The garden for the 2012 season is fully planted, and most things are coming up well. The primary weed appears to be nutsedge again, which we are fine with because this plant is very easy to pull. Some tomatoes already have blossoms. This is despite the fact that most of my tomatoes got many of their outer leaves frozen off after an unexpected frost on their first night in the ground. The only ones that were untouched were the ones I got from Mellow Phone/Good City‘s porch party.
I have so many extra seed potatoes that I also planted them in a ring around the silo, and I have been selling them on Craigslist as well. I sold 16-17 pounds of reds to someone from Frewsburg. I listed them at .50 per pound, but changed $7 and threw in some extra, because this arrangement benefits everyone. They get to grow food, and I get a few dollars and don’t need to dump the potatoes into the compost.
I had to throw in some new sunflower seeds due to an unfortunate tiller accident. Thankfully I still had some heads saved from last year’s crop. I now grow my own variety of sunflowers, ones that grew wild in the place my barn fell after the fire of 2010, so it’s not as if I could go to the store to buy new ones. The Stillwater Valley sunflower is a medium-sized, yellow flowered, stout variety with small, very tasty/sweet seeds.
It looks like we might have to replace some beans, because for some reason we often have a hard time with fungi rotting or damaging the seeds during the initial growth process. Last year we also had a problem with one of the varieties of root rot in the first few weeks. I am giving some additional time for things to sprout before I resort to replacement, though. There are very few squash and cucumbers showing above the surface at this time, but I dug down below the soil before yesterday’s rain and found the seeds swollen but almost dry. That would explain it. Hopefully they start popping up now that the ground has had a good drink.
The hot (high 80s to 90s) days with no appreciable rain for a few weeks takes its toll. It was seriously stressing some of the trees and fruit plants I put in, as well. The currants and gooseberries seemed oblivious, but a couple of the trees needed almost daily watering, having started to abort leaves, and a couple of the rasberries seem to have died despite the babying.
My seedling apricot trees are doing well, having been repotted to 3-gallon containers. I anticipate that they will be ready to go into the ground this fall. I also picked up 5 blueberry bushes that were already producing. I couldn’t resist – at $4 apiece, it was a bargain. They’re potted up, mulched with pine needles and soil acidifier, until I can pick and amend a suitable place in the ground for them.
The radishes will be ready first, followed by things like herbs, lettuce, and kale, and then turnips, beets, and zucchini. The rest follow that – beans, cucumbers, etc. I hope to start selling a few things by the end of June, and maple syrup will also be offered at that time.
We might get to start the haying earlier this year if the weather continues like this. We are having two haywagons rebuilt, and we may rebuild a third on our own. The equipment is home, and is being prepared for work. I’ve ordered a used exhaust manifold for our 1950s Case DC, and that should arrive soon.
The chickens are getting bigger all the time. They are almost completely done feathering out, except for the males – two of them are cockerels, and are just starting to get their ‘roostery’ feathers. Our big red chicken is one of them, and we’ve named him Chanticleer. The other is a silver-laced Wyandotte. As long as the two of them don’t fight much, we’ll keep them both, but if they start to go after each other, Chanticleer is the keeper. His temperament is exceptional.