I can’t believe it, or maybe I can. We’ve gone from a light frost early last Monday morning to steady temperatures in the 80’s and my first spinach crop is starting to bolt! That’s as sure a sign of summer arriving as the peonies fading and dropping their petals. Or as sure a sign as Jim Nabor’s singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” at the Indy 500 race that took place out on the west side of town earlier today.
All my direct sown summer crops, sown nine days ago, are also starting to germinate. Yes, I’ve got beans, corn, squash, and cucumber seedlings in the garden, along with sunflowers, zinnias, and marigolds, and of course, weeds.
And my tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers seem to be coming out of their spring funk, too, so I don’t think I’ll need to buy too many plants, after all. My gardening therapist, Dr. Hortfreud, will be happy to know that I’ve stopped worrying about the tomatoes, kind of.
So now that everything is starting to grow, we could actually use some rain. The other evening I went out to check the garden, again, and some of the pepper plants I had purchased and planted looked pretty bad. At first I thought it might be frost damage finally showing, and I was tempted to just pull them out, but then I watered everything and the next day, they were all perky again. That’s a good lesson to remember because often the garden looks pretty wilted in the late afternoon, just like we would be if we’d spent all day out in the sun. But by morning, all is fine again.
And morning is the best time to harvest from the vegetable garden, because the water content in the plants is highest at that time.
This morning, I picked lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions, pea pods, and lettuce.
I feel a certain urgency to eat the lettuce as fast as I can, every meal, because it won’t be long before those plants bolt, too, and turn bitter in the heat.
The big surprise in the garden this morning was three ripe strawberries. Don’t ask me if you can have one, I’ve already eaten them. But there will be more to eat in the days ahead, so maybe I’ll bring some to the Spring Fling later this week?
But before I think about bringing strawberries to the spring fling, I’ve got a lot to do, including preparing the garden to get along without me for a few days. I’m going to go ahead and cover the young green bean plants, because that’s a favorite food of the rabbits. No tellin’ what those rabbits will do if they find out I’m not around. I’m also going to give the garden a good soaking Wednesday evening, mow the lawn, and of course, pick any ripe strawberries to snack on while I’m driving to Chicago.
See you on Thursday!
Flowers and veggies to all,
P.S. The picture above is of another peony blooming today, but fading fast. It’s a passalong from a co-worker.
P.S.S. Here’s a picture of the garden today. Please ignore the weeds and the lack of mulch in the paths.