Gardening

Here we are at the end of May and gardening season is off to a strong start.  I have most of my two raised beds planted and only need a couple more plants.  The best part so far is that I started a garden journal.  Every year I think I’ll remember, but then I don’t know what I planted the year before.  What tomato plants did best? Where was the spinach planted last?  It all becomes a mystery.

Not this year.  I have been writing in it each time I work something new into the garden.  I hope to track when things come up and when they are ready to harvest.  I am also adding expenses in…not because I care a lot (or spend a lot) but because it’s a curiosity.

So far there are salad crops planted: romaine (first attempt), leafy lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots.  And salsa fixings: jalapenos, tomatoes, green peppers, onions.   There are also green beans, sugar snap peas and cucumbers.  I’d like to add another variety of  hot pepper so I’m going to go look for a couple more plants this week.

In the remaining squares I will add some more green beans and some other things to stagger the harvest.

We decided to forgo the squash this year.  Last year we got powdery mildew on the squash and while our harvest wasn’t bad, we thought it best to rethink the squash.  They take up a lot of room & the mildew drove me crazy.  We also skipped the broccoli and cauliflower.  I like both but we’ve had poor luck with cauliflower & I don’t think I take care of broccoli properly.  I know there is a way/time to make the first cutting off of it so you continue to get growth but I haven’t gotten it figured out.  Any of these things could show up next year but this year I was looking to grow the staples that we like and are easy.  Call me the 2010 Lazy Gardener.

I would like to incorporate zucchini at some point but not this year.  And maybe some other new & different things…we’ll see.  So while I”m growing my easy staples I’ll be looking at the advanced/adventurous MN gardeners to see what their doing and how it is working.  Maybe I’ll actually do more pre-planning for the 2011 garden season.  Because some pre-planning is more.  Compared to the none I’ve done lately.

The raspberry bushes along one side of the house are doing ok.  I need to add a few more and maybe work in more compost.  We’ll enjoy a couple bowls of raspberries to put on cereal (or eat straight from the bushes) but I don’t see having enough to preserve.

I moved the rhubarb this year too.  It was small and in an awkward spot so I moved it along a fence.  It is growing, but ever so slowly.  I am losing hope of a large harvest of rhubarb.  Maybe next year.

And finally there are the apple trees.  We planted two more last year and one is doing well while the other seems to struggle.  We moved another that we got a couple years ago, in line with the other two so we have 3 in a row along the back part of the yard.  I’m hoping in a few years I’ll be making applesauce and pies again.

The apple harvest last year...one little apple.

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