Over the last few years I have noticed these posts seem to repeat themselves. Gardens are fairly structured and the various stages have to happen about the same way at about the same time every year to better encourage success. And so it is with this post.
Since the primary garden was put to sleep last fall, I have started most of the seeds, other than the cucurbits (squash, gourds, cucumbers). I did alter the seed planting order and timing a bit versus last year. Peppers, eggplant, kale, peppers, and garden flowers were all started in January. Other than one variety of flower, a hybrid lisianthus, that seems to grow on a glacial time scale, all of the early seedlings are adapting to the great outdoors. This week will provide their first taste of 90 degree heat, so they are protected from the afternoon sun.
Just this week I started tomatoes and a new baby bell pepper for us, the seeds for which a friend traded me for some Aleppo pepper seeds. I had meant to scale back the tomato plants this summer. That will not be the case; I started ten varieties, all of which have grown well in the garden in the past. I did start the tomatoes about three weeks later than last year to provide more leeway if it is still cold up by the garden in May. Last year the plants had to go up to the garden in early May, instead of late May, because they were getting too big. If it had still been cold I would have been in trouble.
This past weekend we planted the red onion sets and the beet and carrot seeds. Those projects would have been easy enough, but they required getting the irrigation system up and running again. That is never as easy as it sounds. I expect a few fittings to freeze and pests to chew off a few sprinkler heads. We had those issues as well as a few more that were not brought on by cold or pests. I have not figured out what happens over the five months it is not in operation and why parts that worked when it is turned off do not work when turned back on. I know of one more inconveniently located leak, but we ran out of time last weekend for that fix. Because of that one zone is still off.
Well, we are up and running again. I will be moving plants around to new areas this year. We are drastically cutting back on some plants for this year while increasing the numbers of others. Hopefully this summer will not be as hot as last year and hopefully measures we have taken to keep the deer out will be successful. We can hear coyotes closer than the past couple of years so maybe they will force the deer to more remote areas.