Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May Garden 2018

With better weather, summer temperatures actually, I´ve been making raised beds for planting and seeding into trays.  The soil has lots of stones, lots of grass rhizomes, and very few worms.  I despair of getting it to a  ¨fine tilth¨.

I´m happy to report that I have had more success with tomatoes this year - look, proper little plants!  I took Nicky´s advice and bought a heat mat to help out and it seems to be helping.

I´ve had some trouble with germination from both flower seeds and herbs.  You´d think herbs would germinate pretty easily, but apparently not.

I bought some onion starts, lettuces and potatoes from the farmer´s market. This week I´ll get some peas for the trellis, since the pea seeds I have didn´t impress me last year.  The lettuces are marking a row of parsnip seeds and there are some bush beans at the end of the row.  As it turns out, there´s a waiting list to get a vendor´s spot and a whole lot of paperwork required so that plan is on hold for the time being.  After the atrocious spring weather, I´ll take this year to see how the flowers and herbs do and get some experience succession sowing and conditioning.

The new roses are putting on foliage, but some of them seem to have canker, which will have to be pruned off.  It´s only affecting 2 or 3, but it hurts me to prune more off when they´re so small.  The more established roses are thriving, especially with this sun and high temperatures, as are the irises.


  1. Hi Coco,

    What a delightful photo that first shot is of looking over the grass. Rocks are very useful items - and all of them have a use here. The little ones in the photo would get added to either a steel rock gabion cage, or into cement as fill. Your tomato starts look awesome. I've never had problems pruning roses when they get a bit of die back just because they're such hardy plants, but yeah I get that and it hurts me too doing that task when the plants are small.


  2. Hi, Coco!

    Those are very nice looking tomato plants and your garden looks so tidy.

    I am suppose to keep a bucket to put rocks in when I am working in the garden beds, but I never remember and so just throw them over towards the fence. It never fails that the spot where I threw them turns out to be exactly where the next new garden bed has to be dug . . .

    Does rose canker show up as spots on the leaves? Some of my roses have spotty leaves.


  3. Hi Chris,

    These little rocks are going into the trenches I dug around the plot when it was raining. I figure the drainage can´t hurt. I am chuffed about the tomatoes. The peppers didn´t germinate, but I think my seeds are just too old now.

    Hi Pam,

    I did the same thing in the old veg patch and now have to go back and excavate the rocks to plant something.

    Canker looks like dark splotches on the canes with a lot of dieback of canes and leaves. It´s highly contagious, though I try to be conscientious about wiping down the secateurs with alcohol between each bush when I´m pruning. Blackspot affects the leaves. Remove affected leaves and discard, if there aren´t too many. I´ve read that milk diluted 10 to 1 as a spray can help as a preventative.

    Hi GZ,

    Hope you´re enjoying the warmer summer weather. What a difference!

  4. I also thought that herbs and flowers would germinate easily, but I had little success with these seeds last year. A heat mat is a good idea, and I shall look into getting one. I am thinking of buying in perennial herbs and taking cuttings from them rather than starting them from seed. But I did do well with basil and had zillions of plants.
    As for stones....... we are situated on a river bed, so have a lot of stones in the soil, which my husband diligently removes. I would like to have a go building some small stone walls. My aunt made all her garden walls from stones and cement, then painted them. They looked very arty crafty!
    Good luck with succession sowing. Small amounts of crops planted every couple of weeks. That is what I am trying to achieve as well.

  5. Hi Vera,

    It also doesn´t help when I kill the few seedlings I do get. Left them in the plastic ¨greenhouse¨ and they roasted yesterday. Rain this weekend, so I´ll have to try to get something planted first.

    Hope your garden is thriving!