Despite the stunning return to typical Maine spring with last week’s plunge into freezer land, the vegetable garden is looking good. Saturday I peeked under the row-cover tunnels to take a look at the spring Brassica crops, and was amazed at the vigorous growth. It must be somewhat a result of the IRT mulch, as I think the row cover plants have surpassed the Brassicas in the hoop house. The hoophouse plants went in 11 days before the row cover plants. Hmmm.
Especially vigorous is the Beedy’s Camden Kale, new to me this year, on the right side back row in the photo on the left. In front of it is Tuscan kale, also growing well, but the Beedy’s is going to town. I need to plant some of this variety for the hens. The large plant in the middle of the bed is catnip, growing like CRAZY this spring under the row cover. I foresee some very contented kitties in the future!
On the right are 2 shots of the second row-covered brassica bed. These look equally great. The small plants in front are seedlings of Cimi di Rapa Quarantina and Purple Bok Choi sowed April 25th at Sara’s suggestion. They are growing well considering how cold it has been!
While I worked on sowing cucurbits, Dan was hard at work digging and weeding the squash and pumpkin beds as part of the raised bed makeover we are giving the vegetable garden. These beds will need to be ready in a couple of weeks so Dan is going to town so we can get the IRT mulch on early and give the soil a good chance to warm up.
I know it look like he is being punished for some terrible transgression, but he swears he likes doing this. Ugh, I’d rather impale my foot with the garden fork to get out of it. The soil in this area of the garden is beautiful, much loamier than the rest of the garden. I am thinking at some point the previous owners must have purchased soil for those beds. Once he is finished this will be so nice, I can hardly wait to see it.
The hoop house is chugging along. The lettuce is fabulous, and we still have some overwintered leeks in there. Yum. The large plant between the leeks and brassicas on the left is a sage plant — it was on the verge of flowering but looks like the cold temperatures damaged the buds.
I hope today to get the area behind the lettuce covered in IRT mulch, ready for some heat-loving melons in a couple of weeks. I am toying with an experiment. I might direct seed some melons in there and cover them with row cover and compare their germination to the seeds I planted in paper pots yesterday. We’ll see, as usual the to-do list is loooong today.