Wednesday I was able to work in the garden and get a short row of Derby bush beans planted. I had thought about sprouting them inside, but the soil temperature was 70°F so I decided to go ahead and sow them directly in the garden. It was a bit of a gamble, but I have plenty of seeds for backup in case I get spotty germination. I had hoped to get out in the garden today and get the bush squash plants in the ground, but it turned out to be cold and rainy, so I decided to wait. I still need to amend the soil before I plant, and I believe the weather will be more hospitable tomorrow.
I started the squash in 24 cell Pro-Tray Cell Flats. I’ve been using these for a number of years now for the cucurbits, and they let me get a jump on the season and avoid germination issues I often have with sowing the seeds directly in the garden. The cells are round and flexible, and when it’s time to plant the seedling can be plopped out by a little pressure on the bottom of the cell with minimum damage to the root ball. In the below photo it’s a mix of winter squashes like Bush Delicata, Metro and Early Butternut plus the 2017 AAS Winner Mini Love Watermelon, which is a red-fleshed icebox type melon. I like to set out the plants about three to four weeks after sowing, which gives them time to get a nice root system established but not so long that they start to get leggy. Last year I was harvesting summer squash just 30 days after setting out the plants, so it really does help get a jump on the season.
In other garden news, the brassicas I planted back in mid April are growing fast, but one of the Gypsy broccoli plants is buttoning and prematurely forming a small head. There are various causes for buttoning, but I believe in this case it was due to the seedlings being exposed to cold weather. Also, some varieties are just more prone to buttoning than others. I guess I will harvest the little head and leave the plant to see if it will grow any side shoots, but I won’t hold my breath. There’s no sign of buttons yet on the other 15 broccoli plants, which is a good thing, since all the plants had to deal with the same cold snap before they were planted.
And speaking of harvests, the early garlic cultivars are sending up scapes. That’s Red Janice in the below photo, one of the earliest to mature in our garden. I’m looking forward to having fresh scapes again, which are certainly a seasonal treat.
I hope you have enjoyed a look at what’s going on here in the garden. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!