Blog forum: May 2011

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Weedwhacker
May 19, 2011 10:14 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
May 12th: After hibernating for the long northern winter, I'm now back to the garden... tomato, pepper, onion and celery seedlings have been started (indoors, under fluorescent lights), and I'm anxiously awaiting something that actually seems like spring!

The daffodils are in full bloom, forsythia are just starting to blossom and the sunflower seeds are starting to germinate under the bird feeders. The rhododendron bushes that I planted last year (var. "PJM") are doing well and starting to blossom; the one on the south side of the sunroom is a bit ahead of the one on the east side and survived very well despite being buried by some very heavy snow shoveled off the steps by DH... Otherwise, the deciduous trees are not showing much in the way of leafing out yet around here, and nothing is planted in the main garden -- we've had cold weather and a lot of rain, I'm hoping this will turn around soon! The asparagus is up a few inches but below-freezing temps are predicted for the next couple of nights so i need to cover it with some Reemay to keep the tips from shriveling. The garden expansion is coming along and will add about 270 square feet to the garden, thanks to DH for wrestling the railroad ties into place and constructing additional fence (and re-doing the gate to be wide enough to get the garden cart through!).

I potted the tomatoes up today, about 80 plants total (14 different varieties). Also planted 6 plants in one of the hoophouses (2 Belstar, 2 Red Alert, 2 Viva Italia), along with 6 Jalapeno M plants. Have several nice heads of lettuce (butterhead and Romaine type), parsley, chives, and half a dozen leek plants that over-wintered in the HH. Need to plant some lettuce seed, as well as some other 'salad greens' in the HH, as well as some bush beans. Also need to start some squash and cucumber seeds in pots in the greenhouse.

5/16/2011: Potted up the pepper plants, about 100 total (15 varieties). The sun was out and it was very hot working in the GH today! Sprayed some of the bigger weeds in the garden with Roundup, as well as the grass in the new 'expansion' area.

5/17/2011: Took the onions out of the six-packs and put them in larger pots in groups of 10 or 12; ended up with about 300 plants (8 varieties). This should make it easier to divide them up to give away to my brothers-in-law for their gardens. Used all leftover seed from last year, so was not really sure I would get much in the way of germination but they all did pretty well. Onion seed supposedly will only keep for one year so not recommended to use last year's seed, but I had quite a bit left over and was trying to cut costs, and figured the worst that would happen was I would just grow from sets this year.

5/19/1011: Took a ride up to Iron Mountain to look for a light fixture for the kitchen; they are suprisingly far ahead of us in terms of trees leafing out and things blooming there, apparently warmer away from Lake Michigan. The forsythia and wild cherrry trees were in full bloom, and most of the deciduous trees seemed to be leafing out. Cloudy and drizzling all day long -- we need sunshine!


"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
May 22, 2011 2:00 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
5/20/2011: After taking the covering off the asparagus I was pretty surprised to find that it had zoomed up to over a foot tall! Picked 4-1/2 pounds with that first picking. Planted Tom Thumb, Midnight Ruffles and Green Ice lettuce in one of the hoophouses, and planted Coosa summer squash, Gold Rush Zucchini, Summer Dance cucumber, Munchmore cucumber, Summer Top cucumber, and Golden Hubbard winter squash in pots, to set out in a couple of weeks.

5/21/2011: Picked another pound of asparagus, and planted my pre-sprouted bush bean seeds in large 6-packs as well as potting the celery up into large 6-packs. The bush beans will go into the hoophouse for earlier picking than what we get from the pole beans in the garden. John has finished the garden expansion project, only 9 x 30 feet but makes the garden seem much larger. I spent a good bit of the day digging the larger weeds out of the garden and tilling (finally!).
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
May 22, 2011 2:09 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Thumb of 2011-05-22/Weedwhacker/7e47c1 Thumb of 2011-05-22/Weedwhacker/db425b
The asparagus grew a LOT while protected by the floating row cover!

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Garden expansion under way, almost done.

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Lettuce and leeks that over-wintered in the hoophouse.

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Onion plants in the greenhouse - along with my helper, Sneakers.

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Tomato and pepper plants in the greenhouse.
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
May 22, 2011 2:14 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
Thumb of 2011-05-22/Weedwhacker/f6f733
Rhododendron "PJM", planted one year ago.

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Daffodils lighting up the perennial garden.

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Fern fiddleheads in the woods.
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
May 31, 2011 7:08 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
5/27/2011

Perennial garden, daffodils in full bloom.
Thumb of 2011-06-01/Weedwhacker/4d131d

This "Sunburst Locust" is always the last tree to get any leaves.
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The rhododendrons are still going strong. VERY pleased with these shrubs!
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Shrubs planted in front of the sunroom last year.
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Pink and white bleeding hearts (Dicentra)
Thumb of 2011-06-01/Weedwhacker/03419d Thumb of 2011-06-01/Weedwhacker/3d7e93

Last year's foxglove (digitalis) seedlings
Thumb of 2011-06-01/Weedwhacker/028b9d

Hostas poking up out of the ground
Thumb of 2011-06-01/Weedwhacker/e38c94

Johnny Jump-Ups -- they pop up everywhere but never choke other plants out.
Thumb of 2011-06-01/Weedwhacker/9119bd
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association
Weedwhacker
May 31, 2011 7:12 PM CST
Name: Sandy B.
Michigan UP (Zone 4b or 5a)
5/29/2011 --

Planted my onions (sets and my own grown-from-seed plants), carrots and beets. My brothers-in-law picked up their plants, tomatoes, peppers, celery, onions; greenhouse is starting to have a little more elbow room! Need to dig up a couple of bleeding heart plants and a couple of daylilies for my sister-in-law.
"I am still learning"~~ Michelangelo
National Gardening Association

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