This season has been sooooooo dry, so in some ways we’ve been ahead in getting some gardening and landscaping done, but in other ways, we’re a bit behind. I finally tilled up a few garden plots today because Brooke was only able to burn one of the other plots a few weeks ago, maybe a month later than she normally would. It’s been so windy that it’s been difficult to pick a good day to clear brush from the Fall and Winter.
Part of what slowed us down was the rye Brooke planted in the western garden plot. She planted it as a cover crop last Fall and, by the time I got back from Albuquerque, it was at least 8 in. tall, so on Good Friday, I went and turned it over manually. The tiller wasn’t going to go through all the rye, so we had two options: either mow over it, then turn it over; or turn it over with the grass and wait for it to die off.
Well, it took 3 weeks for it to dry up to the point where I thought the tiller might work, and thankfully, it worked out to “fluff up” the soil relatively well.
Brooke seems to think she’ll be able to plant beans there sometime this week or next weekend, so as long as it doesn’t harden up, it should be good to go. The bigger plot is going to house tomatoes and peppers, so even though the tiller didn’t seem to turn it as well, planting tomatoes will require a shovel anyway, so it’s probably fine.
We’ll have to see how the western plot ends up toward the end of Summer. Not sure the rye cover crop was “worth it,” but perhaps I’ll be surprised.
In the northern plot, Brooke planted spinach, kale (seen in a tiny row above), and carrots. The kale is up, but only after Brooke started watering it. Cats have been out there digging in the dirt, so some of her seeds surely got dispersed to where they shouldn’t be. She planted these seeds about 3 weeks ago, so she wasn’t entirely sure they were going to take at all, but apparently it was the abject lack of rain, because watering the plot twice was enough to get them to finally sprout. We’ll have to keep watering them this week, as the forecast still only shows the occasional 40% chance of precipitation once or twice this coming week.
Brooke put some lettuce in the planter near our garden patio. It stays shaded nearly all Summer, so as long as we keep it watered, we should be able to keep fresh lettuce alive for a good portion of the Summer.
Last, but not least, we still have some buds in our strawberry patch. It doesn’t look as good as I’d like, but perhaps it still has some growing to do? Brooke tried “fluffing” it up a few weeks ago, pulling some of the straw off, but it still seems like we need to add some plants in there. We’ve had a few frosts this past week, and it appears that the flowers have survived well enough. We had plenty of buds on the pear, apple, and peach trees, so I think they largely avoided frost damage. At least this year, we’ll be here in early June, so we may get to see the strawberries and cherries come to fruition (see what I did there?).