I’ve been busy the last week or so getting things planted in the main garden. Saturday I got the bush squashes planted, which was about equal parts summer and winter types. I planted some of my favorite summer squash varieties like Striata d’Italia, White Scallop and Enterprise plus relative newcomers Clarimore, Bossa Nova, Sunstripe and Flaminio. I’m also growing the heirloom Costata Romanesco zucchini, which I haven’t grown in a number of years. Starting the seeds inside really gets the plants going early, and you can see the Striata d’Italia plant in the below photo has taken off since I planted a week ago. I have found that it pays to get the squash going early before the heat and squash bugs arrive.
The winter squash varieties include Cornell’s Bush Delicata and Honeyboat delicata plus the hybrid Pinata delicata I’m trying for the first time this year. We like our delicata squash here, and it would be nearly impossible to have too many! Butternut types include Early Butternut, Metro and the 2017 AAS Winner Honeybaby. I also found room for a couple of Mini Love watermelon plants, another 2017 AAS Winner, which has a bush habit and produces ‘icebox’ sized melons.
On Tuesday I got one bed planted with tomatoes, a mix of small fruited types and slicers. I was able to mulch with newspaper before I put the cages around the plants, but I haven’t had time to finish spreading straw yet.
Between the tomatoes and the fencing, I prepped the bed where I will plant the pole beans. I still have to get the trellis up, though that won’t take too long. This bed is four feet wide like the others, but it’s going to be a tight squeeze once the beans are up and vining all over. I may be doing the limbo to get in there to harvest!
Speaking of beans, last week I planted a short row of Derby bush beans. They got great germination, and are off to a good start after breaking through the soil. They should give as an early taste of snap beans while we wait for the pole beans to come on.
I planted the brassicas about a month ago, and they have grown up fast. I have broccoli, cabbage and kohlrabi planted in that bed, with a bare spot at the end where I plan on planting okra soon. The bed is next to the garlic, which was planted last fall.
I’m pleased with how the cabbage plants are looking, since some of them were a bit small when I set them out. I’ve been spraying with Bt and Azadirachtin to keep the cabbage worms under control, since I have seen lots of white cabbage moths flying around lately.
In other garden news, the peas I planted back in late March are now starting to bloom. They are all edible podded types, and I am hoping they will start bearing soon before really hot weather gets here. We shouldn’t have much longer to wait.
Yesterday I planted more tomatoes in the kitchen garden area. Again, this is a mix of small fruited types and slicing tomatoes. It was so windy I didn’t even try and get newspaper down, so I will have to come back and do that later. That’s Captain Lucky in the below photo, a potato-leaved green-when-ripe slicer that did quite well for me last year. I’m using an oversized remesh cage here (22 inch diameter) and planting two plants in it. Other smaller cages are planted with single tomato plants.
Next up on my to-do list will be getting paste and processing tomatoes planted, and putting up the trellis for the pole beans. I also need to mulch the squash and tomatoes before the weeds get going. I hope you have enjoyed this look at the garden here in May, and I’ll be back soon with more happenings from HA!
Is the straw mulch to keep down weeds or conserve moisture?
Both. The paper really helps keep down the weeds, and the straw helps conserve moisture and cool the soil a bit as well.
I started using newspaper under grass/leaves/straw mulch on tomatoes last year after reading about it for warding off early blight – I thought that you were using it for the same reason when I first saw the pic in your post!
I’ve not had blight issues here (yet), but it’s good to know it helps!
Your brassica bed is doing fantastic and your squashplants are really far along. Vine borers kill our squashes every year so we plant lots of them. It’s a fun time of year with everything coming along.
Next week will be the mass planting out of warm weather veg and annuals. We’ve had some horrible winds lately and some of my transplants are looking a bit ragged, especially the annuals, which I accidentally left out during a cold snap too. One of these years, I’ll REALLY be on top of things and these little mishaps won’t happen!
It has been windy here too, and I lost three of the eight early planted tomato plants before I thought to protect them. I knew it was a gamble, but fortunately I had some spares to replant.
You got a lot accomplished, what a lot of hard work. It all looks great and I am, as ever, so envious of that gorgeous garlic. I still feel like I’m behind this year, but perhaps that’s just impatience on my part, I get my summer garden going later than is typical so I always feel behind when I see what other gardeners are doing.
Here it usually depends on the weather, and I am running ahead of last year when we had a really wet spring which delayed getting things done. At this point I am weary of nursing little seedlings and ready to be done with planting!
That all looks amazing Dave. I have loads of transplants that I’m just starting to harden off, so need to get a move on with clearing the space for them, and making climbing structures etc.