Friday, May 13, 2011

Around the Garden

Note the difference in soil color between my no-till beds and the adjacent conventional/till gardens.
There's plenty of stuff going on around here, both outdoors and otherwise.  However, with blogger.com crashing for the last 24 hours (and deleting an entire post of mine that was scheduled to publish today), I'll just hit you up with a little garden update.  In short, things are growing fabulously.  I am now harvesting leaf lettuce, leeks, and chives, and everything else is coming along fairly well.  I keep forgetting to plant the carrots and I'm running out of time to start!

I was curious if my untilled (now no-till) soil would break on the shovel or clump up into big clay chunks (as it did when I first got the garden plot in 2010).  And now, with squash and tomato plants going in the ground, it's too late to till, even if I change my mind.  I was excited to see that once broken loose from the ground, the soil just fell apart on the shovel with the tiniest amount of pressure from my boot or hand.  It looks great.  Nice and dark brown, full of earthworms, centipedes, and all kinds of other critters.  Unfortunately, also including several gigantic hornworm pupae, ready to emerge as moths.  While I acknowledge that the sphinx moth, the larval form of which is the hornworm, is an important pollinator........no thanks.  I have plenty of other bees, moths, and butterflies. 

First harvest of 2011!
Food is starting to come out of the garden, and like every year, it's not a day too soon.  Within another three weeks, all of the seedlings will be out of my basement and the grow lights will turn off again until March 2012. 

There's a lot of work yet to do to get to that point, and a lot of things that can go wrong with so many young, sensitive plants in the garden.  Like my friend Jonas' garden, that was destroyed by hail on the day he planted it.  Yikes.

It's been a good week outdoors, from walks with my wife and Hank, to some time fishing the Patapsco River, wetland site visits for work, and some sunny, sweaty hours in the garden.  The weather is starting to bear down on us, and promises somewhere between 4 and 10 days of straight rain.  My brother the Tugboatdude is coming to town in that timespan and hoping for some outdoor fun (and to watch our beloved Yankees terrorize the hapless Orioles), so we're hoping for a few dry afternoons and/or mornings. 

It's May in Maryland - there's a lot of stuff going on outdoors and I look forward to sharing it with you all!

3 comments:

biobabbler said...

=) Funny re: your poor friend. ALMOST happened to me.

Week before last I was SUPPOSED to plant the tomatoes, peppers, and basil I'd bought. Put it offfff. Then the last day I had to do it was Monday, the day I had to leave town. Then lightning and thunder arrive and I'm afraid to go out -- dark, nutty lightning storm, I unplug everything in the house. BIG (for CA) HAIL POUNDS the earth and leaves almost an INCH of solid hail. Looked like it snowed. It would have KILLED my plants. Rewarded for putting it off. Planting it all tonight.

At least, that's the plan.

My chives bloomed like yours--just found them yesterday. Such beautiful purple flowers! =)

LB @ BulletsandBiscuits said...

Your garden is looking good! All I've got is chives right now....

Swamp Thing said...

Bio - lots of rain here. The transplants are not sure of their new surroundings!

LB - we are cutting chives, onions, fall-planted leaf lettuce and romaine, and spring planted spinach. Cutting fall-planted garlic soon, I bet.

The fall-planted spinach tasted like butt and has already bolted. Last time I try THAT.