Boy, it was warm today! Very humid as well, but the stiff breeze made it quite pleasant....
At 4:30pm it is in the low 80's and there were thunderstorms to the north of us, racing across the state, but they stayed well away from us and the ones that were in line to get us just faded out well before they got here. Its a little bit disappointing because i love a good thunderstorm.
I didn't take any pictures today, but the apple trees are just on the verge of blooming. There are apple trees in the area that are in bloom, but not mine quite yet.
I'm not sure how i am going to get the measuring done for the garden, i know how...but not quite when. I have to be somewhat precise with my rows and beds since i am using the hoop and row covers. I have to have 4 foot beds, and 2 foot walking rows. If the beds are wider the hoops won't fit, if it is narrower, they won't bend right and if the walking paths are too narrow i won't be able to move between them. I also want everything to be as straight as i can get them, i don't want this to be an eyesore. With the white covers on everything for the first couple months, the garden is going to be highly visible and explaining it to people who might ask will be much easier if the presentation is....well, presentable.
But i think i will re-peg all corners and tie nylon string to them, and use the big 100' tape reel to measure and mark 1' increments with a sharpie. I can use pieces of flagging tape to make the marks visible from the opposite end of the garden. The permanent marks will help in case the tape pieces slide. Then i can pound in sticks and string a line for each bed across the garden. I can use the string to guide as i use the shovel to move the soil from the paths to the raised beds. They will probably be about 6" higher than the walking paths. Since i am only doing 2 foot wide, i should be able to manage, its only going to be 30' at a time. If i can get the strings done tomorrow and then 2 rows a day, it would only take 2 days. Then i could get the hoops set up on Thursday and then get some of the hardy seedlings planted out and some of the cool crop seeds sown, put the row covers on by Friday.
I think it is interesting that the Grow Veg program says our last frost date up here is May 1. Traditionally, we don't plant here until the last full moon in May... Maybe that is playing it too safe?
I think i need to re-read some things...! If i don't have to wait almost a whole 'nother month to plant things, i won't!
And i'm really trying to remember how often we got frosts after May 1st It is not proving to be easy. I remember many warm nights (though not as warm as last night). It might be that it referrs to tenders, but we always just did it all at once anyway. Maybe an online weather site has some sort of Almanac that took note of frosts and daily conditions. maybe i will have to commit more to this Blog and take note of daily highs, lows and presence of frost. I should get a soil thermometer too, that would be a useful piece of information as well. I despise having such a horrible memory!
But that is what this blog is supposed to help with.
The concept of multiple plantings is sort of new to me, i know it can be done and i think i remember my grandfather doing it when i was little, but it isn't something my parents took the time to do. So i have had to learn to expect to plant more than one thing in one spot in the garden. But working more than full time since before i got a house, i never had the time to think about it as much as i would have liked to, gardening has only been a weekend dream until now. So this i guess, is the year to unlearn some things now that my garden should be big enough to be a working garden and not just a hold out for 'someday' ... that day has finally arrived. The GrowVeg program has a custom guide that shows when to plant successive crops- if applicable. Its neat how it makes a chart of all the things placed in the garden plan. It also sends email reminders for planting times, and i think it also lets you plan the garden monthly as well as having a crop rotation guide.
My main issue with crop placement has been to make sure the tall stuff goes to the north side. When we planted the Jerusalem Artichokes, we were in a hurry, didn't have much time to plan and they had to be out of the way. The North side of the garden is closest to the house and if it was the only thing there, they would have gotten trampled.
Now as it is, i am going to have a shady spot next to them on the far side. I know the 3 Sisters style of planting... i have never tried it since my corn likes to fall over because of the wind alone. I can't imagine what squash vines would do to them... like watching the slow-motion vegetative version of a pack of wolves dragging down a megaloceros . So... maybe the JA's could handle the squashes? I have read about people saving the JA stems to use as stakes for next year's crop propping. Not as strong as bamboo stakes, but good enough to be useful. Maybe sturdy enough during growth to become supports?
So i put the vining things over there to try it out
The tomatoes and corn are going to be all the way to the Northern side, i am going to put the tomatoes at the front of that row and have the corn to the back i think... the shed can perhaps shield the corn from the wind and hopefully the fence will add some more protection.
Ok, off to check the preceding years' weather...