05-10-2013   Leave a comment

Our fear of snow and frost has finally past and I can get on with our Spring and Summer plans.  I’ve been sun burned once already and now I’m taking extra steps to be a little more careful. With the remodel in the house completed I can now center all of my attention to the yard and garden.

I visited a friend yesterday who lives nearby and owns a small nursery.  He is a supplier of plants to many of the local and larger nurseries in southern Maine.  He’s been very helpful over the years in educating me on growing plants in this State.  I decided to shop around a little because every year he offers plants for sale that many others in the area do not.

I started looking through his new greenhouses and I couldn’t stop myself from loading up on plants.  I have a fairly large cold frame at home and I purchased enough plants to completely fill it and then some.  I filled my car with hot peppers, pickling cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and mustard plants.  It was an excellent start for the season.  I also purchased seedlings of three types of lettuce, spinach, and a couple cherry tomato plants.  I’ll be planting the cold resistant plants today but waiting another week before  starting anything else.  The weather here can be weird at times with unannounced frost occurring well into May.  I’ve been burned before so I won’t let it happen again.

Every garden has issues and mine is no different.  I’ve been trying for years to grow big, fat, and red tomatoes with absolutely no luck.  We instead plant the cherry tomatoes which always thrive in the same damn soil.  I had the soil tested and added whatever was needed to get it balanced properly and still no success.  I love making my homemade pasta sauces and salsas but it’s always much better when made with freshly grown tomatoes.

I finished construction of a new type of trellis for my beans.  I’m planting both red and yellow climbing beans which should completely fill this trellis in no time.  We always do well with them and eat those beans all winter long.  There is nothing better  to eat on a cold February night.

I’ll be looking for some kale seedlings in the next few day as well.  Our harvest of kale last summer made our winter soups pretty damn tasty.  I just wash it, blanch it and the freeze it.  I like it almost as well as frozen spinach and I’m hoping I’ll have the same success as in the past.

My better-half is obsessed with sun flowers and required me to set aside an area in the garden for them.  She usually plants a large variety of sizes and colors including the mammoth plants that can get 10 to 12 feet tall.  At the end of the season we allow the heads to dry and they feed hundreds of birds for a few weeks.

Well, the plants have been transferred into the cold frame to await a warmer week. I installed my simple but effective sprinkler system which should keep all of the plants well watered and healthy.  Now all I have to worry about are Mother Natures little helpers.  Deer, rabbits, squirrels, horn worms, and all of natures other little inconveniences that make gardening such a challenge.

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