We made a vow this year to be better about documenting our garden’s progress, and now that we’ve got something planted in every bed it seems like a good time to take stock.
The big turning point in every planting season, when the garden switches from being adorably early-planted to being a full-on bumper crop factory, is planting the peppers.
Last weekend we decided it was finally warm enough to toss our little babies out of the nest and let them fend for themselves. We’ve got Nardellos (which we grew last year), Marconis (a sweet frying pepper we’ve never grown before), Black Hungarians (a purple jalapeno type that’s new to us), and Sestito (Puente) cayennes (also new). These are the most robust seedlings we’ve ever grown, and they took to being in the bed like fish to water. It’s always such a relief to be done with tending to things in the cold frame.
Speaking of tending to little infant plants in the cold frame, our tomato seedlings were a bunch of over-the-top drama queens this year. They flourished as wee tiny newborns, then, when they got big enough to move into the cold frame, started acting all, “Oooh, we’re totally going to die now, and you’re not going to have any idea why!” They started wilting from the top down, so we decided, a few weeks ago, to transplant them. Sure, it was just Mother’s Day weekend, and sure there were frost warnings, but seriously, they looked ready to give up the ghost anyway.
It seemed touch-and-go for a few days, but now that the weather’s warmed up, they are chugging along the way tomatoes should. We’ve got Ramapos and Black Plums, which we had enormous luck with last year, and new varieties Gold Medal, Green Sausage, and Fox Cherry. We got all the seeds from Seed Savers Exchange and Seeds of Change, as we always do, except for the Fox; that one we picked up from the Hudson Valley Seed Library, and dude, it’s crazy. It’s like plants that are supposed to live in this part of the world will thrive here, or something. The Fox is literally twice the size of its siblings.
Similarly glamorous, but less prolific, is the pea crop. We have never grown peas before, and what we’re beginning to realize is that you probably need to put in a lot more plants than we did. So this summer will probably yield a scant handful of peas, but they will have been photogenic along the way.
Our garlic, even with having been thinned by about half (mmm… green garlic), is explosively enormous.
And now we’re moving out of the green garlic phase and into the scape phase.
Honestly, garlic is the gift that keeps on giving, and requires zero work at all. Why it’s not a staple of every home garden is completely beyond us.
We’ve got two small beds of veggies that are not at all photogenic — onions and broccoli. The onions look hale and hearty, but aren’t really worth taking pictures of until they’re harvested, but the broccoli is a bit of a question mark. We also got it from Hudson Valley, and it’s not exactly replicating the success of the Fox Cherry. Yet. We’re cautiously optimistic that one of these days we’ll step outside and discover that it’s figured itself out. Because frankly, it knows more about growing broccoli than we do.
Finally, we’ve got our bean crop, which is the usual mishmash of soup beans. We planted them last weekend, along with the peppers, and were sort of freaking out because there were no signs of life. On Monday morning Schnookie scrupulously examined the beds before going to work, and Pookie did the same that day at noon, and there was nothing to be seen. Then, at 5:30, when Schnookie got home… it was a beanstalk miracle!
So now those are cooking along nicely, too. All in all, it seems like a strong start to the summer.