Sunday, May 14, 2017

What's happening in the mid May edible garden

Herbs and lettuce in the garden

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mid May is a wonderful time in the garden.  There are many 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.

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 carrots.

The flowers that are blooming-irises, marigolds, roses and the herbs and veggies going to seed-yellow flowers of the sprouting broccoli, white flowers on the cilantro, the sage has beautiful purple flowers, the white 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 beginning to bolt so soon there will be the white, yellow and blue flowers from the different kinds of lettuce.  A couple of the carrots are starting to bolt, too.  If not pulled, they will have beautiful flowers resembling Queen Ann's Lace, which they are from the same family.  

The peonies and late blooming tulips came and went early this year.  

Potted lettuce
This week end, I weeded in the garden and pots.  We got some horse manure compost from a local rancher and it appears it was quite full of grass seeds.  Most were smothered by the mulch, but some managed to make it through.  Small price to pay, though, for that great organic matter.  I also added Azomite, which is chock full of minerals, and an organic fertilizer to all the edible plants.  It has been about a month since my last fertilizing.  

It is a good idea to wait 10 days after planting new plants before you give them much fertilizer.  It has been that long for the pepper and tomatoes.  I used Espoma's Tomato-Tone on both since they are both fruiting vegetables so have similar needs.

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.   
Foreground is Giant Red mustard, in the middle are summer veggies, background are onions

I have also had a very enterprising mole in the garden.  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 and garden.  I was very generous with the fertilizer!  Preservation garden

I do have a handful of plants that did not make it when transplanted or were an insect meal.  I have replacements started in the pot.  Planted the seeds a few days ago.  Should sprout in 7-10 days then I'll let them get there first real leaves on and to a nice size before transplanting them back into the garden. 
Seeds planted in pot

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