Well, the gardening days have been busy. We have been working away for 3 weeks in getting the beds on the left side of the yard planted and happy with irrigation. We have also managed planting a few sections of the right side, however majority of those beds still need to go in. With the wonderful weather we have been having, the gardening season started a lot earlier than normal, and kind of snuck up on me! Usually, I start putting things in, knowing it is a little early and that I might have to re-start some seeds. This year, I’m rushed to ensure I get everything in because the weather is perfect for growing!
For the last 2 weeks, we have been experiencing unprecedented weather, with temperatures 10-15 degrees higher than historical temps for this time of year, and breaking records. I feel like quite a few of my gardening posts each year are about “unprecedented” and “record-breaking” weather these last few years. It’s becoming a bit of a trend. And guess what? With this higher than normal temps, have once again come wildfires. This time way up north and to the east of us, but we have already had a few days of completely smoky skies, which is WAY to early in the summer. Makes it a little worrisome about what our summer is going to look like this year. Anyways, back to the gardening.
With the warmer temperatures that have been consistent, I have been feeling a lot of pressure to get the garden going, so there have been little breaks in the same routine of hours of gardening after work. Though we did take some time away from the garden this last weekend to enjoy some of our other outdoor activities like fishing and hiking.
I have planted early before and risked the weather, usually worrying that the plants will get too cold and die. This year though, I was not worried about the plants going in due to the warm weather. If anything, I made sure to plant in the evenings so as not to shock them too much with putting them in their new home and then roasting them in the high daytime temps. The nighttime temperatures were nice and warm, so I figured it would give them some time to adjust to their new home before getting blasted with some heat. I think it worked out because this year, I didn’t have any sad looking plants after transplanting. Everyone looked happy in their new homes. And the seeds have sprouted quickly and grown well. Based on my nerdy spreadsheet, the seeds are sprouting much faster this year with the warmer temps. In the past, plants like cucumbers took 10-15 days to sprout because it was cooler. This year it took them only 6 days to sprout. The corn also came up very fast, as well as our cantaloupe, peppers and beets, all shaving multiple days off the normal sprouting time that I have tracked in the past.
We have also been able to harvest some of our food a lot earlier this year. The earliest we have ever been able to harvest was May 21, and it is usually our driveway strawberries that are our earliest harvest. This year, we had our first harvest on May 6, which was rhubarb and a single asparagus. However we had 4 other harvest days of onions (hidden from last year that re-sprouted) and strawberries, both driveway and regular. I have a feeling that our harvest dates for some of our plants will likely be earlier than past years, partly due to the early growth they have been able to do in May.
All that being said, due to so much work having to be done on the left side of the yard, some of the plants that are going in the right side, have been slightly delayed. For example, our broccoli and cauliflower would usually be into the garden by this point, but they likely won’t be going into the ground until tomorrow now. We have a small cold front coming through and don’t want to shock them by putting them out today. Instead, tomorrow is supposed to be back to warm temperatures, so I will wait until then. Likewise, our celery is still waiting to go into the ground. That was partly due to being busy on the other side of the yard, but also because they needed some extra days in the greenhouse due to a poor start in the bad soil. They are doing much better now.
I have also been meaning to build a herb planter, so none of my herbs are outdoors yet. That planter will be built in the next day or so and then I will get the herbs outside. I may event put the celery into that bed, but we will see. Perhaps some lettuce too. It is going to be a 6′ long planter, but only 1′ wide, so although it is long, it will still be limited.
Here is how the garden is looking as of May 21. It has been rainy the last few days, so I haven’t taken any photos, though everything is still growing happily. Except the weeds! So far our landscaping fabric is working out well, helping our intentional plants grow and keeping the weeds at bay.
In the next few days, the rest of the garden should be planted and it will be time to enjoy watching it grow and provide food. We will also have some more time to work on some of our other projects between bike rides, fishing, hiking and other general summer activities.