Pre-Garden Gardening

Well, the time is almost here for our plants to go to their new homes out in the garden beds. Our living room truly is beginning to look like a jungle, with most of the window space being monopolized by our beautiful vegetable plants.

Last year, the first things to go into the garden were some of our outdoor seeds which went into the garden at the end of April. This year, it has been a bit cooler, so we have only put carrots, beets and asparagus in as of right now. Our hope is that some warmer weather is coming and will help heat the soil to some prime temperatures for germination

This weekend, we plan to get some more of our outdoor seeds started. This will include corn, cucumber, squash, melons, sunflowers, zucchini, peas, potatoes, onions (our indoor starters may work, but I think we will grab some backups just to be safe), and a few herbs. If the weather doesn’t stay on this warm trend however, we may end up pushing it to next weekend.

Also, to go into the garden this weekend is our tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, celery and some of the herbs. I have spent the week popping the plants out onto the deck to harden the roots and so far they are doing great.

Our tomatoes are larger than I think we have ever managed to grow them in the house. The tallest 2 stand at almost 3′ in height already, with the rest only being about 6″ behind. This is quite a bit larger than last year. Though, before we can get them into the ground, I will have to build some new tomato towers with some thicker wood since the towers last year just barely survived the weight of the plants. That shouldn’t take too long to put together. I plan to use 8′ lengths this time so that we can bury about 1.5′ – 2′ into the ground to give it a solid foundation for when the plants lean their weight onto the tower.

The cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower (only 1 cauliflower), are already double the size of the ones I bought and planted last year around this time. I am hopeful that this will mean a nice strong plant and a good harvest. I think this year I will do a second planting of the cabbage for a fall harvest as well. The ones going into the ground this weekend we will use this summer in salads and other summer recipes. The fall harvest will make some more rotkohl for the winter months.

The celery is also coming along really nice. Again, I would say that the plants are quite a bit larger than the ones that I purchased from the nursery last year. We went with the tango this year as that was the one that provided the tastiest celery out of the 2 varieties we had last year. I traded a few of these plants to my coworker for a few crowns of asparagus.

I am undecided about the herbs, but I believe if the weather is right, that I will plant them as well this weekend. Our basil (mammoth) is living up to its name. They are huge with very large, healthy looking leaves. I plant to plant these with the tomatoes again. Our basil did extremely well with the tomatoes last year and grew into small bushes. I am hoping they do the same again this year, and are certainly on their way already.

Our dill will need to go out, likely into a planter by our back deck. I may put a few into the garden as well. We do also plan to direct sow some additional seeds outside this year. We love dill, so we planted lots of it and hopefully are able to keep a few plants going throughout the summer without them bolting in our summer heat.

My rosemary is coming along nicely. I had to do a second round of seeds because the first round didn’t produce much. Now I have a good amount and plan to do some outside as well as a few inside for year-round enjoyment.

As I mentioned above, we will transplant our onions, but we aren’t sure how it will go. They are definitely getting bigger, but they are still a little stringy. I’m a little worried they won’t survive transplanting, but we won’t know until we try. Worst case scenario, I’ll go grab some bulbs if our seeded ones don’t make it.

We also have some flowers that are doing really well. Kurts sweet pea towers are really coming along and beginning to fill in a bit. The marigolds are looking great and already have a few buds forming. The snap dragons we did a little wrong, but will still get to enjoy. Next time, less seeds per container. We will make use of them in some nice pots though.

Last to go in the garden will be the peppers. We found that by waiting until the very end of May, that the weather was perfect for the plants to keep growing and to have the best peppers through the season. So far it looks like the size of our peppers (photo May 5), are about the same size as they were later in May in 2021 (photo May 15, 2021).

I’m looking forward to getting everything into the garden and getting our growing season truly going.

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