Gardening here is in a state of flux. Cool season crops are maturing, even while I start to get the warm weather loving plants in the ground. It’s a busy time of year but I love it.
I’m still sitting on nearly 1000 tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings. I’ve got a few planted myself, and given a few to friends, but most are still here basking in the sunshine, and needing twice daily watering. I am always happy to get them planted!
I’ve also got five flats of squash and cucumber seedlings that have just sprouted. Four of those flats are for the food pantry gardens, and one for us. I sometimes direct seed the cucurbits outdoors, but for the larger amounts we grow it makes sense to start them indoors on the heating mats. Germination is near 100%, and I think it is easier to have the other volunteers set the plants in the ground instead of trying to sow the seeds and keep all the varieties straight. Plus we get a week or more jump on the growing season this way, though I’m guessing we will be up to our ears in zucchini all too soon!
In the greenhouse I pulled the spinach that was bolting, but left the Space variety to grow a bit longer. I used the free space to plant some cucumber seedlings. I’ve discovered the greenhouse is a great place to grow cukes in summer, when it gets too hot in there for most crops. I grow the parthenocarpic varieties that set fruit without pollination, and the yields are huge. Last year I got over 60 of the long Tasty Jade cukes. I use some narrow cages made of concrete reinforcing wire to give the vines support. They’ll be sprawling all over them before long.
But even as I plant cucumbers, I only have to go outside the greenhouse to be reminded it is still spring, after all. The early broccoli plants behind the greenhouse are getting large, and should be heading up soon.
Right around the corner we have kohlrabi that are heading up, looking like little purple Sputnik satellites.
And even though the seasons are in a state of change, some things remain constant. We’re still feeding a lot of our furry friends.
It will be summer all too soon, and I want to make sure I enjoy spring while it lasts!