|Chives and sage in bloom|
Sunday, May 20, 2018
In late May, the summer veggies are growing strong and the spring veggies are at the end. There are still greens for salads or steaming. Herbs are growing robustly. By this time of year, we no longer need to purchase produce from the grocery store and can get fresh herbs to add to ordinary dishes that make them taste wonderful.
The greens we are eating-French sorrel, chard, spinach, dandelion greens, salad burnet, corn salad, chick weed, sweet clover, green onions, tyfon, Giant Red mustard, sprouting broccoli leaves, snow peas, turnip greens, kale, cabbage. Growing fabulous lettuce and greens
Herbs to add to dishes and salads-chives, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, horseradish, overwintered leeks, Egyptian onions, tarragon, sage, dill, young garlic.
The fruits and veggies-turnips, beets, strawberries, baby carrots.
The flowers that are blooming-irises, spiderwort, marigolds, petunias, roses, snapdragons, alyssum and the herbs and veggies going to seed-white flowers on the cilantro, the sage has beautiful purple flowers, the white, red and pink flowers of thyme, lavender chive flowers. All veggie and herb flowers are edible. A fun way to add flavor and beauty to salads or other dishes.
The lettuce is in full bolt so soon there will be the white, yellow and blue flowers from the different kinds of lettuce. Carrots will bolt, too. If not pulled, they will have beautiful flowers resembling Queen Ann's Lace, which they are from the same family.
The tomatoes and peppers have flowers so tiny fruits should be appearing soon! Peppers typically can be harvested in June and tomatoes around the 4th of July.
This week end, I'll weed in the garden and pots. Everything was fertilized when planted. I'll do another round when the fruits appear on the tomatoes.
There has been an insect feeding on my tomato leaves and something chewing off a few of my transplants at the ground. I sprinkled diatomaceous earth (de) on and around only the plants that were being bothered. De is not discriminate between good insects and bad insects so I use sparingly. I would not use on a plant that is flowering to avoid killing pollinators.
Once the plants get up to a decent size, they will no longer be at risk of being killed or stunted from being an insect's meal. Natural, organic pest strategies and how to make your own bug sprays
I have also had a very enterprising mole in the garden over the winter. The good part of this is that they do a great job of loosening up the soil. The bad part is that if there tunnels go under your plant, there is a good chance, the plant will die. I got out the mole deterrent and put it in the garden. It is just a round metal tube that vibrates and makes a buzzing noise a few times a minute. Hopefully, it will keep the mole from the garden!
I have been harvesting the extra greens and freezing them to use when needed. By harvesting, it stimulates the plant to grow even more leaves. My spinach did much better this year in the pot. I was very generous with the fertilizer! Preservation garden
I start seeds indoors and outdoors throughout the season. I started my squash, tomatoes, peppers, and basil indoors a week ago. Most came up. I keep my seeds in the refrigerator for years. This keeps them fresh enough to germinate even though they are not this year's seed. I had to replant 3 squash seeds and 3 cardinal basil. I have the sprouted seedlings on the deck to harden off. The sun is very intense this time of year so if you start seeds indoors be sure to let them get used to the sun before planting in the garden. I'll transplant them later this week.
I also put flower seeds in a pot on the deck- red hummingbird vine, blue morning glory and white moonflower to have the red, white and blue flowers trained up the covered deck. 2 of the 3 have come up. Moonflower can take a while to sprout.
|Potted lettuce bolting|
On the back patio, I have re-seeded summer lettuces. Lettuce in general likes cooler temps. When it gets up in the 80's, they bolt, sending up a stalk that then flowers. You can let them go to seed and then save seed for re-sowing. Most lettuces start to get bitter when they bolt. Red Sails is one of the few that stays fairly sweet even after bolting. This time of year, re-sow every 3 weeks to keep in lettuce. Also, sow the most heat tolerant varieties you can find to extend how long you can harvest. Bolt-free, sweet summer lettuces