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Is your Garden liking this Cold?

This has been the first real spring weather we’ve had in years.  Most of the vegetables don’t seem to like it — but the perennials are doing fabulous and loving the cool weather and ample rain fall.

I’m expecting company next week and had hoped to have the garden looking wonderful.  But it doesn’t.

Peas

I’ve already told you about my peas not coming up. They’ve always been the most beautiful thing in the spring garden and I’ve always taken their success for granted.  Nothing I can do at this point — but I’m thinking of planting a crop for fall (with different seed) — which I usually don’t have to bother with.

Tomato Seedlings

My beautiful tomato seedlings were outgrowing the available space under my makeshift cold frame. So in spite the cold nights (below 50 degrees) that I knew they wouldn’t like, I transplanted them to their prepared spots.  You should see them now.  They don’t look like the wonderful lush green plants I put in on April 24th.  Some of the leaves have turned yellow and they seem to me reduced in size by at least half.

Critters

  • Two baby rabbits got in the garden today.  Where is Mr. McGreggor when you need him? (You’ll remember him from the story of Peter Rabbit.
  • I noticed one of my onions was drooped.  When I pulled it — I found that a vole had eaten the roots and onion and left the top.

I’ve got traps set.

Radishes

Have germinated but are not impressive at all.  Not making a radish yet.

Hakurei Turnips

Lost winter-sown turnips except for a few.

Beets

Alive but so small you only see them if you get up close.

Asparagus

Doing better than anticipated due to competition from “monster” tree roots.

Potatoes

First planting is up.  Second planting still under ground.  Will do the 3rd and final planting towards the end of May.

Spinach

Finally growing although I lost at least half of what I planted.

Russian Kale

I didn’t put any new stuff in because —based on last year— I thought the wintered over kale would be enough.   As it turns out —the wintered over plants are about 1/4 the size of last years!

Blueberry bushes

Do not look as lush this year. They are about 12 to 14 years old and that’s still young.

Strawberries

Look good and in bloom.

This is my snack patch of Earliglow --- my sweetest strawberry.  I enjoy snacking while I'm working.

This is my snack patch of Earliglow — my sweetest strawberry. I enjoy snacking while I’m working.

Onions

Onion from transplants have strong roots but are not growing quite as quickly as usual. Onions from seed look tiny but healthy.  Anxious to see what happens there.

Lettuce

I’ve been picking  a good sized bowl of lettuce everyday since March — but no one could tell by standing at the garden gate and looking things over. I’ve been planting for months and have lots of lettuce but a lot of it’s slow growing.

More Hot Weather Crops plants last week

Last week I planted squash, cukes, more peppers, more tomatoes, and Chard via the wintersown method.  Rather than leaving them inside to germinate I foolishly thought it would be warm enough outside.  Nothing  is happening — so I’ll bring them back in tomorrow and put them on my washing machine until germination.

If it doesn’t warm up — won’t be much point in putting them in the garden.

Garlic

Looks fabulous!  Very pleased.

xxxxx

Winter rye on outside of fence at upper end and in row to right of garlic.

Winter Rye

Did great!  I’m letting some of it go to seed so I can save the seed.

Flower seed started

Lots of flower seed that I started via winter-sown is still very tiny — so I have not bothered to transplant it — and will wait for the weather to warm a bit.

Perennials in the Borders

The flower borders in general are loving this weather!  Ample rain and cool temperatures has made everything look beautiful.  A little slow to bloom but coming along.

Final Thoughts

A reader, Rebekah, commented to thank me yesterday for a post I wrote in mid June of last year. I went back and read the post again.  It was encouraging.  I knew I had heard all this “nothing is growing — leaves are yellowing, etc.” somewhere before.  It was in my garden last year.

I started looking forward to a fabulous season, after I reminded myself that plants are on nature’s schedule and not mine.

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Related Post that Rebekah commented on:

Vegetable Plants Not Growing – Stunted – Yellow Leaves?

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11 comments to Is your Garden liking this Cold?

  • Tom V.

    Speaking of onions–How long should it take transplants to look alive? I ordered from Dixondale this year, as you suggested, and planted them all pretty promptly after arriving a week ago, but haven’t seen any signs of life yet. I keep hoping to spot some fresh green coloration…
    Thnx
    -Tom
    PS, How’s it going w/ the computer?

  • Heather

    Hmmm. I wonder if this might be a good year to try waiting to transplant the summer squashes and cukes until after the squash bugs have erupted and gone elsewhere? Seems like I read somewhere (was it here?) that if you wait until mid-June to put them in you won’t have to deal with the squash bugs at all. Very tempting. Although my neighbors also have a veggie garden so I don’t know if that would even work for me.

  • Theresa

    Tom, transplants take a good while to start showing vigor — sometimes a month or more. They’re setting roots.
    I planted transplants at the end of February and around mid March and they looked rather puny for longer than usual this year. It was mid April before they started looking strong.
    When you see them start making new leaves you’ll know they’ve settled in.
    Tom, even though you’re pretty far north (Michigan) — it would be better if you could plant your onions earlier — say the end of March or the first of April.
    They need time to establish good roots and more leaves before hours of daylight trigger bulbing. Other wise you get small onions.
    I’ll be interested to see how your do at harvest.

    Thanks for asking about the computer. I’m not 100% sure but all appears to be going well with the new machine. As far as I can tell I recovered all information and that was done with a sigh of relief.

    Good luck with the onions.
    Theresa

  • Theresa

    Hi Heather,
    You could certainly try waiting to plant and see what happens — but don’t put all your hopes on that because I have a feeling that if squash bugs are in your garden — they’ll stay wait for your squash or cukes.
    Theresa

  • Tom V.

    Thanks Theresa. I definitely would like to master the art of growing nice big onions, so I’ll try to plant earlier next year. This year, we just finally melted all the snow out of the garden a couple weeks ago! A very late spring.

    Thnx for the reassurance on the little onions. I’ll keep watching.

  • gayle

    Theresa,
    Your garden sounds like mine. A very slow start this year. I’m hoping next week’s promised rain and slightly warmer temperatures in VA will give things a boost.

    I am very disappointed to hear that planting squash and cukes late in the season won’t help with the squash bug problem. For the last two years trying to grow squash has ended in disaster (and no real produce) for me. I’m about ready to give up and just buy them at the market.

    We’ve gotten exactly one radish so far this spring!

  • Theresa

    I was out there tonight from 6 to 8PM and it really got cold, Gayle. The tomatoes that I so foolishly planted are hanging on by a thread. Two that are protected by a tree are doing ok.

    I beat you with the radishes. I’ve gotten 4! Out of a hundred radishes planted — 4! Awful!

    Gayle — I hate to discourage anyone from trying something like planting early or late to avoid the squash bugs. There is always the possibility that you’ll be the one for whom it works. I’m just saying — don’t set yourself up for disappointment by thinking it’s a definite. I read the story of one fellow who got so tired of squash bugs that he stopped growing cucurbits for ten years. When he planted the 11th year — there they were!

    But hope springs eternal — and I am thinking that the healthier my garden is — the less bugs I’ll have. That’s true already to a certain extent. I have less squash bugs — but if I wasn’t at them every day — I’d have a million!

    Regarding — no real production from the squash — I was disappointed last year the same way. BUT — I think the squash were not being pollinated. The small starter squash rotted rather than grow to maturity. It’s my understanding that is caused by not being pollinated.

    I too am putting a lot of hope in next week’s promised rain and slightly warmer temperatures.
    Good hearing from you, Gayle. Hope things pick up in the garden soon.
    Theresa

    P.S.
    On a bright note — the perennial border is ready to burst into bloom with a warm day or two. Sweet William, Iris, early daylily, poppies, roses, peony, oenothera, baths pink and maybe a few other things. They’re all lovin’ this weather. Too bad I can’t eat those. 🙁

  • Stephanie

    This spring has been rough for us too! We live in central Iowa and also planted our tomatoes on April 25th. The weather forecast changed and we had over a foot of heavy wet snow fall on them. We went out there today and they all still look green miraculously but several were broke and battered by the wet heavy snow. I know it sometimes takes a day or two for the cold to make them look different so I’m expecting them all to not make it to hopefully be suprised that they come out of it. All this to say, we start our own seeds and sell them as well and had not sold all of our seedlings. So, we potted plants on Wednesday before the storm hit and have them growing better root systems to be ready as replacements! We are also dealing with tomato sunburn this year……definitely been an interesting year! No other veggies up either. My prayer is that the seeds don’t rot in the ground! However, my husband’s grandma always says if it snows on the peas, then it is going to be a good year! I think 12+ inches of snow counts! Thanks for the encouragement Theresa! I will keep you updated!

  • Theresa

    Loved your report Stephanie!
    Excellent that you have all that backup. Many is the time that backup means the difference in success or failure.
    And yes, I think your grandma would agree that 12 inches of snow counts!
    You are going to have great success when things finally turn around a bit. Keep up the good work!
    Theresa

  • Suzanne

    Good morning, Theresa,
    Even a slow start here in SC. But it is nice to have a little cooler temps and a real spring. Usually gets in the 90s way too early. This year the tomatoes have enjoyed the chance to grow slowly and less spindly. Nice to have lettuce last longer without bolt. My peppers are rebelling but I see some hope, finally! Blueberries are delayed, but could be that they were too early last year?
    What I hate to see are farmers coming to the market with produce that is obviously trucked in from very far away. It defeats the purpose of locally grown produce. I only sell what I grow so market goers are anxiously awaiting the “good stuff”!

  • Theresa

    You brought up a good point Suzanne. Most folks know nothing of what is required to grow and could care less. The want it even out of season and bigger seems to be better in their eyes.

    I’ll bet the few that realize what you have are definitely willing to wait! Wishing you much success this year. May you sell everything you grow except for what you eat and enjoy yourself!

    Thanks for checking in. Good to hear from you.
    Theresa

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