This spring has been very unusual here in my zone 3 yard. During the last week of April we were inundated with snow and cold – ok maybe that’s not terribly unusual for Alberta. But on May 6th we set a new record high of 31C (that’s 88F my American friends). I brought out all of my seedlings to acclimate them and its too darn hot! I have to protect them in the shade for crying out loud. That’s just not normal.
The forecast says that the risk of frost in the next week is minimal, and Edmonton’s average last day of frost is May 12th, so I should be home free, right? Well, as much as I’d like to believe that I think I’ll wait another week before I transfer my seedlings to soil.
But the weather has been perfect for sowing my vegetable garden. Here’s what’s going in the dirt this week:
- Corn: Fleet Bi-Color Hybrid
- Squash: Spaghetti
- Sunflower: Ruby
- Zucchini: Raven
- Spinach: Regal
- Swiss Chard: Lucullus
- Peas: Progress #9
- Lettuce: Esmeralda
- Lettuce: Buttercrunch
- Carrots: Touchon
- Carrots: Scarlet Nantes
- Beet: Chioggia
- Bean: TendergreenBush
- Potatoes: Kennebec
- Onion Set: White
- Onion Set: Red
As far as seedlings go I’ve sown:
- Tomato: Black from Tula
- Tomato: Tumbler
- Tomato: Mamma Mia
- Pepper: Serano del Sol
- Onion: Spanish Candy Hybrid
- Cucumber: Spacemaster
- Eggplant: Hansel
I have some winter lettuce that will be ready to eat long before the head lettuces. I think I’ll plant a second type of cucumber as well. My chives, lavender, mint and oregano have all returned and I have ample garlic coming up in more than one place. I’ve got parsley and cilantro seedlings started and I’ve bought some basil, thyme, rosemary and sage bedding plants.
Yippee! It’s spring!
In October of 2011 I was the host of a Sheet Mulching Workshop in my own front yard. It’s been nine months, and I’ve learned a few things about managing this new bed.
Rabbits love it. It doesn’t have the protection my fully fenced in back yard has, so they nibble at everything that tempts them. I’ve lost my beans, the lower branches of my cosmos, the sunflower plants, and a few other hapless transplants. Next year I will have to plant only those things that are of no interest to bunnies.
Weeds love it. We’ve had so much rain this year that this bed has become home for every sort of weed imaginable. This is undoubtedly because of the material used to form the sheets of mulch; any viable seeds in the mix had the perfect conditions to germinate. I’m hopeful that next year will be less arduous.
Above-the-ground plants love it. I couldn’t plant any below ground crops because there was still significant composting to occur, but anything that likes to be in nice warm sunny soil with plenty of moisture and nutrition did very well.
Here are some photos from start to finish.
Rabbits. Fuzzy little cotton-tailed cuties.
I’m so proud of my new garden space I created by sheet-mulching last fall. But as they say, “Pride cometh before a fall” and it looks like I won’t be getting any beans this fall.
Something or someone has been nibbling away on my beans, leaving spindly little stalks that have no chance of survival. After finishing off most of the beans, they moved on to my cosmos flowers.
I suspect rabbits, but I haven’t actually caught them in the act. When I do I’ll unleash the wrath of Lucy (the Lucinator as she is known in dog circles) upon them and frighten them to the bottom of their souls.
In the meantime, I replanted my beans and am hoping for the best. Sigh.