Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wet Weather in May

Seedlings ~ Rainy Day Window

Rainy, grey and cold weather here again today. Unseasonably so.

My tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings, all warm weather crops, are taking forever to sprout their "true" leaves this year. They are growing long and spindly, looking for some warm sunlight. Some have keeled over and died. Usually by now, even though I started them late, they are thriving and almost ready to plant in the garden. It will be a few weeks yet before I can set these seedlings outside.

The photo above was taken this morning. Those are my recycled yogurt container seedling pots sitting up high (out of kitty reach) in my half moon window. This window faces east and usually has hot morning sun, but not today. It is cold and foggy out there even now.

This next photo was taken a couple of days ago when it was a bit sunnier. That's my main raised bed garden partially planted with cold weather crops.

Raised Bed Garden

You can see the garlic growing toward the back. Several kinds of greens are planted in between the rows of garlic. They are still very small and hard to see in the photo. I have found that planting my tender greens in between the garlic plants helps to keep the bugs off of my greens. It's not foolproof. The slugs still get in there as do the pill bugs, but the other pests seem to be repelled by the garlic sentinels. This year I planted spinach, mesclun, bok choy, Swiss chard and two kinds of lettuces. There is also some broccoli on the other side of the garlic patch in the shade when this photo was taken in the late afternoon. It is doing quite well as broccoli likes this cold damp weather we are having.

A big bunch of curly leaf parsley grows to the left of the garlic. That bush was planted there last summer and has thrived all winter providing me with wonderful fresh parsley for my salads, soups, stir fries etc. I did cover it with a milk crate and plastic sheeting to protect it when we had snow and freezing weather during the coldest parts of winter. It did beautifully and continues to thrive there. Unfortunately, the parsley is planted right in the middle of the space where I planned to grow my root veggies this Spring, so I had to plant my beet seeds all around the big parsley bush. Hopefully the beets will get enough sun there. I love hearty beet greens and pickled beets.

Between the parsley/beets and the side wall of the raised bed I planted radishes and carrots and a long row of snow peas. All have sprouted, but are still so small that you can barely see them in this photo.

The foreground of the garden bed is full of many little weeds that will be pulled or tilled under when I get ready to plant that area later in the month.

The big bushy lettuce to the right and in front of the garlic "volunteered" itself from plants that went to seed last summer. That variety of lettuce is Reine des Glaces (means Queen of the Ices) and is a cold hardy loose leaf crisphead. It is one of my favorites to grow. See a better picture of it below:

"Queen of the Ices" Lettuce ~ I call it simply "Ice Queen"

It is one of the lettuce varieties that I planted this year in between the garlic rows. I plant it every year.

Since I had my camera in hand this morning snapping photos of seedlings and the weather, my sweet kitties just had to get in on the photo action. Below is my best friend Jessie looking half asleep as she poses for me in the morning window light.

My Sweet Jessie

And then of course, Frieda had to ham it up for the camera. She posed demurely and waited for me to take this photo of her. All before their breakfast was served, too. Such patience was displayed.

Furry Frieda Poses for the Camera

Well, that's today's garden and weather report from Mountain Harvest Basket. Too wet to be outside today. Back to my other rainy day activities like laundry and baking.

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


CaliforniaGrammy said...

Yes, our mountain weather keeps us wondering if spring is really here, or not, doesn't it? Ken told me that next week, starting mid-week, we'll be having temperatures in the low to mid 80s. That'll help those seedlings get bigger and stronger!

Jesse and Frieda are certainly sweet-spirited before breakfast!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

I forgot to mention how beautiful the iris on your header is . . . gorgeous!

Hardware Bob said...

I too was captured by the wonderful royal purple iris header. Very, very nice.

As the local Ancients keep advising, don't plant tender new seedlings until the snow on Shuteye Mountain disappears.

Oh yeah, I guess I am also one of those local Ancients now.

Great shots of the kitties.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Aw, look how sleepy and relaxed little Jessie kitty looks. Great shots of your furry pals.
Your weather looks like our weather! Fortunately, over the next week the temps are finally staying in the 40's overnight and not dipping into the low 30's like last week!
Loved the tour of your garden bed. Looks like you and I are both going to have a bumper garlic crop! :-)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

OH! What we would give for some of that rain here. It's only sprinkled twice in 6 months. We're as dry as dust and bones. The grass wants to shatter when stepped on. gah!
Your garden seems to be coming along nicely, even with the rainy cloudy weather.Like last year, I can't wait until you begin posting all of your beautiful and colorful harvests.

I knew I'd not be able to plant a garden this season because of my knee, but at least we do have peaches and apples growing. Last year the late hail and freeze at the end of May killed off all the flowering buds, so we had no fruit at all.
I'm still holding my breath for continued good weather. On Friday we had 85 degree temps, sunny and hot. On Saturday we had at 42 degree temps, cloudy and windy. And on Sunday, we were into the 90's. Crazy!

Your kitties look like they adore you. I'm sure they bring you much joy and comfort, my friend.