Our 2022 garden: protected… at least a bit

Today is supposed to get quite hot. At 6am, it was already 20C/68F, according to my phone’s app. (As I write this, it now says it’s 24C/75F out there, and it’s only just past 8:30am.) So the girls and I headed out to see what we could do to about covering the beds in the main garden area.

Not much left of that straw bale! 😀

The old sheets went on the shorter beds with hoops. We didn’t try to cover the ends, so there would still be air circulation. As for the longer beds, we went with the mosquito netting. It won’t really provide shade, but it’s more a protection from hard rain or hail.

The predictions for thunderstorms are all over the place. Yesterday, they were saying we might have thunderstorms and hail today. Now I’ve got one app telling me to watch for thunderstorms tomorrow evening, while another says to expect thunderstorms on Friday – almost a week from now! A third app on my desktop has simply stopped connecting for some reason, but if I go to the website, it’s saying to watch for severe thunderstorms overnight, with tornado warnings for the south end of our province. !!! Also, the expected high of 31C/88F is now up to 35C/05F/.

While we were outside, however, it didn’t feel that hot. The thermometer on the bean tunnel read about 15C/59F while my app was still saying 20C/68F. The breeze certainly helped, but it is very humid, so we were sweating off our bug spray in no time! Still, the raised beds got a watering before we put the covers on, to help keep them cooler. The ground is still so wet, any ground level beds don’t need water. Especially anything mulched with straw.

Well, we’ll see what we actually get!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: squash patches mulched, shade cloth ready

With today predicted to be very hot, the girls and I headed out much earlier than usual. Normally, they do the evening stuff while I do the morning stuff, but this was a big job, and I wanted to get it done before the heat hit.

The big squash patch is now completely mulched. I’m glad I put all those sticks in! All the squash started at 4 weeks before last frost date are all still so tiny. The mulch will also help to protect them from any heavy rains and storms we may get.

The other squash patch, with the corn and beans in between, also got a layer of mulch.

Last of all, the hulless pumpkins next to the bean tunnel got a layer, too.

Look how tall the garlic is!! Love it!

I brought out the old sheets we were using as shade cloth last year, and one of my daughters helped me set them up over two of the beds with spinach in them. It felt odd to put up shade cloth when it’s so overcast.

I’m trying to think of what we can use to put over some of the other beds, to protect them from heavy rains and possible hail. The netting we have might keep critters out, but the mesh is too large to protect from heavy rains or hail. Last year’s row covers that fell apart when we moved them has old window screen mesh on one of them, but it’s too narrow to use without more support than the twine we’ve got now. I’m thinking of the mosquito netting we used as row covers might work. We only need to cover the tops of the beds enough to protect from heavy rain, while still letting water through. I’m not too keen on using the mosquito netting, as it sheds long strands from the cut sides, and I’m still finding them among the weeds in the old kitchen garden. Those strands don’t break easily, and are something small critters could get caught up in. The best thing would be to hem up the cut edges, but that wouldn’t be done until we have them in the sizes we want.

We’re getting all these predictions for high temperatures and advisories for heat, but… it’s almost cool out there. We’re also getting storm warnings that are all over the place. One minute, the storms are expected on Tuesday. Then Sunday (tomorrow). Then tonight. Then not at all. Then Monday.

I am, however, hearing thunder as I write this, and I can see from the trees out my window, that the winds are picking up.

My dropped the idea of getting more weed trimming done today. The necessary areas are already done; anything else is just bonus at this point. The ground is almost dry enough to mow in places, but that’s not going to happen either.

Well, we got the main thing done. The squash patches are now mulched.

The Re-Farmer

Our 2021 garden; made in the shade, and we have melons!

While doing the evening watering, the girls spotted a couple of little melons last night! I just had to go looking for them this morning.

Aren’t they adorable?

The bigger one is about 2 inches long. I wasn’t expecting them to be fuzzy. 😀

These are the Halona melons. Still nothing among the Pixies – at least not that we can see. Lots of flowers, though.

In thinking of how to protect our Crespo squash from being nibbled on, and our new sprouts from the upcoming heat, I scrounged in the old garden shed and dug up some old, bent up, decorative wire border fences.

Most of the sections went around the Crespo squash. Whatever has been eating them has not tried to go past the hoops, so I’m hoping the new border will further dissuade it.

The ground here is so rocky, I wasn’t able to push all the wire “legs” into the soil! Enough are in to keep it from falling over, though, so it should be fine.

There were a few sections left, and they got used in the garden bed that doesn’t have a row cover on it. Then I used some bed sheets as shade covers. I neglected to take progress photos, though. :-/

There were 6 individual sections that got evenly spaced over the seedlings. The bundle of fencing had been tied with a fairly long ribbon, so I used that to join the tops of as many of the middle ones as I could. As I was laying the sheets down, though, there was nothing in the centre to support the ends. I had a short piece cut from a hula hoop left, so that’s now in the middle, on a couple of sticks in the ground to hold it up. It was too short to bend well, so there’s a kink in the hula hoop piece, but at long as it holds the sheet up, I don’t care! 😀

After that, rocks and bricks were used to pull the fabric taught and weigh it down.

For this bed, I could use some old Twin sheets. For the other two, I had some queen and kind sized sheets to use.

The one top sheet was easy enough, but the fitted sheets needed to have their elastics cut off, and one of them was cut in half and used to cover the ends of the rows. With these, the fabric could be secured by tucking it under the wooden frame. The sheet that was cut in half is barely wide enough on one frame, and a few inches too narrow on the other, but the ends are tucked, and in the middle of the row, the other sheets were laid on top to hold it in place.

So now our shade-loving seedlings have their shade, and protection from the heat of the day. We can uncover them when we start the evening watering, so they get some less direct light during a cooler time of the day. Then I can cover them again when I do my morning rounds.

We’re supposed to start hitting 30C/86F and higher, tomorrow, though the hourly forecast on one of my apps says we’re supposed to hit 32C/90F this afternoon. The record high for today is 33C/91F, set back in 2002. I think we were actually living in this province again in 2002, though I believe we moved back in the fall. The record low for today is 9C/48F, set in 1993.

Anyhow, we’re supposed to stay about 30C/86F for almost a week, and these sheets should help keep the seedlings a bit cooler. I’m considering whether it would be a good idea to moisten the sheets, too, but the extra weight of water might be too much for the frames to hold.

It should be interesting to see how these work out!

The Re-Farmer