A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Friday, May 15, 2015

May ---and it's FINALLY Time To Plant Something!!!

Spring FINALLY arrives!!
Forgive my long absence. What can I say--life is at it's busiest right now, as any gardener can well understand.

We have just come out of almost a full week of rain. It was much needed , and couldn't have come at a better time.  It has, however, delayed my edging the vegetable garden and the "field" grass is spreading like mad into the borders that have perennials. What a nightmare that's going to be to deal with.
Broccoli and Cauliflower under protection

I don't have much planted yet---we still have a few more weeks until our frosts are done, but I did
get the cold lovers in.

May 2--Planted Super Sugar Snap peas ( "up" May 14)
             Planted Shallots

May 10--Planted one bed of Red Pontiac potatoes
               Planted  one bed of Mokum carrots (in a cold frame)

May 13-Planted three beds of Yukon gem from saved seed

May 14-Opened the box from Dixondale of Copra Onions---and they sent the wrong thing.ARGH!
             I contacted them and they are shipping out a new batch pronto. What a great company.
             Made the best of the day though--got Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, and Celery Planted!

The garden is looking like a bad garage sale but everything needs protection against frost

There is a lack of salad greens and this is my fault. They were planted in late April, but I used OLD SEED--I had terrible germination--a few lettuce appeared, but the radish, spinach and green onions were a bust.
It's too late to replant--they would be ready end of June--too hot for them, so I'll try again this fall with fresh seed.  I had trouble early this year trying to use old seed with my ornamental grasses. Lesson FINALLY learned. I am only using FRESH SEED from now on.

The seedlings are awaiting their June 4 planting time. In the meantime, they are the most well travelled thing at our home. Outside during the day---inside at night.
The hardier seedlings spend the night in the uninsulated garage

Tender seedlings like tomatoes, peppers and zinnias spend days on the porch and come into the house at night.

I'll do a post at the end of the month to show the perennials around the house. Not much exciting right now--but they are growing fast and I hope to have some blooms by June.
Happy Gardening everyone!

35 comments:

  1. I remember those days. No planting until the end of May. But amazingly plants grow so quickly with the long days that in no time you will have tomatoes. Have fun planting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rock Rose---I agree--though we plant much later than anyone else, I am still done with the garden the first week of September- the usual time of our first fall frost.

      Delete
  2. Yay! Can't wait to see your garden grow, it's always so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Erin. And ditto on yours. Looking forward to seeing that HUGE plot grow!

      Delete
  3. I really enjoy your gardening posts! You might thing it looks like a bad garage sale, but to me it looks awesome! It shows that there are things going on and that is always good. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anke, thank you. That's a nice way to think about it. Wish the neighbors agreed-LOL!

      Delete
  4. Wow you really will be busy this month. I hope your frost days will be over soon. I know the feeling of in-out play with seedlings.

    You said it's too warm for lettuce, maybe you can find ones that like warm weather? We have lettuce that grows during summer and even temperatures over 104°F don't bother it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Leanan-thanks for visiting. I enjoyed checking out your awesome blog. Looking forward to seeing your huge variety of tomatoes!

      Delete
  5. Sue, it's always good to see a post from you. This time of the year, I get my exercise as well with lugging plants in and out of the house. Today is supposedly our last frost date. I still have reservations about severe storms that like to blow through toward the end of May. Trying to have that first tomato of the season by the fourth of July definitely involves risks. I just planted three tomatoes and four green peppers. I have 12 of each to plant. As the days of May wind down, I will plant a couple more of each plant every three or four days. By June the entire lot will be planted some where. That way if a severe hail storm comes through like last year I'll still have some plants to save the garden year. The deadly hail storm last year destroyed every thing and I didn't have much of a garden at all. The lesson learned is never trust the weather or past weather history. I hope you have a great garden year and I'm looking forward to seeing how the harvest comes out.

    Have a great Spring planting time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David--you bring up an excellent point about having extra plants for late storms (or in my case, late frosts!). We've been fortunate to never have had hail problems, but I'm sure Ma Nature will throw that my way sooner or later. Happy Planting time to you too!

      Delete
  6. I'd say you've gotten A LOT done in the garden already. Way ahead of me, that's for sure. We're still feeling like we're living in a rain forest. A cold rain forest. Haven't seen the sun in ever so long. Patience, Mama Pea, patience. (But, arrrgh, it's so hard!)

    Question: What is between your rows of raised beds? It can't be dirt or there would be weeds showing. Is it sand? I'd love to redo the area (pathways) surrounding my raised beds, but it will be a big chore and what to use? It's grass right now which has to be mowed and weed whipped right up against the beds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is sand between the boxes. So so easy to take care of . I just run an iron rake over it once a month to get rid of any stray weeds that pop up . I truly love it. AND---an added bonus is that the flowers I plant in front of the boxes stay nice and toasty during late frosts.
      I love the look of grass, but am glad my crappy sand doesn't really support it.

      Delete
  7. Whoo-hoo! I know you must be so happy to be out there!
    Have you tried growing any slow- bolt lettuces in the shade? It's hard to believe that lettuce can't be grown there in summer. I thought only us folks in the south had to deal with that.

    Looking forward to your updates. Keep 'em comin'!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Daisy
      I have almost pure sand for soil, and have found that even mulching heavily, I am unable to keep up with the water needs of lettuce in the summer. Much easier for me to grow in spring and fall. Thanks for the visit. Looking forward to updating you on the sunflowers you sent!
      Will be planting them very soon. Have a great weekend

      Delete
  8. Those are beautiful tulips - and that is exactly how I felt when they started to bloom...winter is officially over and spring is here!

    Your garden is looking very similar to mine with all of the row covers - a pain, but so necessary. Things seem to be moving at a snails pace this year - or maybe that's just my impression as I really want something to munch on from the garden and I'm getting quite impatient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Margaret
      I hear you--I'm sooooo craving some fresh greens-and I choose this year to use old (OLD!) seed and have no spinach whatsoever. You and I are about the last gardens to get going--we really need a lot of patience! Best of luck this growing season!
      :)

      Delete
  9. Your seedlings look great. Like a table at a garden center. Those are some healthy plants. Nice to see you getting some things in the dirt. I had some old lettuce seed too, but I replanted quick and an now getting greens for the dinner table. Looking nice at your place. Thanks for sharing the photos of your beds. Amazing how you work those covers to stretch your growing season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi GonSS-Hubby made that table from a garment rack he got at an auction for $2. He had a couple pieces of plywood he found in the attic of the barn and ta-da--rolling table that makes it easy to move plants in and out.
      Have a great weekend

      Delete
  10. Hi Sue, your tulips are pretty. We have had some cold nights and are also taking things inside and back out of the house. At least you were able to plant your cold loving items. It is nice to finally see some blooms. Have a happy weekend and thanks for the comment on my post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Morning, Eileen
      I guess we have to say this see saw weather keeps us in shape hauling those plants around.
      Hope you have a good weekend

      Delete
  11. Wow that is a lot of seedlings to plant in June. Makes me realize how lucky I am - I just chuck 'em where they're going to grow and let them get on with it... If the initial planting is disappointing, I re-sow a month later. Guess it's all to do with our long growing season...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Morning, Dani!
      I'd LOVE to have a longer season (in the spring)--but gotta admit that when the 3 month season is over here, I'm so tired and sick of it all. Then it's time to look at blogs for a gardening fix!
      :D

      Delete
  12. Hi Sue,

    You're still ahead of me! I hope to get caught up soon. After today I get most of my Saturday's back so that will make a huge difference. I love all the pics of how things are coming together for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark--Hope you get your Saturdays back too! It's hard enough keeping up with this time of year without losing a day! Good luck!

      Delete
  13. Bummer about the wrong onions, but as you said, Dixondale is a great company. And, hey, bonus onions for you now! (I don't expect they're going to have you return the wrong ones)

    I also didn't do well with the lettuce seed starting this year. I just picked up some seedlings the other day and planted them out. Along with the small amount I directed seeded with the peas, that may be all we get this spring/early summer...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeph
      The thing I'm missing most is my spinach. Just doesn't seem like spring without!
      Have a good week
      :)

      Delete
  14. I plant Kale in my flower in the fall with the pansy. We eat it just as soon as it gets big enough. I cook it in the microwave in a bowl with a lid takes about 6 mins, we love it. I have not had enough dry weather to get all of my flowers planted either. Happy gardening from Carrel and I.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Juanita! Hope you get a break in the rain.
      :)

      Delete
  15. Yay! I'm glad you garden is taking shape. The plants look beautiful. May they give you lots of delicious food.

    Here we've hit a hot dry spell just after planting, and our gardens are really suffering. Wouldn't it be nice if we could dial in the weather just the way we want it? But I suppose that would take a lot of the fun out of it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning, Bill--I would be willing to give up the weather part of the fun equation!!
      We're supposed to get down to 26 degrees tonight--and my carrots JUST popped up yesterday.
      Gardening--a never-ending nail biter!!
      :D

      Delete
  16. For id it is sunshine and warmth that is much needed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! Our low tonight---well below freezing. Sigh.

      Delete
  17. Hi Sue, I haven't been blogging as much as I used to, either. I hope you have been able to get many of your plants in by now. I live about 50 miles from David. We've had a cold, rainy spring. The forecast for the summer is cooler and wetter than usual, too, so I just planted more lettuce seeds. I use 2 year old seed OK. It's too bad yours didn't come up.

    Thanks for stopping by my WW post. I had to laugh at your comment about remembering what is where. I actually do not use tags like I think I'd like to, but when I know people are coming over, I sometimes do something makeshift, and the writing washes off after a season or so. I did buy a container of hangers, broken down and bent into something to put a tag on, and some lids that I wrote on to hang on them because I did have some people over for a plant exchange a few weeks ago. I still have the rest of the broken down hangers, so maybe I'll label some more plants. I know I had some trouble this spring when plants first came up, because I couldn't remember what some of them were. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue--I'm still carting those plants in and out. We're under freeze warnings for the next two nights. Ah, spring in Michigan---lots of exercise moving plants.
      Thanks so much for your visit!

      Delete
  18. Very nice blog, you are writing nice and curious posts. Keep it up :) I wish you amazing and bright day! Hello from Dublin. :) If you want, come to my blog : In another life (www.photographyismyexistence.blogspot.ie). Patrycjo :)

    ReplyDelete