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Dear Gentle and Patient Garden,

Surprise! I got out a little earlier than I promised. I knew today would be rainy so I did as much as I could yesterday late afternoon.

Do you love all the work I did, including cleaning out the rest of the flower beds and fertilizing all the perennials? You probably noticed that I got three narrow veggie beds raked and layered with a bit of sulfur. The sulfur is funny looking, like bright green lentils. The beds are ready to plant now, and I will get corn in the first and third beds and then winter squash in between. Tomorrow night will be down to 38 degrees so there is no urgent reason to plant warm season stuff like corn until after that.

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Three veggie garden beds cleared out and raked

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The rest of the garden beds, not cleaned out and raked!  Total size: 2,000 sq feet

 I really like the cucumber “basins”. As we get hotter and drier up here, I am employing a technique I learned 35 years ago in the hot desert of southern Arizona.  Basically, I create mounds a few feet in diameter and make depressions in the middle. The basins trap more water, which will suit the cucumbers just fine!

DSC00957Three Cucumber Basins with Nifty Trellis

And finally, I planted my kitchen garden. This is a planter made from hay bales. Some of the bales are a bit worn out but there are no replacement bales around (due to drought). If I find some, they will be too expensive this year, so I am recycling the frumpy bales. Those bales and I are a great match!

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Sagging Hay Bale Planter

 The kitchen garden in on the east side of the house, and shaded from the afternoon sun. This year I planted all the greens there. Soon it will be too hot for them in the main garden, but they should do okay in the hay bale planter. And, the low night temps this week won’t matter to these guys. Here is what I planted in the hay bale planter:

  •  Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce – Bibb type, Red Romaine
  • Bok Choy – Baby, Chinese Pak Choi
  • Kale – Nero di Toscana
  • Spinach – Bloomsdale

As weather permits, I will continue to rake beds, spread some sulfur and plant. With the rain and wind I won’t get out today as planned, but when the weather clears I will try to do 2-3 beds a day until done!  I also have my eye on where to put transplants (eggplant, peppers).  And flowers! Still lots to do but I am happy with my progress so far.

By the way, in case you forgot during this cold, wet spring, the average last frost date is only two days away (May 22). After that we have 120 frost free days (avg), so we will be having lots of fun together.

When I was all done, I finally harvested some rhubarb. Later today I will make a cobbler and enjoy some of the fruits of our labor.

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Fresh Rhubarb

DSC00961Rhubarb Plants

2 thoughts on “Memo to Garden – May 20

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