The potatoes have been weeded and hilled up. ‘Survivor*’ garlic is on the left and Meadowfoam is in the background, fenced away from deer, but still accessible to the bees. I’ll be using 12 foot lengths of 1/2″ PVC to drip water the potato rows. The seed potatoes were planted at about 9″ distances which match up to the holes drilled into the PVC drip watering system. *Survivor garlic is garlic that made good sized bulbs even though it got the rust virus.
The first bed of tomatoes has been transplanted from the light stand in the house. We’ve used the tire method for 30+ years. They will dissipate heat into the evening.
The night temps will get down into the mid 40’s (7C) even sometimes in the summer, so we’ve got to tent them.
You might have noticed the wild mustard patch in the background…that started out as a clover patch. I wanted to grow clover to enhance the soil. I rigged up this PVC arrangement to hold the deer netting off the expected plants. I wanted to see the bees visit the clover blossoms in the spring. Then we experienced a cold snap. The clover died and the mustard plants germinated from the compost we spread out. It grows well, too well. I’ll probably have to spade it into the soil before it goes to seed.
A closer look at the tomatoes and drip watering grid. The 1/2″ PVC has been drilled so the water drips out near the plant. I’ve been using these for over ten years and it works well.
May 4th…The second tomato bed goes in. You might notice the ‘clumpy’ soil. I was soooo tempted to pull out my rototiller to break up the soil, but I resisted. We’ve been trying to prove that we can garden without the use of fossil-fuel. So the soil is a bit lumpy and we’re hoping the tomato plants don’t mind too much.
We’ve been eating lettuce and spinach from this first bed of salad greens for about three weeks. My wife likes the wild arugula, but it’s a bit hot for me.
March 28…Planting the second bed of lettuce, Parel cabbages which were started in the house, purchased broccoli plants and maybe some collard greens.
We’ve got to protect them from the cabbage moth.
May 3…Peeking under the cloth to see how the lettuce is doing.
We planted the edible pod peas in the greenhouse in February.
…and have been using the pea pods in salads and soups for a good month.
April 25…Since the deer like to munch on nasturtiums, we’ve got to protect them. What better way than to clean out the weeds around an apple tree and plant them there. These are a new kind that will sport red blossoms. I hope the bees like them.
May I say something else about Limnanthes Douglasii Poached Egg Plant (Meadowfoam)? It wintered over without any kind of frost protection like a tarp or a pile of leaves. It was tough love for sure because it’s in a section of the garden that’s in the shade until noon. This was self seeded from last year’s crop which was about 1/4 the size. (What have I started?)
The Vision Violet Geraniums also wintered over well. Together they have been attracting the bees in the afternoon hours.
May 3…I know, I know, I shouldn’t have to transplant borage because it grows ‘like a bad weed’ around here, but there was an empty spot in the hugelkulture bed after I weeded it and the bees love it so much. Three spade-fulls and I’ve got a three more spots to video the bees. :)
This Cardinal Climber is supposed to attract hummingbirds. We’ve started it under lights in the house. My wife is going to donate a couple of plants to try to get it to climb up the echium ‘tree.’ I think it’ll be fun to see if we can get some birds and bees.
May 3…”Reach for the sky,” little Cardinal Climber…
…You will have to if you want to climb this “Tower of Jewel” echium tree. It’s 12 ft tall and growing.
I just bought this African Blue Basil. Jeff, at my favorite nursery, tells me it’s a super bee magnet which will blossom all summer. He knows how to tempt me.
May 5…Because the bees were visiting the moss in the pond so much and because someone on the biobees.com forum mentioned that his grandfather used moss for a watering station, I thought I’d try it out. Who knows, the bees might be getting some kind of essential minerals or properties from it. I just dug some up, found a plastic container and try to keep it hydrated. It’s the only waterer I’ve had any success with.
Time to roll out the “Solar Roller.” Things are drying out. This ‘solar panel roller’ can be positioned to catch the early rays of the sun as well as the sunset. I can get about 10-12 hours of sunshine if I’m conscientious about moving it twice a day.
Forgive me if I’m talking about this new bee bed too often. It’s just that we wanted to add more flowers for the bees without taking away space from the veggie garden. This was the perfect solution…but after adding Walker’s Low Nepeta, artichokes, Scabiosa, and red echium, we’re already running out of space.
This started out as a garden video, but there was so much excitement today with two swarms happening and bees (from where?) checking out my new log hive. I had to include some video below.
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