garden progress

Garden Work

I was comparing this year’s garden with my records from last year. It seems many plants are growing slower this year.

Lettuce: Last year I was harvesting lots of lettuce by now early June – this year I’m hoping to start picking lettuce this week. It looks beautiful and lots of it, but ts still a bit small. I planted the same varieties on the same dates both year’s so I think the weather is the difference.

Peas: My peas are doing miserably this year. Very poor sprouting, (I think because the squirrels ate SO many and I didn’t use inoculant) plus I started planting very late. There are lots of sprouts just coming up now from my reseeding (the squirrels got tired of them and I used inoculant). I don’t know if these will be productive before the summer heat comes.

Radish: Last year I had radish by now. Mine are still tiny now. This is because I didn’t plant radish until two weeks ago. I can’t blame this one on the weather.

Broccoli: My broccoli were much bigger last year. But last year I really babied them. I planted them outside very early under row covers in the prime sunny spot by my house. Then in May I transplanted them to other locations. This year they got a shadier location and the slugs found them under their row covers.

Fava beans: Last year I planted my fava beans in mid March next to my house and transplanted to my community plot in May. This year I planted the fava seed directly in my community plot in May. Way too late. The plants have few black aphids on them now, which happens when its not so happy. Favas seem to really prefer cool weather.

Squash: And my summer squash are way behind last year. Like the lettuce, I have the same varieties planted at the same timing as last year. But last year I had blossoms and fruit forming already! This year I’m just hoping the plants get their second set of true leaves soon. I’m considering covering them, and am definitely concerned about my melons and winter squashes with these temps that rarely exceed 65*F.

Others crops not doing well this year are basil, peppers and cucumbers. Just not growing yet. And very sadly – no arugula, I forgot to plant it. 🙁

Roots: The crops that are doing very well now are all my root vegetables. The garlic, potatoes, beets, onions and carrots look great. And I am very happy that I even have some parsnip sprouts this year – something I couldn’t do with many sowings last year. And my celeriac (a new crop for me) seem OK.

Tomatoes: And, so far so good for the tomatoes too. (Fingers crossed on that one!)

I suppose poor weather for one crop is good weather for another.

15 Comments. Leave new

  • It has been a tough start this year, hasn't it?

    My peas just finally started producing flowers, but I too had to do a second seeding. My lettuce is pathetic, but my co-gardener's is amazing! Go figure.

    I hope things improve on all fronts. As always, your blog is an inspiration to me!

  • The weather has been a real issue for cucurbits and the eggplants. They just don't want to grow in this cool weather. I think the plants really want some rain too. The house water just doesn't do it like rain. Last year we had too much rain. This year not enough.

  • Dawnie (CT)
    June 7, 2009 3:49 PM

    We haven't had a lot of SUN this spring. And, of course, the temps have been below normal. I think that these "freaky" weather patterns are here to stay. There is no such thing as "normal" anything anymore.

    I just transplanted all of my warm weather stuff (toms; peppers; eggplant; melons; cukes)on 6/1. We haven't had much SUN since then. So, they haven't done much.

    Broccoli are doing well; so are my peas and beans. Not as BIG as I'd like them. Lettuce is sluggish. Had my 1st harvest of radish and Oasis turnip already; I'm gonna sow more today after weeding. My 2 kinds of corn hasn't done ANYTHING! Going to re-sow today also. Carrots are also slow.

    Kathy, I haven't visited much in the past several weeks but your blog is absolutly GREAT!

  • At this time last year, it was painfully HOT! I remember that they gave the schools half-days because it was close to 100. Maybe it will be a more comfortable summer this year.

  • Huron Villager
    June 7, 2009 5:39 PM

    It's reassuring to hear that the slow growing cukes and other plants are common in the neighborhood, and not just me. I've been wondering what I've been doing wrong, but it's true that there hasn't been a whole lot of sun OR rain. Today is lovely, though! Keep on shining, sunshine!

  • You're right Dawnie – We don't seem to have any "normal" weather any more!

  • The good in my patch is I have had loads of lettuce & radishes and the broccoli are huge. The fava's have had lots of flowers but no beans. Did yours flower a bunch before setting any beans??

    The bad is almost leafless beets due to leaf miner. I have lost 2 of the 3 delicata that I had growing in peat pots. I have more seed so I will have to direct sow them now. I also lost one melon and two cucumbers too. I'm starting to think starting them early in peat pots is a bad idea.

    The purple calabash tomato is growing great and has been in the soil for a little over a week now.

  • I've noticed that everything is two weeks behind here in Southern Maryland. I blame it on the late snow fall we had in march… everything has been off since from the daffodils onward. My squash is SUPER behind. :/ I'm usually cutting lavender by now and it hasn't even fully bloomed yet. This year is off!

  • Some of my tomatoes are doing great, but the squash are just creeping along, and the basil is horrible. I was blaming it on getting my seeds started late, but even the starts I broke down and bought from a nursery are growing at a snail's pace. I know for a fact that my cherry tomato plants were planted on the same day this year as last and I don't even have a blossom yet. No way will I get any kind of tomato by the 4th of July.

  • yeah, a lot of our crops are growing incredibly slowly this year. We got a bit of a late start, but still, we had stuff stated indoors, and then once outdoors (after hardening off), it just took forever to start growing again. The leeks have been in the ground for a month, and barely done anything, same with the chives. The kale and broccoli seem to do be doing well, though. Our peas were planted later than a lot of people's but they seem to be doing well. Our carrots, though, I think according to the packet we're supposed to be able to harvest them next week… and they're barely 4 inches high. Slow slow slow season for anything that doesn't specifically like the cold.

  • My broccoli plants are big, but no broccoli yet. : ( My tomatoes, squash and eggplants are begging for some real heat. My raspberry bush is not getting any bigger than last year.
    The only thing that really looks good is my mixed green mesclun salad seed mix. Thank heavens for easy stuff like that, or I'd give up entirely! I refuse to put chemicals out there, though; it's all organic.
    I hate this hazy sun we've been getting in Boston.

  • Most of the gardeners in my area are having serious issues with basil, of all things! It is just NOT growing at this point. My leeks, shallots and garlic are doing well from what I can see as well as the eggplant and peppers. I also have my first bean (bush) hanging off a tiny plant that doesn't seem to be doing much right now. Daikon and French breakfast radishes are doing well, but my carrots are not.

    Karen in DE

  • Cathy … very similar results here in NE Ohio. My lettuces did really well but then they were in the garden by late March so they had some rain and cool temps early on. Everything else for spring was "in and done" early. Lots of bolting and summer crops are sitting waiting for heat and rain (together would be nice). I just power-washed (fine spray on the garden hose) the aphids off of my Favas but I am only a week or so away from harvest. Beets need rain.

    What I do have is an incredible crop of winter squash … probably acorn and/or butternut; I am not sure since they were all volunteers from the compost. I swear, volunteer plants seem much healthier than those that are gardner-planted and they germinate at just the proper time .. since they select the time.

    There was a great essay by Henry Mitchell (The Essential Earthman) that defined a true gardener as one who rolled with the punches and replanted after a disaster. I guess we all better get used to counting our harvest when we actually harvest and not when we look at seed catalogs.

  • I sowed my peas indoors before planting them out and have been taking small harvest for weeks now. The more recent direct sowings are not as successful. I didn't use innoculant either, I think some little hands threw it away before I had a chance….anyway, just thought I would mention the indoor sowing since most people think that you can't/shouldn't start peas indoors. And I hear you with the cool and wet stuff, not a great Spring for vegetable gardening in Massachusetts.

  • Too much rain and cold temps!! We finally have some sun today! My cukes are piddly. The squash will be tiny if it continues to flower with tiny plants. My peas and lettuce (the cheaters. Sowed lettuce is still way too small) are doing well. Slugs, slugs, slugs! basil looks like it's on it's last legs! Where is summer???


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