Mulch Garden Diary – Not much rain, but…

It’s been dry all over and most gardeners (and farmers) are concerned and watering regularly. Western New York has also been dry, although we have had a few days when small fronts have come in from Canada over the lakes bringing scattered pop-up showers which, although welcome, have only been a drop in the proverbial bucket.

I began gardening late this year – I do every year, but I have finally made my peace with it. As long as we homeschool, the ideal planting time of late April/early May falls close to the end of the school year with co-op lessons, end-of-the-year mandatory testing (NY…), reports and other required NY paperwork (blah, blah, blah…).

Anyhow, my usual routine depends on “volunteer” plants, select nurseries for specific plants, and seeds of some vegetables that don’t mind (or even prefer) starting later. So I thinned out and/or moved some volunteers, purchased and put in a few vegetables and dibbled a few holes for late-purchased seeds (Baker Creek). The mechanism is simple: I pull back mulch and plant, wait until the plants are large enough, then push it back. Because I was late, and it’s been hot and not raining my husband has been spot watering in the morning, but when I first started and pulled back the mulch the soil was still moist, and the worms were just at the surface of the soil under the mulch happily turning straw and hay into soil gold. On the other hand, own lawn doesn’t look as good as my neighbor’s lawn (you can see it in the back) because he waters his, but we haven’t watered ours.

Today I wandered about in the garden in my bare feet (I love the feel of the top layer of dry mulch). I pushed it back up to most plants, dropped some spare mulch on some thinner places and did some random checks in the open places between plants, causing worms to flee. All good. Other than my husband using a watering can to water of certain places and one good watering of the strawberry bed in the middle (it got quite thin there and was drier and I couldn’t re-mulch until the berries were done), the rest is fine. I pulled about 5 little weed upstarts and took some more pictures.

This is just the main vegetable garden as of today, I have five other narrow ones around the yard. This one has tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, corn, scarlet runner beans, eggplant, broccoli, collards, cilantro, Russian purple fingerling potatoes, bush zucchini, bush buttercup squash, cucumbers and okra (I also put in some asparagus seeds but don’t expect anything this soon). The “volunteers” in this garden are the strawberries, collards, cilantro and potatoes. In my other beds I have leeks (volunteer), garlic, basil, parsley, peppermint (volunteer), cilantro (volunteer), black raspberries (volunteer), dill, walking onions (volunteer), chives, more okra and strawberries (volunteer) and sunflowers.

I will try to post other pictures as it progresses, for I know it will fill in surprisingly.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 08:30:01

    Mulching really does help control the moist and makes weeding much easier. Good luck with your garden.


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