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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

End of the Month Round Up--May


Vegetable Garden June 1st, 2016

Crazy Crazy weather this month. We spent half of it 15 degrees below normal and the other half of it
 was 15 degrees ABOVE normal. Let's just call it interesting.  We had SNOW on May 15--that beats our old record of late snow May 12.  Not a record I wished to beat.

That said, however, this is the EARLIEST I have ever been able to plant my vegetables--normally
we still have frost until June 4.  This year--I planted May 26-28 after checking the forecast and finding no lows lower than 40 degrees. Sweet!

We had little rain this month---1.6 inches---a full inch of that coming May 3.It is  dry dry dry!!!
Most days were sunny. We had a lot of wind-which is unusual here.

VERY tedious notes ---please don't read. It's my record for the garden.  I don't expect anyone to
be able to stay awake for it all.  I will put up some nice pics FIRST, and then you can skip the rest.
Hope you have a great gardening season!!

May Date Day-Wellfield Botanic Garden, Elkhart, Indiana  May 5, 2016

Hubby surprised me with a stone frog in my birdbath


Garage Border cleaned up for Spring

Little Shed got new log edging this spring

Sidewalk Border Freshly Planted, June 1, 2016 (Note HIDEOUS fencing to deter deer. Still did not win lottery!!)
West Border June 1, 2016

North Border June 1, 2016


Potatoes doing well--will cover as soon as I'm done mulching them (2 weeks)

Crazy Bizarre New Petunias I found this year at the nursery. Like a starry sky!!
All right---that's all.  Go away now---Time for MY boring notes for my records.
Ta Ta for now!!!
I'll probably update Mid Month---Hopefully I'll have some FLOWER pictures
Hope you all have a terrific week
Sue



May 3-- Sowed Flats of Zinnias:  Lilliput
                                                 Art Deco
                                                 Giant Cactus
                                                 Golden Dawn/ Daisy's Yellow
                                                 Linaris Zinnia (short)-White and Mixed
            Put under grow lights.  Germination roughly 4 days
                       
May 4-6  Mini Trip to Indiana to find Spring


May 7-- Sowed in Garden:  8ft row Mokum Carrots
                                        Sugar Snap Peas on Center Aisle Trellises
                                        More Salad Fixings: Lettuce, Radish, Mokums and Kale (transplants)
                                       
May 11--"THING" returns and mows down newly planted Kale transplants.  Cuts them in half like
                  a cutworm, but NO SIGN of the perpetrator. Pill bugs? Cut worms? Mice?  What?????

May 12--First Cutting of Spinach --the finest spinach EVER.
             Saw first Oriole, heard first Tree Frog, Yes-I do believe Spring is here.

May 14--I take that back about Spring being here.  Cold, blustery winds have delayed most of my
               plans in the garden.  I did plant ONE bed of Red Pontiacs .  After that I went
                in to read and do some baking. High temp of 39 degrees, low 29 degrees

May 15-SNOW--heavy at times, Lilac and Bleeding Heart NOT HAPPY.....and neither am I
               High temp 44, low 28 degrees.  Snow melted by 3 pm

May 16--Planted One Bed German Butterball potatoes (15)
             Planted One Bed Yukon Gems (15)--my saved seed
             Weeded, Fertilized, and Mulched Patriot Blueberries.
             Copra Onions arrived this afternoon-will plant tomorrow
             Andy delivered the bees today.  Set up water sources for them

May 17-Planted Copra Onions (125)   Gave extras to Darby
            Weeded.Fertilized. and  Mulched Chandler Blueberries
            Harvested first lettuce today. Plenty for two BIG salads. Yum!
         

May 19-Sowed into peat pots: Yellow Crookneck Squash,, Zucchini, and Reba Acorn Squash
             Weeded, Fertilized, and Mulched Blue Ray Blueberries.
             Stray Yukon Golds coming up in beds used TWO years ago. That's odd.

             Realized today that I NEVER plant enough salad greens. This occurs to me every year
               and yet by the next year, I forget yet again.  PLANT MORE SALAD FIXINGS!!!!

May 21-Planted one bed Broccoli and one Bed Cauliflower----used cut up plastic pots to
              surround each plant in hope that "IT" cannot get past it and saw off my plants.
                  UPDATE--May 28--Seems to be working-nothing disturbed!
June 1, 2016--Broccoli not decapitated by "The Thing"---Hooray! Success!! 

            Sowed second row Mokum carrots.
            Transplanted stray Yukons into THIS YEAR'S BEDS. Got a dozen.  Now I'm only
              short one bed.

May 25-10 day forecast calls for NO frost, so I'm gonna go with that---
             Planted Barrels by the road and decorative wheelbarrow with flowers.

May 26-Planted 3 flats zinnias (Lilliput, Giant Cactus, and Art Deco Blend)
            Planted 1 flat Cosmos Seashells
            Planted 1 flat SnapDragon--University Mix
            Filled final 3rd bed of Yukon Gems from "strays" that had popped up. DONE with taters!
            Planted 2nd bed of Broccoli-again surrounded by plastic pots with bottoms cut off

May 27-Planted Bell Peppers and German Johnson tomato
Green Peppers and German Johnson tomato-June 1, 2016


May 28-Planted: Brandywine, SunGold, Juliet, and Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes
                         Corn-bed 1
                         Green Beans-48 row feet (Six 8 foot rows )
                         Sowed summer lettuce-Black Seeded Simpson
                         Planted  row of Kale
                         Planted Celery
                         Planted  Peach geraniums into West Border

May 29-Planted Sidewalk Border--Alyssum (of course!), Salvia Victoria Blue, Zinnia Zahara
             Starlight Rose, Ponytail Grasses, and bright Fushia Geraniums and a Calibrachoa.
Sidewalk Border looking from Garage towards House-June 1,2016

May 30-Planted up West Border--a mix of bizarre petunias, zinnias, ponytail grasses, and
              of course--Alyssum.
            Planted 3 Dahlias --east border of the vegetable garden

May 31-Planted 8 dahlias on the south border of the vegetable garden


Salads picked every 2 days--plenty for 2 big salads each time, but wish I had planted a LOT more.
NEXT YEAR---plant eight foot rows of mesclun instead of four foot rows

         


                       
         


         



49 comments:

  1. Sounds like the same weather we're dealing with in Western NY. Big fat flakes of snow May 15th. Bitter wind. Damp and nasty. We did have a very large brush pile from spring clean up so we burned that and made the most of it sitting by the fire. If smelled and felt just like October. The only saving grace was we knew it was on it's way out, not in. Then this Saturday, two weeks later, it was 92.7 in the shade. A much needed rain shower is just now moving in. I'm doing the happy rain dance because I won't have to water in the morning. Our ground is cracking.

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    1. Hi SmartAlex!--Cracking ground?-never good. I wish you many gentle rains!
      I checked out your blog-Too Many Tomatoes. OMG. I'm a new follower. It's neat as a pin and just up my alley. Thanks for the visit and comment.

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  2. That strange purple Petunia speckled with white is so different. I will go look around just in case I find something similar. Your garden is so absolutely weed-free that it makes me ashamed of mine. I think I'd better pull out ALL the Forget-me-nots since they are practically weeds and pop up everywhere.

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    1. Hi Granny Marigold-By the end of summer, that garden will be overrun with Alyssum. You'll barely see the walking aisles....but I love it and it "softens" the whole thing and the bees just love it. Don't you dare pull up those forget me nots---too too pretty, they are!

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  3. Your "Ta ta" didn't work, I went through your boring list :) I actually liked it. It was very funny and fun. Only thing that is confusing me is the part where you wrote "Planted Copra Onions (125)"...125? please don't tell me you actually counted the onion bulbs :D :D
    Lovely stone frog. :)

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    1. Ha, Leanan-you make me laugh. And yes---I counted!! Because, I'm weird like that. Actually, I counted the first row and then just matched up the rest of the rows, so ended up with a count of 125....and since I use at least 2 onions a week and sometimes 3--that's a good amount to plant.
      Thanks so much for the chuckle.

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  4. Hello, Sue! We had a crazy month of May, much colder and wet. I love your cute frog in the birdbath. The petunia is pretty. We had to put some ugly fencing around some of our garden too. I hope to see photos of all your zinna and flowers. Happy month of June to you. Have a great day!

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    1. Good Morning, Eileen-hope you have a great month too. Thanks for the visit
      :)

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  5. Looking good - we did not have a frost in May ! Last frost is usually said to be May 30.

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    1. Hi John--wow, that's incredible with no frost. Let's hope Mother Nature isn't planning some weird July frost or something. Have a fun outing with Kelley

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  6. Well, I read this post - 2ce. But you must have made a mistake as I never found a boring part! :-P Although after the 2nd viewing I was plumb tuckered just reading about your spring whirlwind activities. *sob* Putting me to shame - SHAME I say. My bad. But you have a hubby and don't think that doesn't help! I, on the other hand, don't. And I'm old. And, sometimes, I just don't 'feel it'. I regret that later, so I at least make myself fake it till I make it. Usually works. Reading your inspiring blog - well, it reminds me of when I was young and crazy (well, I've always been crazy) and felt I could put hundreds of square feet into garden. Could it have been done? Maybe. Did you? Oh lordy yes.... Pace yourself gal. And pray for rain.... we got all of .05" this morning. :-(

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    1. Kris-I may have a hubby, but he's NOT ALLOWED in my garden except for setting traps for critters. I'm just hyped up on too much coffee. I peeter out by late afternoon and am not good for much.
      Sorry you're getting the short end of the stick on rain too. You up for a rain dance?

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  7. Everything looks great as usual, Sue. Makes me eager to get out and work on my own place.

    That is odd weather. Other than dry, it's been pretty "seasonable" here. That in itself is a bit of a rarity.

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    1. Hey Mark-yea, I'm eager for you to get outside and back to work as well. I know I'll get my "chicken helper' fix then--love the photos. Hope you're healing well--take care of yourself

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  8. Loved the peek at your garden - thank you. So different - and lush and green compared to ours. I do fancy those bed covers, but unfortunately we don't have any wooden raised beds that I could use this system on. What fabric do you drape over the hoops?

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    1. Hi Dani--I buy the Agribon fabric from Johnny's --pricey, but a roll lasts several years and it keeps off all pests.
      Hope you're enjoying winter. I'm envious. Have a good week

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  9. You have a lovely large and interesting garden. I wish ours was as large and we could have our vegetable and fruit garden at home.

    Our weather is bizarre too - at the momet rather cold for June.

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    1. Hi Sue-The weather is sure unpredictable anymore. And I love that you have 2 separate garden spaces-the allotment is wonderful! Have a great weekend

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  10. I'm just gonna throw in the towel right now. As usual, your gardens look so beautiful, even without the gorgeous color and blooms to come. I'm hopeless when it comes to knowing much of anything about the perennials. I always think "someday" I'm gonna learn, but haven't done so yet.

    Your whole post was so interesting: Pictures, prose and the part we weren't supposed to read.

    Just to show you my stupidity (regarding perennials), you know the purple poppies you got me started on a few years ago? Last fall to insure a good crop this year, when I cut off the seed pod heads, I painstakingly shook the seeds from nearly every one on the ground so I'd have plenty of poppies this year. Well, the bed in which they are planted is so crammed with itty-bitty poppy sprouts (looks like green carpeting) that none of them have room to grow. Now I have to thin out approximately 75,644 sprouts. Sigh.

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    1. Hello Sweet Mama Pea-You are too funny! Wish I lived nearby-I'd thin those poppies for ya in exchange for something in the dessert category! Yep-will work for pie.
      I've looked at your forecast for the week. Wow. Chilly. How the heck are ya gonna grow a tomato with that????????????????????????

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  11. All I can say is WOW! I get discouraged trying to keep up to my small garden and my daughter helps me weed at times! You do a great job keeping it all so neat and tidy and keeping records also!! Very nice! Nancy

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    1. Good Morning, Nancy. The garden is my "everything", so most mornings find me puttering in there. It's just my favorite thing to do. Hope you have a nice weekend
      :)

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  12. That is one busy month of May you've had & your garden certainly shows it...it's looking amazing (not surprised in the least!) Every day, a few more items ticked off the to-do list...I love that!

    Looks like your weather is much like ours, when it comes to the super hot and dry bit...not the May 15th snowfall - UGH! But getting everything in a week or more early, now that's something to celebrate! And you are way ahead of me on the carrots...still on the to-do list unfortunately. And LOVE that purple speckled flower - a petunia, I'm thinking?

    Oh, great minds....I placed a shallow concrete bowl on the stump that was left behind when we cut down that spruce tree, so it just made me smile when I saw your froggy birdbath.

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    1. Hi Margaret--yes, it's been way too dry....and it's getting worse by the minute. I'm so tired of hauling water to the seedlings--I'm down to about 5 flats left to plant--hooray! Life will get much easier once all that stuff is in the ground.
      I smile when I see that frog every time I pass it. What a funny and thoughtful hubby!

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  13. You grow, girl!!! Can't believe that you, dear friend, have the same beautiful spotted petunia that my good friend in British Columbia found. Am I the only person around without this special flower? You know what I will be doing this weekend - yes, I need to find that petunia here!!

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    1. Hi 2 Tramps-it's GORGEOUS--my camera did not pick up the color right. See how I blame the CAMERA and not the OPERATOR--ahhahahahhaha!
      Hope you find it. At least going to garden centers is NEVER a chore. Have fun

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  14. Sue, it's been busy for me this last month. The constant rain has been easing up just enough to start planting. Showers still come almost every day but nothing of significance. I got a lot of garden structure completed in the last three months. Two beds of sweet corn are up and growing; the tomatoes look outstanding; the strawberries are starting to make berries; the pumpkin and watermelon seedlings just got planted; the green beans and potatoes are growing gang busters; and it just seems to be shaping up to be a great garden year. I hope you get some much needed rain. Hauling water is no fun for sure.

    Have a great day in the garden.

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    1. Hi David, glad to see you're still "out there"-I think we are OVERDUE on an update from you!! Glad someone is getting some rain. I'll take leftovers!!
      Hope to see some pics on your blog soon. Take care and thanks for the visit

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  15. I read every word, it was interesting to see what you are doing. We have an IT but its name is SLUG. I found two cornflowers mowed down this very morning. Like you I am putting pots around food plants to protect. It seems to be working but it is awfully labour intensive. Unusually dry here. I think we are headed for drought conditions.

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    1. Hi Susan--too dry for slugs here. I'm thinking it's more like a pill bug. The containers are an extra step, but when it comes to food, I'll do it. Flowers-meh.....even though I adore flowers. I hope you get some rain. Looks like we both need it! Have a good weekend

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  16. We are still experiencing an overly wet season. I believe we have had 21 days of rain in the last 60 days. bleh

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    1. Tonya-oh, rub it in-LOL! Perhaps we need to come up with a "sharing plan"?

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  17. Looking good. Really like your new bird bath. Your little hoops with covers are so great. I can't imagine having those in our wind. Really helps your growing season I'm sure. Glad you've gotten so much planted.

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    1. Hi GonSS-Those covers are a lot more durable than you can imagine-though I suppose you get a LOT more 40 MPH winds than we do.
      Hope you have a terrific week

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    2. Wow how have I not found this blog sooner? Loved reading this post, great setup you have there, looking forward to seeing more :)
      All the best
      FAST-SOS

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  18. Your gardens are looking STELLAR! Love those purple petunias. The fragrance of petunias always reminds me of my grandma--she had them near her front porch, and anytime we stopped by in the summer, we were greeted by that smell!! Hope the garden produces well for you!!

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    1. Hi Melanie-thank you so much! I'm hoping we get an update from you again soon. Hoping your rains continue! Have a great week

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  19. Wellfield Botanic Garden looks like a lovely place to visit. Hopefully being able to plant veggies a little earlier will yield to a bumper crop this year.

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    1. Good Morning, Karen, so good to hear from you. So far, things are looking terrific in the garden. Should be a banner year for potatoes!
      Have a great weekend

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  20. Sound like it's a busy month you are having there. Gardening seems easy for some people but actually a lot of work. Good harvest to you😀

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    1. Hi SK-thanks for the visit. And yes, gardening is my love, so to me it isn't work, but play.

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    2. Good to heard that ☺. Something that you love doing is worth doing.

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  21. Love the look of your garden! So few weeds, mine is an embarrassment by comparison! Looks well set out as well.

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    1. Hi Kev-I have my morning coffee out there and like to weed while I walk around. I find it relaxing. The set-up came about slowly--I added a few more beds every year. I started out with six! Thanks for the visit

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  22. You've got a lovely blog Sue! I hope you won't mind me going through all your blog posts to catch up reading about what you do and have done. There's just so much inspiration and things to learn from you. You're such an organized lady...it's not wrong that I should aspire the same thing, would it? Sorry I read all your notes to the end! Happy gardening days to you!

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    1. Welcome, Annie. I appreciate your comment very much. I just love gardening so much and always hope to inspire others to join in the fun. It's a great exchange of ideas, ya know? Have a great week

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  23. Susan, you are an inspiration, holy moly! Those are some of the finest looking raised beds I've ever seen. I think I may follow your lead, with my kitchen garden and go raise the stakes and raise the beds. Cheers!

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    1. Hi Tom--I love the raised beds because it makes it so easy to cover stuff to protect against the bugs. And--an extra bonus is--it's easier to face weeding a small area, versus a huge garden. But-I also grow in the ground too, for things like corn/pumpkins/etc.
      Have a great weekend

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