Our 2021 garden: morning progress, and changes in plans

My morning rounds now includes watering all the garden beds. Though we have had rain in the forecast, so far we’ve only received the lightest of smatterings. Hopefully, over the next few days, we’ll get some real rain.

I had a lovely surprise when I came into the sun room this morning.

SO many more of the Mongolian Giant sunflowers and Montana Morado corn are germinating! The corn is just little points of green, barely visible in most of the cups.

In the pellet tray, I think I even saw a cucamelon sprout starting to break through.

It’s getting close to time to start hardening off our bigger seedlings for transplanting. 🙂

I can now say, with absolute certainty, that all three spinach beds have sprouts. 🙂 I might even have, just possibly, maybe, seen our first pea sprout this morning, too! 😀

When done checking the trail cam files, I headed back outside until it got too hot for manual labour in the sun. My computer’s weather app says we’re at 16C/61F that feels like 15C/59F, while my phone’s app says we’re at only 9C/48F with a RealFeel of 12C/54F! There is no way we are only 16C out there, never mind 9C. I have no doubt it’s at least 20C/68F out there right now. I’m thinking of picking up another outdoor thermometer to set up at the pea trellises.

One of the areas we needed to work on is the block for the Dorinney corn. I was loath to just start adding soil on the chopped straw. It would end up in the paths in between and we’d end up walking on it, and I just don’t want to waste that precious dirt! 😀

Then I remembered all that mulch I put around the sunflowers last year. A thick layer of grass clippings I kept adding to throughout the summer. I figured that would work well to put on the paths as a mulch to walk on, while it would also serve to hold the soil in the rows.

Once I started gathering up the grass clippings and laying them down, I realized this partially broken down mulch would work much better under the soil, than the straw.

So this bed will now be reversed. The grass clippings will have the soil added on top, while the chopped straw will serve to hold the soil in place, and keep the grass/weeds down in between, as well as helping keep any moisture. We lost a row in the process, but I wasn’t sure we have enough of these seeds to fill the entire block, anyhow. If we have more, we can just add another row to one side. Before we add soil, though, the area will get another thorough soaking. We can just reach this area with the hose. I should see if I can set up the sprinkler. I don’t think we’ve got enough hose to set that up where it can water the whole block, though.

In the background, you can see the row of sunflower stumps, where I took the mulch from. I didn’t even get as far as where the rows of sunflowers overlapped in the middle, and after finishing laying down mulch in the corn block, I still had enough mulch in the little wheelbarrow to add it elsewhere.

The girls saw carrot sprouts and took off the plastic covering this bed, so I added a light layer to the surface to protect it. Especially if we do end up getting that predicted rain.

I also put a light layer over the Strawberry Spinach bed.

In preparation for planting the asparagus crowns, I soaked the trench, put the cardboard back to discourage any of those roots we didn’t clip or dig out from growing, then soaked it again. Later today, we’ll put the crowns to soak while we start adding soil and preparing it for planting.

We’ve reached that point in the season, where we are switching from going out in the afternoon, when it was finally warm enough to work in the garden, to splitting our days between the cooler mornings and evenings, while avoiding the hottest parts of the afternoon. The problem with that is, the hottest part of the day tends to be around 5pm, so we’re easily losing at least 6 hours of daylight productivity. Long range forecast says we’ll be hitting 30C/86F in four days – and we’re still in May! At least it’s expected to cool down gradually after that, but we’re still going to be in the high to mid 20’s for another week. We’re also supposed to get rain. I’d say “more rain”, but what’s been predicted so far has been missing us, as usual. :-/ We shall see how it goes.

The hard part is going to be waiting until after the last frost date before planting/transplanting. I think direct sowing a bit earlier would be safe, but after losing so many transplants last year, I don’t want to take that chance again, this year!

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Our 2021 garden: morning progress, and changes in plans

  1. I wanted to report back about the ‘onion spooning’ I mentioned before. I did rows of each, spooned and not, to see if it really makes any difference. I don’t think it does. Not exactly scientific, since I did not plant them all at the same time, or use all the same variety, but in general it seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

    Liked by 2 people

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