Field of Science

Kitchen garden status

Our kitchen garden is rather limited and still in need of some repair, especially in the small fruit category.  It's cool, wet weather for the end of April and early May.  It was hotter a month ago, but some things should not be rushed. Lettuce and salad greens abound; they love the cool, wet weather, and if salad comes along before May, then the garden is early. A light row cover not only keeps the herbivores at bay, it really does speed up their growth.  TPP has been watching people buying tomato, pepper, eggplant plants, but it still isn't time. These plants don't like cool and wet, and as long as the night time temps are in the 40s and low 50s they just don't grow, so early planting will not get you earlier tomatoes unless each plant has its own personal hot house. Same thing goes for squashes, cucumbers, and melons. These are warm weather plants, so wait. This is just about our frost-free date, the day beyond which the chances of a frost or freeze are just about nil. The above mentioned plants are very tender, any frost will do them in, while the garden greens and cole crops are pretty tough. The frost free date is normally when the weather warms up.  The longer days and warmer weather will encourage your nightshades and cucurbits, while doing in your salad greens, which begin to bolt and get bitter. It means your BLT is pretty unnatural. Lettuce and tomatoes are virtually never in your garden together, let alone the bacon. So now is preparation time, but not planting time for the warm weather plants. In a way it's let TPP get some chores done in other areas, like pulling young honeysuckle bushes and other woody weeds (not to mention loosestrife) in shady areas. You sometimes don't realize how many there are until you start pulling. A lot of elderberry too, but no idea where those seeds are coming from (yes, birds), but where are the fruiting plants? Broccoli and peas are growing, so time to get everything else ready. 

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