Usually in Maryland as Memorial Day approaches, I have pretty much put in tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and basil, temps are in the 70s and 80s and I’m wearing summer clothes. Not so this spring! It has been rainy and downright cold–my peppers and tomatoes are out there in a pout–and I’m wearing long sleeves, hoodie, socks and boots!
In my zone 7 garden, our last frost date has been moved to May 1 and usually it is safe to plant out the warm weather crops by then. Tomatoes, peppers and basil just sit and sulk in 50 degree weather–they like it best with hot sunny days and nights in the 70s. I’ve been waiting to transplant them–I have well over 75 chile peppers (remember Capsicum is Herb of the Year for 2016 and I am celebrating them bigtime!)–and they are holding in the cold frame now for weeks. They have changed from bright green, healthy and sturdy to a lighter yellow green and they are drooping a bit. I keep giving them pep talks to just hang on–it will soon be summer. (I find myself unconsciously humming “Here Comes the Sun” lately.)
The earth is so saturated from all of the spring rain, that it is best to stay out of the garden. Walking in the wet garden compacts the soil and spreads disease. However, I do enjoy walking around the yard and woods everyday to observe the daily changes in plants. Some seem to grow in leaps and bounds overnight.
Weeds and many of the more prolific herbs are growing like gangbusters as you can see in the photos. Alliums like garlic and onions like the cool weather, as do the potatoes. This is perfect weather for garden greens and the salad bed is honking. We have leafy green salads just about every night and they are so fresh and tender and delicious that they barely need dressing.
Today we celebrate the Full Flower moon. Happy spring wherever you are! How does your garden grow?
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