Monday, May 28, 2012

Gardening 2012 - Memorial Day Update

San Marzano Tomatoes 6 weeks after transplant
Back in Minneapolis, this is the weekend we used to set out tomatoes and other cold sensitive plants. But of course, things get warmer sooner these days and if you've been following along you'll recall that we planted out our tomatoes on April 15th! Anyway, six weeks later those scrawny plants have grown into exceptionally vigorous vines that are nearly four feet tall. Since it's apparent they'll easily over-top the ladders I bought, I've ordered another set to extend the ones already in place.

The peppers and eggplants in the front bed are starting to catch up now that they're getting sunlight before noon. It's a good reminder that even though it was warm enough to plant out in mid-April, the Earth is still in the same orbit around the Sun, still tilted 23.44 degrees and for plants like these, there's just not enough light in the day at that time of year to really get them growing well.

The zucchini has also recovered from it's too early planting and we actually have our first baby squash. This is a spot where it's looking like the plastic mulch is going to be a huge benefit. Obviously it keeps down the weeds (even the bamboo that's still trying to grow under there). It also helps keep the soil moist and it keeps the tender plants off the dirt which means we'll have clean zucchini with (hopefully) little or no spoilage.

In the rest of the garden the second batch of cima di rapa has had it's final thinning. I've replanted Swiss Chard because the first batch cima di rapa shaded the original planting so much it was hopelessly stunted. The carrots and beets are coming along. The onions in the old bed are doing quite well while  those in the upper bed have fallen a bit behind. That's likely attributable to the fact that the old bed has had the benefit of a decade of organic cultivation and is far richer and fluffier at this point.

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