Our 2023 garden: got a few small tasks done

I headed outside when things started to cool down and gave the garden beds another watering. I also snagged the trays of Spoon tomatoes and “potted them up”.

Which was just taking off the lower leaves and adding more soil to the cups. These were all so tiny when they were transplanted from the Jiffy pellets, the cups were barely half full of soil. Even now, a couple of them are so small, the cups still couldn’t be filled to the top. A few of the largest ones, however, actually seem to be showing the beginnings of blossoms!

We’ve got 30 of these, plus the Romas, and I still don’t know where they will be planted. It all depends on how much progress there is on the new trellis beds that still need to be built!

Next, I transplanted the lemongrass.

I treated the pot a bit like filling a raised bed; on the bottom, I put a layer of grass clippings, which got a good soak, then potting soil. The potting soil was really dry, so it took quite a bit more soaking to get it moist.

For the lemongrass, I decided to break them up and plant them individually, instead of in groups. That meant breaking up the biodegradable pots. These had been started in smaller, square, biodegradable cells of the same material, so when I potted them up, I just put the whole starter cell into the bigger pot.

For biodegradable pots, they sure don’t break up easy. They were still pretty rootbound in the original cells! So I pulled those pieces out, too. Considering how much handling the roots got, I really hope they survive!

Once transplanted and watered, I very carefully mulched with grass clippings. This pot is set up on the concrete landing of the stairs in front of the main doors. A good, warm microclimate for an herb that needs much warmer temperatures than what we usually grow here. It’s going to get pretty baked, though, so the clippings will help moderate the temperatures as well as protect the soil and transplants. Once the clippings were in place, I was going to give it one last watering.

The handle broke off the sprayer.


I bought is at part of a 2pc set, so I did have another nozzle I could use. I just don’t like it very much. It’s the kind where the spray is adjusted by turning the tip of the spray head. It doesn’t spray very well. Ah, well. Something else for the list of broken things to replace!

Then I finally!!! finished the cover over the shallots bed.

The ends are now closed off, so no cats can walk through and use the shallots as a bed!

As I was finishing this off, I could hear thunder that seemed to be coming closer, so my daughters and I quickly got the rest of the transplants inside. According to them, we did have smatterings of rain today, while I was in the city, and even had a very brief downpour last night! I never heard a thing. There sure wasn’t any sign of it when I watered the garden beds this morning.

Whatever system I was hearing this evening, it passed us by. A good rainfall really would have been nice! It got so very muggy out there!

Tomorrow is supposed to be another hot one, with no expectation of rain at all, so I plan to get an early start. The largest tomatoes need to be transplanted, but I want to put in the supports for the indeterminate Indigo Blue Chocolates first. The Black Beauties can be staked individually.

Which means an early bed time for me, and hopefully a good sleep!

The Re-Farmer

It all comes down to the weather

Well, my plans for the day changed again.

We’ve got high winds today, with an expected high of 29C/84F. I wanted to get the transplants out, though.

With the wind direction, I was able to use the picnic table under the old market tent by the fire pit. They won’t get full sun, but with the expected heat, that’s quite all right. They will still get some wind, which is good for them, but not enough to send them flying across the yard.

The next while is expected to continue with high temperatures, with high winds and a possible thunderstorm tomorrow, though only one of my weather apps is predicting that. Overnight temperatures are also expected to be quite warm.

I decided today was a day to do some direct sowing, while also raking up some of the grass clippings to lay down some much needed mulch. If we’re going to be getting thunderstorms, I want the soil protected as much as possible. If we don’t get the thunderstorms, I want the soil well mulched to keep it moist, and from getting too hot!

I set up the extra phone to take time lapse video, so that will be put together for another post. With the peas, I planted the free Hedou Tiny bok choy from Bakers Creek and Jebousek lettuce I got for free from Heritage Harvest. As the peas grow up the chain link fence, they will shade and shelter the lettuce and bok choy. Then I prepped and planted the Tom Thumb popcorn.

I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to get back out there again today, but I’d really like to transplant the Black Beauty and Indigo Blue Chocolate tomatoes. They are getting quite large, and I’d rather transplant them than pot them up again. That and it would mean a fewer trays to take in and out every day! As it is, there were some Spoon tomatoes that didn’t make it, and removing the pots meant I could combine 3 trays into 2, with some judicious rearranging. When I transplant the bigger tomatoes, I want to transplant some of the onions in with them, too. The Black Beauty tomatoes are determinate, but the Indigo Blue Chocolate are indeterminate, so I need to consider the different types of support they will need. I also need to resist transplanting all of them, if I start running out of space. We had very good germination rates and few losses, and it’s the paste tomatoes that I want to have a lot of. I can always give away the extras! It’s the same for the remaining peppers. We have a 100% germination rate on all but one variety, and of that one variety, there’s only one peat pellet didn’t germinate – and I only planted one seed per pellet!

With the way things are looking, we may have to start doing outside work in the morning and late evening. The hottest part of the day tends to be around 3pm, but stays hot until about 6 or 7.

In my youth, I wasn’t bothered by the heat the way I am now. Makes it harder to get things done!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: doing what we can

Today has been a nice, cool day, but very windy, with smatterings of rain. So windy, we didn’t dare set the transplants outside. They’re hardened off by now, so they should be fine. I just don’t want to have tomatoes blown half way across the yard!

So we did what we could, and the wind actually helped by keeping us mosquito free. I even had both daughters able to come help me at the same time! My older daughter normally sleeps during the day, but she couldn’t sleep. A night working on the computer left her more than happy to do physical labour outside, no matter how tired she was!

Thanks to the extra help, we got all three beds done in short order!

That black plastic had been on the bed in the foreground for a week or two, but the weeds underneath were too established to be killed off in that length of time. I moved it to the first bed that was complete – only one end is uncovered, because we found a couple of onions while weeding it, and they got transplanted at the end near the grow bags.

I just realized something. I think I forgot my gloves on the high raised bed, after taking this picture. 😆

The bed in the foreground was easily the worst for weeds, but all of these beds are so much better than when we first started gardening in this area! Every year is a little bit better. Once we’ve got the high raised beds set up, we’ll be sure to set aside the soil we’ve been working so hard on, and using it to top up the high beds.

That won’t happen until the fall, though. Until then, we’ll be collecting the materials and getting them ready, so that once things are harvested, we’ll be able to get right at it.

The next priority is to build the new beds and trellis tunnel – though if we just build beds with trellises, and turn them into tunnels later, that will be a good start! These will be permanent trellises, so I don’t mind taking extra time to make sure they are solidly built, but also, we need something to plant in. We have so many transplants and seeds, but not enough prepared beds for them.

In other things, I got a response to my email to the vet about Judgement. They don’t do “walk ins”, but if we can catch him and call them, they will find a way to get an available vet to see him. So, of course, there’s no sign of Judgement, today! *sigh* With not being able to put any weight on that foot, he is very vulnerable right now.

Hopefully, he will come home again, soon!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: taking a chance with transplants!

I really hope I didn’t screw up by transplanting these so early. They all need really long growing seasons, though. It was either transplant them, or pot them up, and I really didn’t think they’d benefit from being potted up.

So here it is: today’s transplanting of Zucca melon, African Drum gourd, Caveman’s Club gourd and Crespo squash.

I actually thought I had two Zucca melons to transplant, but when I looked at the label, I saw that the smaller one was a drum gourd. It’s a good thing I labeled them or I would have been in for one heck of a surprise at the end of the growing season.

Assuming these survive getting transplanted. Also, assuming they don’t get eaten by something along the way!

The Re-Farmer

A garden preview, and kitty video

Much of today has been a total waste. I got almost no sleep last night, and it was basically all because of the cats! First, there was the constant stream of cats wanting in and out. I swear, even the cats that are outside the door have a sense of when I’m finally lying down and comfortable in bed, because that’s when they start scratching at the door again! As the ladies have been able to tolerate more of the other cats, that means more scratching at the door to be let in or out.

All that, because we’ve got two cats that always go after Nosencrantz, forcing me to keep the door closed to keep them out!

The other cause of interruption was Nosencrantz.

I have one small window I can open – a window with a deep sill the cats like to sit on. The screens on all the new windows are high quality, but the cats have still managed to damage all of them. With mine, I tried to have most of it blocked off with a window fan, a salvaged metal mesh window screen and a hunk of Styrofoam insulation, to protect the screen, but even when the fan was put away for the winter and the window kept closed, the screen would get clawed at. I finally removed it completely – then had to hide it behind the metal mesh screen – because Nozencratnz still wanted claw at it!

We ended up getting what is supposed to be cat proof window screen, and have replaced the screens on several windows, mine included.

Yes. It’s supposed to be cat proof. However, I don’t think even cat proof window screen can withstand a cat sitting up on its hind end and going at it with both front paws! Even if the screen managed to survive the attack without getting holes, chances are it would get yanked right out of the frame, eventually.

That’s what I was trying to stop all night. Nosencrantz is fixated on clawing on that screen! I even jammed the salvaged screen in front of it. It’s narrower than the window, and Nosencrantz would just reach around the metal mesh screen, to claw at the window’s screen! There aren’t even any bugs or blown in fluff that she’s after. She’s just after the screen!

So that was another thing that had me getting up repeatedly. Oh, and also the sound of cats using the carpet as a scratching post, instead of the scratching post… 😕

I’ve now stolen my husband’s box fan, which fills the window almost completely. I just had to stick some cardboard between the wall and a shelf to cover a gap on one side. Hopefully, at least that problem is solved.

The whole thing left me feeling awful by morning. A sleep repeatedly interrupted is far worse than simply being up all night. It’s not even feeling physically sleepy that’s the problem, though I was so physically tired, I felt ill. It’s the affect on mental acuity that really knocks me out.

The girls took care of feeding the outside cats and taking the transplants out so I could sleep in, but I still found myself constantly awakened and having to open and close my door. I finally gave up and tried to leave it open, cat fight or no, only to have the breeze from my open window slam it shut, over and over!

Yeah. I was pretty miserable this morning, and finally gave up.

The afternoon, at least, was better after indulging in my last energy drink. 🙄 I finally went outside to see how much work I could manage to get done.

Which turned out to be far more than I expected.

I took a significant risk today.

I did some transplanting of squash and gourds!

Normally, these would not go in until about the middle of June, but some of them were getting quite large. I didn’t want to keep potting them up, and they were getting so big that taking them in and out of the sun room to harden off was damaging them.

I took photos of the progress and will put together a small video later, but here is a preview.

Four of the transplants were climbers, so I cleaned up the blocks and transplanted them here. Because they all can potentially get quite large, I put them in every other block. In the foreground is the Zucca melon. I put it there so it has room to expand away from the others.

I thought the next one was also a Zucca melon, but when I took out the label, it said African Drum gourd. We have extra, much smaller, seedlings of both. The next two are the Caveman’s Club gourds.

All of them are long enough that I was able to get their tendrils wrapped around the chain link fence and start training them up it or, with the Zucca melon, away down the side. These all are supposed to have fairly large fruit, though with the Caveman’s Club, they are more about length than girth. If any of these reach the point of developing fruit, we’ll figure out how best to support them.

The next thing that had to go in were the Crespo squash.

Then went into the bed we had a hulless pumpkin variety in last year, near the old squash/bean tunnel. This will likely be the last year we use this spot for gardening, and hopefully we’ll be able to plant something for our food forest here, next year. We shall see.

The Crespo squash plants can get really huge, which is part of the reason they went in this far away bed. The old rain barrel I filled yesterday is nearby – but it was only about a quarter full when I got to it today! I couldn’t see if it developed a new crack, or if the seal on one of the old ones gave out.

We really need more rain barrles.

I’m quite glad I found that one last hose in the old garden shed, so I could give this area a thorough watering. I’ll have to keep that up for at least a few days to make sure it’s damp through the new mulch, all the way down through the layers we put here, least year.

I’m reeeeaaallllyyy hoping I didn’t jump the gun by transplanting these so early. There is no sign of frost in the long range forecasts. In fact, June is looking like it’s going to be quite hot, and rainy. If, however, we do find ourselves with a frost warning, I think we’d be able to add covers to protect things fairly well.

After I was done and putting things away, I fed the outside cats for the evening (and chased away a couple of skunks eating their kibble!). Judgement is still limping, and the foot seems to be bothering him more. He still won’t let me look at it, so I tried seeing if I could sneak a look through my phone’s camera.

It didn’t really work, but I did get this video!

I did not get a response to my email to the vet, asking about being able to bring him in as we are able to catch him, without an appointment. I’ll have to remember to phone them, tomorrow.

So I did get at least something useful done today. If the weather holds, this early planting will make a big positive difference for things like the drum gourds and Zucca melon.

I’m not sure what I will plant in the empty blocks. Ideally, it would be some other climber, but since I expect the fence to eventually get completely engulfed by what just got planted, perhaps it would be better to choose a shade loving plant, instead. We’ll see.

I’m just happy to have gotten at least a bit of productivity in today!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: corn, peppers and thyme

I had to go to the nearest Walmart to get cat kibble this morning, and took advantage of the trip to get a few more little things. It was insanely busy with people. We’re coming up on a long weekend which, for many people, is the traditional time to put in their gardens. It’s also when a lot of people open up their cottages for the summer, so it was busy everywhere! All the garden centres and greenhouses are open now.

For us, today is 2 weeks to our last frost date. That means it’s time to sow our Montana Morado corn!

Which, of course, is never as simple as just putting things in the ground!

I chose to plant these in the low raised bed we grew summer squash in, last year. As with just about everything else, the squash did very poorly last year. It was, however, the bed that needed the least amount of work done on it before I could sow.

Not by much, mind you.

After removing the grass mulch from last year, I had a whole lot of weeds to dig out. Mostly crab grass. That stuff is brutal!

The entire bed got worked over with a garden fork to loosen the soil. Then I had to go back over it to pull out as many weeds and roots as I could. Aside from using the fork to loosen the soil even more to get the roots and rhizomes out, it was very handy to support myself as I worked. I also used a board across the bed to step on, so I wasn’t stepping directly on the soil.

We really need to get more high raised beds built. This was very hard on the back. I suppose it would have been easier if I could kneel down to work, but my knees are shot, so I’m bending from the waist, for the most part.

While working towards the north end of the bed, I started finding more tree roots, from the nearby trees that my mother allowed to grow in what used to be garden space.

More reason to get those high raised beds done!

When the weeding was done, I went to get the seeds and a rake to level the bed. I brought a container to pour the seeds into and see how many there were. There was supposed to be at least 75 seeds.

I counted 94!

Once the bed was leveled, I took the board I had to support my foot while weeding, and used it to mark off three long rows. I wanted to stay well away from the edges. The crab grass is the worst along there, as the roots make their way under the log edging. Then I used the handle end of the rake to punch holes along the rows every 6 inches or so. Typically, it’s recommended to plant 2 or 3 seeds every 12 inches, but I’m doing dense block planting. I also hate wasting seed, so I planted one seed every 6 or so inches. This should be good for pollinating, and if some of the seeds don’t germinate, the resulting gaps won’t be too large.

I lost a seed while planting, though, so there’s “only” 93 in. 😄

Everything was well watered, of course. I always water before putting the seeds in, then again once they’re done.

Once planted, I put a thick layer of grass clippings all around the edges. The ends don’t have logs to hold the soil in, so hopefully the grass clippings will help keep it in place, too. Mostly, it’s to try and keep the weeds from creeping in from the edges. Once that was done, I put a very light mulch of grass clippings over the planted area. Basically, I just shook bunches of grass and let the wind blow it on. I wanted enough clippings to protect the soil, but still keep it light enough that the corn won’t have any problem pushing through.

Once the corn is up, I will might interplant some bush beans in between the rows. Maybe. I did that with the kulli corn we planted last year, and they got huge, but never reached the point of producing cobs. I now think that there was too much nitrogen in the soil in that bed. High nitrogen leads to lots of plant growth, but can result in lower yield. Or, in our case, none at all. With how densely these are planted, though, interplanting with something like beans might be too much.

Once that was done, I decided to take a chance and do some transplanting.

The Sweet Chocolate peppers that were started back in February have gotten nice and big. Normally, I wouldn’t dare transplant them before our last frost date, but I’ve been eyeballing the forecasts and decided to take the chance. It was either plant them now, or pot them up. The German Winter thyme that was started at the same time were also quite ready to be planted.

While I was transplanting, I got my daughter to cut the tops and bottoms off of some distilled water jugs for me. Since my husband needs to use distilled water for his CPAP humidifier, we have lots of those! Hopefully, they will help protect the peppers during any cool nights. In this bed, they will be easy to use row covers if we get frost warnings, too.

I had three pots with thyme to transplant – a fourth one was transplanted into a pot to stay in the house. I don’t think they’ll need any protective covers unless we get actual frost.

Eventually, I want to plant the chamomile in here, though it’ll be a while before those are big enough to do that. The spearmint and oregano we started from seed are not doing well. I might buy oregano transplants, which would also go into this bed. Spearmint is not something I usually see in stores as transplants, so we might skip those this year and try again next year. The second variety of thyme we planted at the same time as the chamomile doesn’t seem to be doing as well as the German Winter thyme has. We’ll see how they do over the next couple of weeks.

Once again, while working in this bed, I was quite impressed by how moist the soil was under the wood chips. The mulch is really doing its job!

Oh, there was one thing about transplanting the peppers that has made for a learning experience.

We started the seeds in bio-gradable pots that are designed so that they can be transplanted directly into the soil, pot and all, with no root disturbance. When the peppers needed to be potted up, they went into the larger Red Solo cups that way – except for a couple that were thinned by transplanting.

When taking the peppers out of the cups, the ones that were still in those bio-degradable pots… were still in the bio-degradable pots! They were actually rootbound inside a pot within a pot. So when I transplanted them, I removed the shells of pots they were in. The pots were very soft and easy to break off, but hardly any roots had tried to grow into them.

I still have some of these pots and seed start trays. I’ll use them but, in the future, I think we’ll skip buying those. A bio-degradable pot isn’t much use if the roots can’t get through them after being potted up!

So this is now done. The first corn is planted, and the first peppers and herbs are transplanted.

The corn is meant to be planted at this time. I just hope I didn’t jump the gun with those peppers!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden: Red Thumb potatoes are in

Gooby tried to help.

He was not a very good helper!

The Red Thumb fingerling potatoes had to get into the ground, so they went into the beds that were ready.

I have no doubt I was crowding them a bit too much, but these are fingerling potatoes, so I hope that will make a difference. I still couldn’t fit them all in the bed along the retaining wall. The last of them went into the short end of the L shaped bed, where you can see the straw mulch. I was able to add straw mulch to the rectangular bed with the Irish Cobbler potatoes in it, too.

The extra height added to the bed along the retaining wall came in handy. I did work in some of the composted sheep’s manure first. The bed was already starting to compact! The height of the soil is almost as high as the retaining wall (it is settling a bit, still). The logs are high enough to hold the straw mulch in place.

Unfortunately, the cats seem to think that straw is there, just for them! Especially Gooby.

It started raining by the time I was ready to add the straw, but I gave all the straw a thorough watering, anyhow. They’ll get more deep watering, even with the rain. I’ve noticed that, if the straw doesn’t get saturated first, the top will get wet, but the bottom stays dry, so the moisture never quite gets to the ground. I want to get these beds soaked down through all the layers. Once that’s done, the beds will hold the moisture for quite a long time before they will need watering again.

The whole point of our wanting to use grow bags this year was because we have such a problem with slugs. I’m hoping that, by planting these in raised beds, it will be less of a problem. I suppose we could leave out some beer traps for the slugs, but I have no doubt the cats would be getting into them! I’d rather encourage garter snakes or toads and frogs.

Meanwhile, we’re also seeing peas starting to break ground. Just barely visible! We’ve got carrots sprouting, too, but they are very small and it doesn’t look like we have a high germination rate. They really should have had the plastic right on the ground until they germinated, instead of on hoops, but the hoops were as much to keep the cats off as to keep the moisture in. Hopefully, the heat inside didn’t kill off too many seeds. We do still have 2 other varieties of carrots to sow, so we should be able to make up for any losses.

We’re getting air quality warnings right now. There is a cold front moving in, so the temperatures will drop quite a bit, tomorrow (though not low enough for frost), and with it will come smoke from the many fires in Alberta. Rain is desperately needed, though with so many of the fires being started by people, more than rain is going to be needed to get these under control!

Along with rain today, we’ve also got a fair bit of wind. Nothing exceptional, but too much to take the transplants out. We have no way to protect them from the wind on the various surfaces we use to lay them out. So they remain in the sunroom, which isn’t much warmer than outside right now, with the fan and the lights, for today.

I’m glad I got the potatoes in right away. Rainy, grey weather like this always makes me incredibly sleepy. If I’d delayed it, I probably would not have been able to get it done. As it is, I think I’m going to have to lie down for a bit. I can barely keep my eyes open, as I write this!

So… all three varieties of potatoes are planted. Which means I can finally turn my attention to taking down the trees we’ll be needing to build the trellis tunnel. That should have been done, long ago!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 Garden: Purple Peruvian Potatoes planted

Well, we got one out of two done!

I thought we would have more than enough old feed bags to use for both types of potatoes we have left to plant, but I was wrong! The Purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes alone, took 14 of the 19 bags we had!

I made a quick little video with the photos I took. It’s less than a minute and a half long. 😁

The first time we grew potatoes in feed bags, we were intending to do the tower thing, expecting to add more material to the bags several times throughout the summer. Then we found out that potatoes come in both determinate and indeterminate types – and we had determinates. They aren’t the right kind for growing in towers, so there was no benefit to adding more material. The plants got huge, though, and the bags couldn’t support them. With that in mind, this time I made sure to add quite a lot of straw to the tops of the bags. It should help support the plant stems, and hopefully the bags as well.

So now we have to figure out how and where to plant the Red Thumb fingerling potatoes.

I wonder if there are too many to plant in that bed along the old kitchen garden retaining wall I just finished reworking?

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 garden transplant status, and good car news

But first, the cuteness!

I counted only 18 this morning.

Today has turned out to be a MUCH more pleasant day than yesterday. We did officially reach of high of 30C/86F, which makes the current temperature of 20C/68F feel downright cool! It was very refreshing while I was going my morning rounds and taking the transplants out for continued hardening off.

I took the folding set of closet doors I found in the shed and set it up on the hand rails of the laundry platform. It’s almost enough to keep the cats off!

You can’t really see them, but the squash and gourds in the bins on the left are getting huge! In the foreground, in the centre, you can see some new Zucca melon coming up enthusiastically. I’d planted more, since so few germinated the first time I planted them, but it’s taken this heat for them to finally get growing.

After I took this picture, a cat jumped up and nearly squashed them, but they seem to be okay!

I’ve got things set up on the kibble house roof to support one end of the trays, making them almost level. The metal baking sheets work very well for that. I should have picked up more of them before Costco ran out! I didn’t expect them to disappear entirely.

I’ve started to take the trays with the most recently planted seeds out, too. A few are showing germinated seeds, and there’s no reason not to harden them off at the same time.

I might actually start planting some of the larger tomatoes and the first peppers this weekend. We’ve got one chilly night expected between now and then and, after that, even the one colder day forecasted has no risk of frost. I want to plant these peppers in the wattle weave bed, which will also give them more protection, as well as the full sunlight they need, plus they would be relatively easy to provide protection for there, in case the long range forecast into June is wrong and we do actually get frost.

The priority today, though, is getting the last of the potatoes in.

My daughter and I took my mother’s car into town to be checked out. All they were going to do was see why the check engine light was on. My eyes have been going wonky at times, so my daughter came along just in case I needed her to drive. We dropped the car off and I explained what was going on, then I took her for lunch. Well. Lunch for me. Breakfast for her. She hadn’t eaten yet! We basically just had to wait until I got text saying the car was ready to pick up.

There really wasn’t anything wrong. A couple of codes came up, but nothing of concern. His guess is that at some point, when we started the car, it got a low pressure reading on the oil, which was changed fairly recently. Once the light was on, it stayed on. He cleared it, but had no work to recommend getting done. He didn’t even charge me for the reading.

I talked to my husband later on about my not being able to use the OBDII reader he got me. It didn’t work before, because of a known Blu Tooth issue on my phone at the time. We traded phones, because his worked, but I’ve since gotten a newer phone. I didn’t expect to have the same issue with the new phone. When he realized the phone simply would not pair with the OBDII reader, he remembered that it works with his table. So if the check engine light turns on again, I’ll have to remember go use his tablet to try and get a reading. Meanwhile, the light has stayed off so far. Hopefully, it will stay that way!

It wasn’t a wasted trip, though. I got to spend some relaxed time with my daughter. 😊

I’m just glad there was nothing wrong with the car. Confirming that at the garage was also well worth the trip.

Well, things are going to start cooling down. Time to get to work!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2023 Garden: transplanting shallots

We’re in that time when we can start transplanting things that can handle frost which, for us, is the onions and shallots. I started hardening them off earlier than the other transplants. It’s going to be very hard to resist transplanting more before our last frost date! Not only are we having a very warm May (today was supposed to reach a high of 18C/65F, but as I write this, at almost 6:30pm, we’re still at 20C/68F), but the long range forecast is showing warmer overnight temperatures well above frost risk. The problem is, long range forecasts are notoriously unreliable!

So, we continue to take it slow and continue to harden off the transplants. There is still lots to do to make room to plant not only all the transplants, but all the direct sowing we have planned, too.

This tiny little bed in the old kitchen garden is where the shallots are going, because we have the fewest of those. This is a new variety of shallots, and the first to actually really survive to the transplant stage.

Keeping the cats out of the living room made a bit difference!

I planted fairly densely, but there were still a few plants left. After taking this picture, the bed got a thorough watering. We will have to add a mulch as soon as the transplants are strong enough.

The last little transplants went into one end of the wattle weave bed. It has a thick layer of wood chips on the top that I had to move aside to reach the soil. Protected by the wood chips, the soil was nice and damp!

So those are now in.

I foresee only one problem.

The cats have gotten used to using the garden beds for napping and playing!

I’m hoping to avoid having to cover the beds, but we might not have a choice. For now, they have no interest in the wet ground.

In other things, I went through our collection of feed bags, and had more than I thought. We’ve got 11 bird seed bags (20kg size) and 8 deer feed bags (18kg size). More than enough for the remaining potatoes. The only difference between the bags, besides the label, is that the bird seed bags are longer.

I’m still not sure where to set them up. The best place I can think of is at the far side of the main garden area, but I really don’t want to be hauling garden soil that far, if I can avoid it! Ah, well.

I can use the exercise.

The Re-Farmer