Our early warm spell gave way to an unseasonably cold April and May, and between the cold and the rain, and then some dry spells, everything has been quite delayed. For some reason, I also experienced numerous problems with seed germination for both our peppers and melons - both of which I re-planted several times indoors before I got a good crop of seedlings to plant outside.
Luckily, it seems that summer has finally arrived! With a few weeks of hot weather, we seem to be getting back on track, and I finally feel close to finishing "the final frontier" of our garden - the last few beds that we did not get done last year. It has been exhausting work, and I'm ready to take a break from forking and shoveling dirt, but the light at the end of the tunnel is giving me the incentive to push onward and get it done!
Check out the pictures below to see how everything is growing so far...
I'm taking a lesson from last year, and setting up the irrigation hoses early, before all the plants get too big to work around. It has also been a lot less rainy than last year, so I've been driving myself crazy watering everything by hand, which is such a pain - I'm so happy to have a couple of drip hoses already set up. The bales dry out fairly quickly, so drip irrigation works great for them - the slow drip of water helps the hay absorb the moisture better than just dumping it on, and I feel like they stay moist a bit longer, with less wasted water.
We are still using a gravity feed from the rain tank for watering, so we don't get enough pressure to use a spray head, but it seems to work very well for the drip hoses. We may need to look into getting a pump for when the water level in the tank gets lower, but so far it has been full enough to work very well on its own.
We tried putting down cardboard between some of the bales to kill out the grass - with partial success. I did not get all of the cardboard down in time to tuck it under the bales before they got too wet and heavy, so there is a lot sprouting up around the edges (which seems to be party central for ticks, for some reason), and some of the dreadful wild morning glories are still sprouting up through it (my mom said they are actually called bindweed). I would love to have a nice mulched area here, but that will probably have to wait until next year.
Everything else will be late. I haven't even got my cucumbers out of their indoor pots yet (last year I think they were already climbing the trellis by now), and just put in some corn and a few beans this weekend. A few more peppers, plus okra, and green beans will be filling the final beds (once I get them finished - hopefully within the next week or so!), and we'll be DONE with planting - well, until fall crop planting time next month.... :-)
If I can muster the willpower and fortitude to finish off the 4 remaining beds, and keep up with the weeding, I think we will have a beautiful garden this year (fingers crossed!)...
I hope your garden is growing well for you if you have one! And if you don't, what are you waiting for? :-)
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