The photo for May shows that the beds are filling, but also reflects the excessive amount of rain we’ve experienced through the yellowing of many of the plants. Some of the garlics are beginning to suffer, especially those in the south east beds which are the wettest, as well as the shallots, and some of the radishes actually rotted. After last year’s disappointing allium harvest, hopes were high for better results this season, but it may not happen. Everything is getting supplemental feedings, since I suspect the rains have just washed the fertilizer away in addition to choking the root systems. I don’t think I’ve ever had such sad looking beans. This is planting #1 (Royal Burgundy.) The hail not only made holes in the leaves, but knocked off lots of the buds and now the plants are a bit floppy. I’ve replanted the second planting (Strike) which apparently rotted, and they are just now emerging. The other scheduled succession plantings were scratched.
Planting has continued, but slowly and I’m not sure that all things are happy at being “mudded in.” The dahlias finally went into the potager border, although those destined for the Cutting Garden are still in pots. There are still nearly 2,000 plants in pots to go into the ground, and I’ve actually quit seeding. It seems pointless to produce more plants when those that have been planted are growing so slowly. Maybe I’ll be sorry later, but so be it. There are only 77 varieties in the potager at present, compared to 96 last year. The difference is mostly peas and beans which have had many fewer succession plantings (why plant more when the first ones aren’t even up yet?) and melons, which would not have enjoyed the cold, wet soils. Hopefully it will quit raining and the planting can be caught up.
More time than normal has been spent clipping grass, because it is growing by leaps and bounds and in many cases, we can’t get a mower close. Weeds are ecstatic in this weather, and I’ve already weeded the Lavender Slope twice, and most of the other gardens three times! Since no mulch has been spread at all anywhere, the weeds just keep coming, and I keep pulling! It’s a never ending job, but hopefully June will be “mulch month!” One row of blackberries was cleaned, but that still leaves three rows to go. It’s that “the harder I go, the behinder I get” feeling.
Despite the weather, the harvest continues, although at a somewhat sluggish pace. The potager produced 14.75 lbs. in May, significantly less than last year’s 25.5 lbs. The strawberries are later, and much of the spinach was harvested early due to hail damage, and as mentioned earlier some of the radishes rotted so became compost rather than salads. Here’s what most of the strawberries have become, pitted with hail damage, resulting in tossing about as much fruit as what can be kept despite careful trimming. It’s time-consuming, and annoying, but at least there will be some jars of jam. And, the new strawberry plantings are looking terrific, so maybe next year will be great! At this point, it is doubtful that the potager’s totals will be comparable to last year’s, especially since there were no potatoes planted at all! But, we won’t starve. The peas are looking great and nearly ready to pick, and I’m still having fun growing even though it is more challenging than normal. I’m far luckier than the farmers, who are still unable to plant, and at least I have a garden, so I’m blessed.