I love gardening but sometimes at this time of year I wonder can I get this all done by the end of May? Not counting succession planting either. The hilltop garden – fourteen low-rise and three high-rise raised beds plus a trellis has kept me busy prepping this week. Let’s not forget the two smaller high-rise raised beds by the greenhouse, the old strawberry bed which will be an insectary of flowers for the pollinators, the raised bed by house, side beds of flowers and the front of the house. As always weeds seem to find a way into the beds but each year it has been a little bit less. With raised beds the weeds are less and cover crops of buckwheat have helped. A late April frost nearly finished the buckwheat in the hilltop garden but only in parts.
- The former bean trellis was transformed into a squash trellis with cushaw and butternut squash – two on each side. Waltham and Polaris are the two varieties of the butternut that I’m trying this year. Previously I had grown smaller varieties of butternut squash but found they weren’t enough for us. We’ve been eating more and more veggies over the years. Waltham is one of the largest types with Polaris right behind it. This year I’m using a different trellis system for the beans. Under construction are the many trellis fixtures we are erecting for the vining vegetables – cucumbers, squash, cantaloupes and beans.
- Sweet peppers were planted in one of the high raised beds – 21 in fact. Marconi Yellow , Sweet Red Apple to Margaret and a very mild semi-hot type that has evolved over the years. Hot peppers are next in another high-rise bed but that’s for another day .
- Created another netting tunnel for the back row of brassicas, primarily brussels sprouts and one red cabbage. Long Island and Doric F1 are the brussels sprouts varieties with Long Island being the new one this year. Red Express is the only red cabbage variety. Field mice I found love brassicas. So the brussels have been nibbled down to one leaf each but are making a comeback.
- In front of the sprouts were broccoli plants that I quickly covered when I discovered the destruction in the back row a few weeks ago. Calabrese has been my standby on broccoli with excellent side shoot production through out the year but I’m also giving Acadia a try this year as well. It’s supposed have a six to eight head main head with tight flowers and side-shoot production too. Until next time. Happy gardening.