A hot time in the NSSL!

Well, my plans for planting over the Memorial Day weekend did not come to fruition, since it was about 97 degrees every day. I did get a few things around, and this is an update so you can follow along.

The Great Jung Plants Project turned into a mess. The plants I got, in mid-May, were puny little starts hardly worth the time it took to plant them. They did not take well and most are still struggling. I went to Schuring Greenhouse in Portage and bought backup plants for the tomatoes, the broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. If the runts find their footing I’m going to be awash in produce. A good problem to have, though, isn’t it? Here’s the current lineup on the bales, again, if you’re standing on the front sidewalk looking at the yard, from left to right:

  • Bale #1 is all Pineapple. I bought four more plants and the entire bale is the same.
  • Bale #2 is all Mortgage Lifter, same scenario.
  • Bale #3 is entirely Amish Paste, see above.
  • Bale #4 is Mariana in the back row, and Mr. Stripey in the front row. Mr. Stripey is a yellow/red heirloom that I’ve enjoyed for years.
  • Bale #5 is San Marzano in the back row, and Red Plum in the front row. PASTE TOMATOES, YO!
  • Bale #6 is Opalka in the back row and Yellow Plum in the front. Opalka is starting to perk up, so that will be a bonanza bale.

All of the hosta have been moved from the backyard to the fence along the walnut. I have to thank the BSE for this, because she hates gardening, hates dirt, and really doesn’t get why I enjoy such activities. I couldn’t have done it without her though. 🙂

Farmer Tabs came over and helped me plant my red and yellow onion sets! She also gifted me a ground cherry, which is a new thing for me. They are a little green husked tomato, like a tomatillo but not tart. I’m excited to see how it works.

Sweet corn has been planted in the big apple box. I use Burpee’s patio corn, which is designed for containers. It produces well and looks cool from the street.

Blueberries are coming on. I lost one bush over the winter but I’m replacing it soon. There’s a guy on Westnedge Hill who sells terrific blueberry plants for like $10. They’re solid plants and it’s a ridiculous bargain. Watch Facebook Marketplace, locals.

I weeded the iris bed in the appalling heat and humidity over the weekend and I’m glad I did. They’re already showing improvement now that they have room. The grass was choking them out and I finally decided to get in there and pull it out. Blooms appeared within days!

Strawberries are doing so aggressively well that they’re leaping out of the raised beds. I’ve had to redirect runners quite a few times this spring!

The potatoes are coming up gangbusters, for the most part. I’m concerned about some of them, and I’m worried that the monsoon rains right after I planted may have drowned them. I’m monitoring the laggards, and this weekend I’ll likely be hilling up the ones that are growing gaily forward.

I have a surprise spread of volunteer cilantro where I dumped a pot last fall. That was an unexpected delight. I wasn’t able to plant the herbs this weekend, because I didn’t see the point in putting good seed into burning desert sand. I will quite likely get that done this weekend. I’ve dragged the glider into the backyard and now have a nice spot by the back door for herb pots.

I have already started some basil by seed, but the basil at Schuring’s looked so good I bought two containers. Each had four plants. I will make this last, pinching out the center leaves all summer, and have more basil than is right for one person to have. I love throwing a handful of fresh basil in about anything.

The BSE, despite her distaste for gardening, is growing a few little things on the deck this summer. She had two Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes left over and gave them to me. They look sad in that big pot, but you can bet they’ll go nuts. I’m going to lean two huge pipe and string trellises against the house and see how big I can get the plants. Cherry tomatoes are weeds, but these are really tasty tomatoes.

Did you spend foolish money at the farmer’s market on baby greens? This is seed tape and returning lettuce from last year. It’s been about three weeks since I planted, and by planted I mean flopped it into a container and scraped a little dirt over it. IMG_20180530_084042

That’s what’s up right now, here at the NSSL. What’s growing on in your garden?

Author: Amy Crabtree Campbell

figuring it out as I go, since 1967

4 thoughts

  1. Wow I’ll say it again I’m not worthy!! Our tomatoes, corn & banana peppers are doing great. Although my chickens are trying their best to dig up my squash. I have tried something new this year called lemon cucumbers. It has grown crazy. Looking forward to trying it. With all this rain my cucumbers , butternut squash and cantaloupe are doing quite well. I’ve got some fabric bags ordered for sweet potatoes. Never used before so this will be interesting. Enjoy the blog.


    1. Girl, you and Dave inspire me! Lemon cucumbers are awesome. I did them a couple years ago and loved them. Distinct flavor. I’m putting the squash, brand, and melons in the ground this weekend since we got the benefit of Alberto’s rain yesterday. How are your chickens and bees?


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