Monday, May 16, 2011
I wrote this post last week only to have it swallowed up by the Friday the 13th blackhole. Now we have cool temps and rain again but at least I had one week to get few things begun.
At long last, the weather is cooperating, the Election is over (hideous as the results maybe) and I've finally been able to get going on my gardens. It's been a rough start this year; poor germination, lousy weather and a spider mite invasion have left me light years behind where I was this time last year. I'm not sure what's causing the issues with germination but less than half of my seeds took this year. I do find it odd that this is the first year I've ever purchased proper seed starting mix- normally I use whatever soil I have on hand with some compost or worm castings thrown in and everything seeds just fine. Based on the rate of germination I'll not waste money on seed starting mix again.
The real disaster however was the spider mites. By the time I realized I had them it was a full on infestation. I had to discard the two tomatoes I overwintered and the accidental tomatillos; they were less than peak from growing in unsupplimented light and they didn't stand a chance. The new seedlings were also hit but I appear to have caught them in time that an intense regime of homemade insecticide using neem among other things seems to have done the trick. They still look rather pathetic tho. I have most of them potted up and outside now and they appear to be thriving. Fortunately I still had a large number of seedlings in the mini greenhouse and the mites didn't make it that far.
Things in the garden are coming along- I've only just planted my peas and beans but the composters are emptied and the gardens are prepped to go. I think I missed the window for rapini and other greens. I'll save them for a fall crop now which should make them last longer next winter.
My wish list is as usual bigger than the space I have to grow in but I've mapped out my veggie plot and think it will make the best use of my small space.
I've also started my potatoes in a pail again- this year I'm just using potatoes that sprouted on their own in the worm bin so I'm already seeing some action. I remembered to drill some drainage hole in the garbage can this time!
At the Hort sale last week I picked up a few things to add to my tiny flower gardens. For the Sun garden I purchased some Siberian Iris.
For the Shade garden, I got Virginia Bluebells:
And for the Woodland garden, I added a tiny Solomon's Seal to the trillums and foxglove.
Best of all, my bee nesting box finally arrived! It's rather industrial looking and we decided to mount it to the fence that ends in the middle of the veggie plot so the pollinatorswill have ample options to choose from . It's also tucked in beside one of the composters and less noticible this way; hopefully it will be left alone by passersby.
Not having a fenced-in yard is often a drawback. I've already had issue with off leash dogs doing damage to some of my gardens- my columbine, magenta violet and a swatch of ditch lilies all have been mangled in the past week but thankfully, they are bouncing back.
So things are slowly getting there. Now if only we get some sun!