Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to Ignore Your Garden

A friend gave me a copy of Martha Stewart Living to peruse over the weekend, and I found out that the magazine includes a feature at the beginning of the magazine called "Martha's Month."

You might be interested to know, for example, that Martha's to-do list for today included yoga as well as inspecting the garden edging & paving and repairing broken or missing sections. She's also headed off to Morocco next week to give a speech at the Business of Luxury conference. Sounds pleasant, no?

My to-do list includes nothing so wholesome, attentive-to-detail, or glamourous. And it hasn't included much of gardening lately either. I've been pushing off a lot of tasks that I would normally like to tackle during the month of May.

If you want a really good excuse to ignore your gardening duties, I suggest you bring a new member of the family home who needs a lot of attention and love.

Our new furbaby - Briar

Having a new puppy is wonderful, but it sure is time-consuming. 

All hope is not lost for a good garden season this year. Having a short growing season, such as we have in New England, means that there's still plenty of time to locate a source of aged manure and get the plants into the ground.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thinning out the seedlings

Exciting things are happening outside in the garden - it's true, although I have no photos to share today. Working late and having rainy days does not lend itself to taking well-lit garden photos, even though I'm pretty excited about how pretty the gardens are becoming.

Indoors, the seedlings are coming along okay. The broccoli and marigolds are looking great and the watermelons are starting to form their first set of true leaves. I thinned the basil seedlings and used them as micro-greens in a salad - yum! (Broccoli micro-greens are also quite tasty.)

Miniature basil is cute but full of bite and flavor.

Turns out that warm-climate plant seedlings grow better in warm and well-lit environments. I visited my friends on Sunday and viewed their seed-starting table complete with heat mat and fluorescent lights, and noticed a huge difference between my tomato and pepper seedlings and theirs. I think that I need to have two different set-ups for seedlings next year - one for my heat-loving plants and one for cold-climate plants that don't need the extra coddling.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Showers

May Day 2012 was a wet one - 0.79 inches reported in Concord, NH. This follows a dry April with less than 3 inches of rain and no snow. If you're interested in weather trends, the National Weather Service does monthly summaries and other reports - this link is for summaries from the regional office in Gray, Maine. If you don't live near me, check here for your regional forecast office.

It's hard to celebrate the beauty and sunshine of May on a dark, wet and chilly day... but the geese and their five goslings didn't seem to mind.

The fuzzy things in between the geese are the baby goslings.

The garden didn't mind either - it's been rather dry here, so the soaking rain really gave a good watering. The indoor seedlings were a little more sluggish - cool temps and cloudy days slow their growth. You can see that the marigolds have their first set of true leaves starting, but the watermelons are still just showing their cotyledons, or seed leaves.

Seedlings reaching toward the sun

The weekend forecast is looking good, and I'm planning to turn over my neighbor's garden and plant as much as I can. The springtime showers do lead to flowers, but May also brings black flies - the more that I can do before black fly season, the better.