Sunday, May 10, 2015

Progressing Slowly



The garden seems to be running in slow motion this year. I do not know if it is the temperatures or the many partially cloudy days, but everything except the garlic seems to be growing slowly. The garlic is quite happy and growing strongly, as you can see above. The big, thick-stemmed ones in the middle are the German Red I picked up at a garlic festival in Maine last fall. And the smaller ones on  the far left are the Duganski garlic I was worried about because the skins were falling off and I was planting almost bare cloves. It  seems to have done just fine, as people assured me it would.




I finally got the brassicas into the ground. I’m growing them in-ground in a second plot I rescued from the weeds last year. Besides the extreme weather delaying the planting, the soil is still very mucky despite the lack of rain. The water table has to be very high after the eight feet of snow cover and the clayey soil is just not drying out. I have installed hoops and these will be covered with 10-foot wide Agribon this weekend. No flea beetles yet but the cabbage moths are already fluttering around the garden, so I am in a hurry to get these covered.




The peas are up. These are the Golden Sweet snow peas and will be trained up a trellis this year. I gave up trying to grow shorter varieties in blocks and opted for taller varieties and a trellis. You can see how dry the soil is in the raised beds. Trying to get seeds to germinate in this soil requires constant watering, and the pumps in the garden were only turned on this week.




The spinach I started in 3/4-inch soil blocks is doing just fine, although growing very slowly. Since only half the cubes germinated, I started another batch and will set them out this weekend.




The lettuces are starting to reach planting size but will need hardening off. I opted to keep them inside under the lights to maximize growth rather than put them outside during our many cloudy days. These will go in a container on my deck, which I need to prepare. The prep work on the container is tedious but once done, everything is automatic and weed-free, a salad green machine. And it is just outside the kitchen door rather than 2 miles away in the garden.




The tomatoes are doing well, even the ones I had to salvage by re-planting with seeds pre-sprouted in paper towels in a baggie, and most have been potted up. The Jaune Flamme were acting petite, so they were put in 4 inch pots. The rest went into Solo cups where they could be planted deeper. The two six-packs remaining are a pack of Romas in back which I am growing for a fellow gardener, and Chocolate Pear in front. I used a pinch of Tomato Tone and a sprinkle of mycorrhizae inoculant in each cup.




This is another tray of tomatoes in Solo cups. It is not an experiment to see if tomatoes grow better in the red cups or the blue cups. That said, does anyone know if red or blue is better?


  1. Those lettuce look really nice. I'm trying to germinate my next set right now. Because of the recent heat they seem to be germinating slower than normal.

  2. Things have slowed a bit in my garden lately because the weather is cloudier and cooler than normal which can be quite cloudy and cool at this time of year. We had warmer weather in January! Those lettuces do look great. I've had a hard time getting my second round of them to germinate. And the garlic looks fabulous, so much prettier than my rust infested specimens.

    1. Fortunately I have not had to deal with rust. It does seem to be a plague on the west coast.

  3. LOL, I vote for red ... the brighter colour always makes everything look perkier. All is looking very well, David, doesn't seem slow to me!

    1. Well, the tomatoes are doing OK, almost normal. Maybe it's the red cups. Everything else seems to be poking along.

  4. Those lettuce seedlings look amazing! I was just commenting that everything in my garden is moving at a snails pace it seems - and that includes my indoor brassica & seedlings, which is doubly strange. Like you, my garlic & fall sown shallots have shot up and are about the only thing doing really well right now.

  5. It sounds as if your weather has been similar to ours. The night-time temps are still giving big cause for concern, but the worst thing is the seemingly never-ending wind. Fortunately Lettuce seems to do quite well in cooler conditions. I am growing several different varieties so that they don't all mature at the same time.

    1. It has been unusually windy and cloudy here. Every day seems to start off overcast until at least noon


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