2008 Garden Timeline

October

15th A hard freeze last night.  It was 28°F in the hoophouse at 7 am.

11th Transplanted seedlings into the hoophouse (chard, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, purple sprouting broccoli.)

5th We had the first frost of the season last night.

June

23rd The great groundhog devastation occurred today. Overcast all day with late showers, rain last night.

22nd Planted bush beans, pickling cucumbers. Dug some monarda for Karen. Planted snowberry bush (symphocarpos albus) and native dogwood volunteers Karen gave me. Thundershower in the afternoon with a nice rain.

21st Planted pole beans, delicata squash, lettuce, beets, herb bed with basil, lemon balm, thyme, sage, dill, basil. Weeded and mulched garden paths

20th Planted zinnias, hilled, mulched and foliar fed potatoes. Foliar fed other beds, too.

19th Planted carrots and experiemented with burlap.

17th-18th Overcast with showers. Weeded and puttered.

16th Rain today.

8th Hot today, 90°F by afternoon. Hybrid lilacs blooming.

7th Hilled up potatoes, cut more lettuce. Warm and sunny today.

4th Kyle’s graduation, yay! More rain today.

3rd Rain again overnight, badly needed.

2nd Harvested my first loosehead lettuce

1st More radishes today. Transplanted more lettuce into bed #2.

May

31st Rain today, about 3/4″ all together.

28th Blooming today: Lilacs still going strong, leopard’s bane with purple allium behind, catmint, Jacob’s ladder with the white bleeding heart, soloman’s seal, flowering almond, creeping speedwell, creeping phlox, daphne, columbine. Got 1/4″ of rain today, first measurable amount since May 4.

26th Sowed zucchini, summer squash, cucumber, sunflowers, transplanted garlic bulbs. Some potatoes sprouting.

24th Planted tomatoes in red plastic, set out more parsley and salad greens.

23rd Thinned and ates some radishes today

22th Blooming today: Lilacs, beach plum, bush cherries, fothergilla, late tulips, pear tree, flowering crabs, forget-me-nots, white bleeding heart, soloman’s seal, violets, leopard’s bane, creeping speedwell, flowering almond, euphorbia, catmint, wild strawberries, creeping phlox, serviceberry, and sour cherry tree.

17th Went to the always splendid Bowdoinham Library Plant Sale today. It is a model of efficiency and organization. Crab in front is blooming, rhody just going by, beech tree in chartreuse splendor. Dan fertilized the front lawn with the spreader 5/15. Crab in back about to bloom, peach tree is just beginning to bloom, sour cherry is blooming.

14th Mowed the lawn for the first time, just the area behind the maple. Canadian Serviceberry bloomed, fothergilla almost blooming, Nanking cherry almost gone by. Trees almost fully leafed out, maple now casting shade again, sweet cherry leafing out, sour cherry blossoming. Lawn really greening up, but need rain.

11th Leopard’s Bane bloomed today. Saw male Oriole and 2 catbirds at the orange feeder. Planted potatoes (Yukon Gold, Rose Finn Apple, Laratte), prepped cutting flower bed, set up birdbath & dripper and a toad house. Took down hoop house. Planted 3 Hidcote Blue and 3 Provence lavenders,

10th Planted 3 varieties of creeping thyme in deck bed, White, “Elfin” and red, and 2 white catmints. removed some of the hyssop. Tulips still going strong, trees are really leafing out. All but one hosta has emerged, by front step. Soloman’s Seal almost open, Baltimore Orioles are back, put out the orange feeder.

7th Rhododendron in front bloomed today; I saw my first bumblebee on it.

5th Saw a female Baltimore Oriole in the front garden. Beautiful sunny day. Purchased seeds at Johnny’s, trying some new varieties (see ’08 Vegetable List). Trees are really beginning to leaf out, grass seed appears to be sprouting.

4th More rain today, about 3/4″. Looked morosely at the garden. Hostas in front door bed are emerging.

3rd Rain today, about 1/2″. Started tomato and pepper seeds, purchased 2 replacement blueberry bushes v. Bluecrop. Still need one additional variety, Elliott. Tulips at peak, daffodils going by.

2nd Frost last night.

1st Set the seed potatoes out to pre-sprout. Frost last night.

April

30th Scarified and overseeded the lawn with Dan’s new lawn tractor widget. We haven’t done any seeding since we bought the place and it looks it — lots of weeds.

29th As of 5:30 2 1/2 inches of rain had fallen today. More has fallen since then, although currently at 9:51 p.m. the rain has stopped.

28th Rain today, first real rain since 4/11. Temps much cooler, back to normal. About 2 1/4″ fell overnight

27th Installed barrel taps on 2 of our 4 rain barrels, and set up the two barrels with taps as showers and rain are predicted for the next few days. Planted more rugosa (thanks Karen), planted remaining lettuce seedlings. Dan raked out the ugly round garden and removed crocus, tulip and narcissus bulbs for transplanting. We will mow this garden all summer in attempts to kill off the invasive Bishop’s Weed and other weeds. We planted tulip, narcissus and crocus bulbs in the Holly bed and deck bed, and Dan will take narcissus to school to share. Forsythia bloomed today.

26th Bought 4 lilacs at the Fedco Tree Sale, all Syringa vulgaris cultivars: Sara Sands, dark purple; Ludwig Spaeth, dark purple; Madame LeMoine, white; and Charles Joly, reddish purple. Also purchased more gypsum for the vegetable garden, and at a tag sale down the road from Fedco, a lawn seed planter widget for the riding mower and yesterday, grass seed for the chicken yard. Returned home and planted the lilacs and some rosa rugosa from Karen. Planted cabbage, cauliflower and leek seedlings; mulched all seedlings with straw from winter chicken pen. Watered in well.

25th Re-planted spinach seeds, soaking in water first hoping to improve germination, Watermelon radish seeds, and onion and lettuce seedlings in the vegetable garden. Turned the soil in more of the beds, working in the manure and breaking up clumps. Set up barrier to prevent evil chickens from reaching through the fence to snack on plants. Replaced broken Y-valve on garden hose set-up, removed leaking brand-new big-box store hose nozzle in disgust.

24th Today, all the leaves came off the beech tree. I saw a flurry of leaves come sailing on a breeze over the house, and when I looked at the beech, it was bare; just yesterday the leaves were clinging tenaciously. Enlarged the front hosta bed; divided front hostas behind barn and transplanted them to front. Still need to tranplant front hostas once they all begin to emerge and plant remaining new hostas. Moved globe thistle from future lilac hedge to back corner of the house and relocated 2 peonies from there into Holly bed. Transplanted more hosta divisions next to freestanding deck by clethra bushes. Worked soil in vegetable garden to prepare for leek, onion and lettuce transplants. Repaired hoses and connected hose to garden sink and veggie watering hose.

23rd Watered the greens planted in Raised Bed #1. Spotty germination of the spinach, dammit, but most of the other greens seem to be emerging. I’ll get fresh seed and replant spinach asap. Cleaned out Henbogle Coop, I’d let it go a bit long to get some extra umph for the compost pile. Still, the shavings were dry and not smelly at all. Worked a bit on one of the garden squares, readying it for transplants. Bought more seedlings, lettuce and cauliflower, and 3 hostas Mouse Ears, Great Expectations, the Sum of It All.

22nd Raked the lawn both front and back, collecting stray pruning branches as we did. Got my hair pruned, purchased additional lettuce and cabbage seedlings. Secured honeysuckle vine to new trellis, did some weeding in the flower bed by the new deck. Worked on compost piles, need some green stuff to heat them up, I’m overloaded on browns right now. The sun feels wonderful, but things are getting very dry.

21st Completed plan for vegetable garden. Continued to turn over vegetable garden and rake in manure. Finished southern perimeter and half of eastern perimeter. Planted broccoli, lettuce and parsley seedlings. Set up honeysuckle trellis.

20th Hauled 4 loads of tree branches to the town transfer station, turned over the western perimeter of the vegetable garden, set the chickens to scratching in the manure, shopped for a simple trellis to support honeysuckle vine, and purchased some lettuce, parsley and broccoli seedlings.

19th Bill completed a major pruning on the flowering crab and pear trees. I pruned the broken branches on the blueberries, serviceberries, and elderberries, and pruned the cherry trees. Dan raked the hops, and put up wire trellising on the hop swing for the hops to climb. We raked out the blackberries and mulched heavily.

18th Lettuce is sprouting, one of the butterhead varieties.

17th The second load of horse manure arrived. Kyle and Dan shoveled it into the vegetable garden

15th Snow completely gone from the backyard, just a bit left in front from the snowbank. Got a load of well-composted shavings-free horse manure for the vegetable garden, and shoveled it into the vegetable garden. Another load to come on Thursday.

14th Many perennials are emerging –leopard’s bane, monarda, flax flower, hyssop. The blueberry leaf buds are swelling, the lilacs are greening up, the lawn is beginning to green up, the vegetable garden is drying up, the crocuses are at peak.

13th Did my taxes planted arugula, chard and several varieties of lettuce in raised bed #1. Bed is now full. Prepared raised bed #2 for planting next week — succession planting of greens. Assessed winter shrub damage. Lots of broken branches on young shrubs. Pruned: deck bed, holly bed, front beds, spruce tree in front. Still to go: blueberries, service berries, winterberries. Raked front beds, deck bed, arborvitae hedge; cleaned up sunflower seed shells. Raked path from driveway to barn. Made trip with Dan to transfer station with sunflower seeds, raked stuff, Christmas tree and prunings.

11th Watched crocuses pummeled by downpour.

10th Planted spinach, radish and scallions in raised bed #1. Many crocus are in full bloom, daffodils are poking up out of the ground. We heard the peepers for the first time this season!

6th Sedum and silver mound leafing out in silver garden

5th Snow completely gone from the silver garden, Russian sage bed, and picket fence bed.

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