Out here in the continental United States, we’ve moved from early spring- overcast and 50 degrees F every day- directly to summer- sunny and 90 degrees F. My garden is very confused.
DH and I decided to renew the lease on our house, on the theory that though we don’t love this place, we’re unlikely to get something better for the same amount of money. So, since my time isn’t taken up with packing and moving, I’ve been able to devote more energy to the garden.
It’s not any larger than it was last year- two 4×16 beds and one 6×6 bed- but it’s more densely packed. Beans, carrots, radishes, peas, various brassicas, squash/zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and peppers are all fighting for space. So far, the peas, peppers, and zucchini are winning; each have a few blossoms. I’ve also killed one tomato plant, but I’m not surprised. I don’t have a south facing window sill, and I only just acquired a grow light, so any plants I start from seed indoors are going to be leggy and likely to break. Starting them outdoors works much better; I have six tiny pots of cucumbers that should be ready to plant next week. They’re very happy to bask in the sun by the back door, now that there’s no chance of frost, which was what kept me from trying the same trick with my tomato starts.
The small bed is a slightly different story. It’s near a massive oak tree, and I think some roots are intruding into the soil. So I planted spreading perennials like chives, thyme, oregano, and mint, and I plan to let them fight it out.
Not as easy as it sounds. The local soil is mostly clay. This means it’s high in minerals and low in nitrogen. And it doesn’t drain well, so there’s a danger of waterlogged plants, until the soil dries out and bakes into bricks. I haven’t yet broken a shovel blade on it, but that’s only a matter of time. I’ve already adding more organic material and plan to water everything daily.
I anticipate some success, solely because last year’s results were mixed but not terrible. Hopefully I won’t be completely inundated by cucumbers- I started half as many seeds this year. And I took the wise precaution of putting in only two zucchini plants. Judging by the number of blooms on them already, that’ll be plenty.
How does your garden grow?