The Backyard

The Backyard

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Welcome Back and Hello Growing Season

It's time to start writing again.   Changes were made to my blog settings to eliminate spammers so I can be up and running again. Please have patience when posting comments as I'm not on a smart phone and only access the computer twice daily.  Your comment will show up the next day or possibly in the same day. 

May is my favorite month of the year.  I often wondered what it would be like to take vacation the whole month of May.  As a retiree, that month vacation is officially happening this year and there's only one word to describe it:  paradise.  Each morning now that it's daylight by 5:30, I'm in the backyard puttering around.  No written agenda - just doing what I please.  It's a no-stress delight to know what doesn't get done today in the garden can be done tomorrow, or the next day, or next week.  Years past, I'd stress every weekend trying to do the planting and also my playing (kayaking, mountain biking, and trail running/hiking), not to mention trying to get house work, cooking and preserving the harvests done.  That's all in the past and paradise awaits in my backyard.

A quick update on what's been planted:
  • First 3 rows of sweet corn - about 8 dozen ears. Two more succesive plantings to follow in the next month.
  • 60 sweet potato slips - 10 were started from last year's crop as an experiment.  Hoping to start all my own slips next year.
  • Red potatoes
  • White potatoes
  • Sugar peas and snap peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Several varieties of heirloom tomatoes
  • Three varieties of peppers
  • Eggplant
  • 6 Blueberry bushes
  • Two plantings of carrots
  • Three plantings of swiss chard
  • Three plantings of red beets
  • Two plantings of broccoli (I thought the first crop froze out - but it came back)
  • Black Beans, Cannelli beans, kidney beans, soy beans, and lima beans
  • Pole green beans
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Butternut squash
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Watermelon
  • Cantelope
  • Two plantings of kale
  • Onions
  • Two plantings of radishes
  • Radicchio
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Two plantings of mesclun lettuces
  • Tatsoi
  • Zinnia seeds to attract butterflies
  • Three plantings of spinach
  • Bulb Fennel
  • Millet
  • Borage
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Sunflowers everywhere (they came up themselves from last year's plantings)
  • Sweet Annie
What been harvested so far:
  • Spinach (first crop is finished and pulled already - moving onto 2nd planting)
  • Kale
  • Radishes
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Mesclun lettuces
  • Broccoli
  • Tatsoi (starting to bolt... planning to pull it all)
  • Pak choi (bolting - pulling it all)
  • Asparagus
  • Dandelion
  • Rhubarb
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
My strawberries were victim to a late heavy freeze.  They appeared to be alright after the freeze, but the berries never developed after the blooms.  The plants seemed to regenerate themselves and started blooming a 2nd time and there are now berries forming but won't be ready for another two -three weeks which is later than most.   My raspberries are also having a tough time.  There was a dry spell just when they were coming out of dormancy this year, and many new shoots dried up.  I was a little too late with the water to save them.  I believe they will be ok if rains are consistent. 

Part of the plan of retirement was to grow as much of my own food as possible and I'm proceeding as planned.  It doesn't even seem like work now that time is on my side.   There's no doubt, retirement is a sweet, sweet deal.


mary_smith said...

Yeah! Glad you're back to posting.

Donna Wierzbowski said...

So happy for you, Jill. You deserve every minute in the sun! Looking forward to my full-time gardening...some day! (:)

DailySAHM said...

I can't wait to retire. :-)