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Garden Hope

May 12, 2011

May 11, 2011          Music garlic and Stuttgarter storage onions.    Last year’s crop still holding out.

It’s raining AGAIN.  I’m finding it hard to be optimistic about getting the garden started.  “Normally” we plant around late May when we have had at least some warm weather, it’s always much cooler here in the Columbia River Gorge (as opposed to Portland), but it’s not good to just till in organic matter and then immediately plant, because the decomposing plants can have an allelopathic effect on your seeds.  But it just may be that the soil won’t be dry enough to work until it is time plant, if the current weather patterns persist.


With wet weather in the forecast and last year’s dismal spring still a glaring memory I’ve had the sheep eating the cover crop in the garden in an effort to get any drying effect I can with decreased cover.  I could mow it, but the sheep leave a much lighter footprint than the tractor.  Besides they are much easier to deal with than the 3-point hitch.  They are so compliant I just hold up the old fence and new fence at the same time and they duck under.

Friendly, Chestnut and Rhett enjoying our one sunny day.

With any gardening year you have to be ready to strike while the iron is hot, so transplants are waiting in the wings just in case we get some good weather.  A girl can hope can’t she?  One thing to remember if you’re new to gardening – is to start lots of starts, and be prepared to throw some away.  Sounds terrible I know, but seeds are cheap and with succession planting you  may find a planting window gone and transplants getting a little gnarly.  Favor the younger transplants over the older ones.   I’ll say it this way, succession, succession, succession means success, success, success in your garden.

For those who like lists, here is a list of transplants growing right now in the greenhouse:
(Some are for our own use, some for sale/grown to order)

Tomatoes – Bellstar, Costoluto Genovese, Stupice, Green Zebra, Long Keeper, Super Marzano, Cosmonaut Volokov, SunSugar, & Virginia Sweet.
Peppers – Numex Joe E. Parker, Ace, Flavorburst, Gourmet, Ariane, Red Ruffled, Lipstick, & Ancho.
Eggplant – Pingtung Long, Diamond, & Swallow.
Celeriac – Brilliant, Mars.
Cabbage – Melissa, Charmant, Ruby Ball, & Super Red.
Brussels Sprouts – Oliver, Falstaff.
Broccoli – Umpqua, Green King.
Cauliflower – Cheddar.
Bok Choy – Joi Choi.
Kohlrabi – Gigante, Azure Star, & Kolibri.
Kale – Red Russian, White Russian, Lacinato,  & Rainbow Lacinato.
Tomatillo – Toma Verde.
Lettuce – Blushed Butter Cos, Oscarde, New Red Fire, Simpson Elite, Parris Island Cos, Flashy Green Butter Oak, & Outredgous.
Spinach – Space.
Mustard – Bau Sin, Ruby Streaks,  & Mispoona.
Fennel – Perfection
Herbs – Marjoram, Sage, Basil, & Garlic Chives.

It sounds like a lot of plants, but they don’t take up too much space when they are small and can really make the difference in getting your garden going when the weather is less than desirable for direct seeding.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2011 6:16 am

    After a stinking miserable very wet day yesterday, the sun is out this morning! It’s a sight for sore eyes. Hope your rain stops and you get some too:)
    That’s an impress list of seedlings you have, I’ll have to check out some of those varieties.
    I transplanted my broccoli out on Tuesday, and the rain yesterday only seemed to do them good, thankfully. They are behind chicken wire for the rabbits, and I did catch one mouse so far in the greenhouse.
    For anyone new to gardening, this Spring could be enough to make you give up:(

  2. May 12, 2011 6:32 am

    I agree with starting too many seeds. I always find homes for my extras, and have the assurance that there will be plenty.

  3. May 12, 2011 3:45 pm

    We have the same problem here in southern Ontario. I didn’t get my garden turned in the fall because it rained all of November, and now I’m a good month behind this year because of the soggy weather. I got so desperate to get my peas and spinach in this weekend I just put the seeds on the ground and covered them with some bagged topsoil I had kicking around. Don’t know if it will work, but I had to do something, anything! We’ve had a bit of sunny weather the last week and all of my neighbours were out late last night working their fields trying to get something in before the rain predicted for tonight. Still, it’s hard to be too gloomy about my garden given what’s happening in Manitoba and the southern U.S., and my income is not dependant on what I can grow. We’re all safe and sound here, and I’ll have some form of a garden eventually. Here’s hoping for lots of sunshine for everyone in the days ahead.

  4. May 13, 2011 8:57 am

    Good natural fertilizer with your sheep too, I would think, Matron.
    Have a great weekend!

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