be.
We’ve never had so many tick in our yard. We’d see a few on the cats in other years, but I’ve had 3 already this year (one stuck on), and Gene has also had several. Most likely they are in the flax straw around and over my beds, but also in the trees and any tall grass. There’s going to have to be frequent checks anytime we come in from outside.
Our gold finch, Baltimore oriole, king birds, and thrashers are back so the yard is full of music in the mornings. We have spotted flickers and shrikes, and of course there are lots of sparrows, swallows, black birds, magpies, terns, gulls, ducks and robins. We also have a pair of grey doves and marlin, and our muskrat is swimming in the bond by the driveway which hopefully won’t dry up on him again this year.
A few deer have been making regular treks through the yard at night but so far haven’t caused any major damage. The raccoons made a trip through one evening and got into a bag of chicken food sitting on the veranda but hopefully they were just passing through. Something is living under the chicken shed and has been there all spring, but we have no idea what it is…. perhaps gofers or moles, or a badger, as it keeps throwing out mounds of dirt. It has no wild animal smell, and obviously doesn’t eat chickens since I am not closing their back courtyard door at night and it would have easy access to the inside.
Speaking of chickens I’ve been too lazy to get them loaded into the day camper this year, and the grass has not been very lush for finding a place to park them for the day, so I have just been letting the out anytime I’m working in the yard. So far I’ve been able to keep them away from the field garden which is about the only place they can do damage with their scratching. They’ve been loving their daily outings to forage under the tree rows by the greenhouse. I also have to keep them out of the greenhouse as it turns out and just caught them in time the other day before they made a mess of my pepper transplants. So far they haven’t found the vegetable garden, but I have all the seeded rows covered with flax at this point, and wire over the peas and strawberry plants to deter the deer.
PS: Looks like the frost did nip the bleeding heart and the asparagus, but everything else looks just fine.
I noticed from last year’s pictures that the crab tree was still blooming at it’s peak past June 10th. I remember it blooming forever last year, but this year it’s at it’s peak May 20th and well finished by June 1st.
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