June 15, 2015

The Lately-Planted Garden

Because of hubby's surgery in April, I didn't get the garden planted before the month-long rains came. He tilled it for me two days before he checked into the hospital, but I didn't have time to do anything with it.

Then the rain came and lasted the entire month of May. Officially we had 20 inches of rain, the wettest month ever. Even when we had the occasional dry day, the garden was too muddy to walk in and I didn't want to compact the soil.

At the end of May we went to the feed store on the day they were closing out the greenhouse and had everything on sale, so we bought an entire tray of seedlings. I usually start tomato, pepper and other warm weather crop seeds weeks before the last frost, but that didn't happen this spring either. Sometimes we just have to adapt and go with the flow, so we bought our transplants.

I looked at herb plants too but they were in sad shape - actually, most of the seedlings looked pretty sad. I hoped the plants I bought would revive with some water and tender loving care. Well, they had lots of water - all that rain - and most of them did survive.

Volunteer tomato plant on the right

Then I found several volunteer tomato plants in the chicken run too. I transplanted those to the garden - all fourteen of them. (Like most chicken keepers, I gave my flock the food scraps at the end of each day. Evidently they got tired of tomato seeds!) I'm thankful that even though I didn't get the garden planted before the month-long rains began, God still provided garden plants. One is a yellow pear plant; it had little green pear-shaped tomato babies. Another has round tomatoes. They will all be a mix of the varieties I grew last year. No matter what variety they are, tomatoes are always welcome on our table. Hopefully I'll have a lot of tomatoes to can later this summer.

Last summer's yellow pear tomatoes

Now I'm slowly getting the rest of the seedlings into the ground, and I've realized that we bought quite a variety of tomatoes at that greenhouse sale: Cherokee Purple, an Arkansas Traveler and a Mortgage Lifter, Juliet Cherry, Pink Brandywine and Bradley tomatoes. There are peppers, eggplant, and yellow wax beans to be planted too. It's too late for cold weather crops but I'm planting seeds for the warm weather plants and hoping for the best.

The onions are leftovers from last year. The small onions I pulled up last fall overwintered on a shelf in the mudroom and started sprouting in early spring, so I stuck them back in the ground. This year I know to plant them shallowly so they will grow larger and it's already made a difference.

The comfrey roots I ordered have arrived. The spot I had chosen for them has to be re-thought because our neighbor's cows have been visiting every week or so and would have access to them.

There are sunflowers growing in the margin of the garden, volunteers from last year's single plant that went to seed, and a sunflower under each bird feeder. Although not a food crop, they are cheerful and fun.

How is your garden growing?

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. There are some things growing well, we are eating squash and greens. Many other things washed away or rotted with the continual rains in May. I hope to replant again this week even though we have a good chance of rain everyday. It will be a strange, late year for gardening, but we, like you, still hope to have a decent harvest. I have broccoli that was planted as seedlings in late March that are just now making heads. Weird.

    We pray that your husband recovers fully and you both get some rest. Recovery from surgery can be a very taxing experience for the patient and the spouse. Blessings.


  2. Thank you, Fern. This is a "different" year with the weather, hubby's surgery and recovery, and the big family event later this month. A challenge for sure, but I suppose it's better to lump all the challenges into one year. LOL

    It's good that you're already eating beans and squash. I hope your second planting is more successful. We all keep plugging away!

  3. We have had a 'different' year too, in that we moved house, and there is no vegetable garden here. Turns out the spot I chose to plant out my seedlings gets totally flooded after a month's rain, and they all died! I have a few beans and peas growing by the wall of the house, but I think we will not have so much to eat from the garden this year! It was interesting to hear about your garden :-)

  4. Gwen, well, at least you know to move the garden before you've invested too much work amending the soil, etc. In the meantime, we'll be thankful for farmers markets, right?

  5. Gwen, well, at least you know to move the garden before you've invested too much work amending the soil, etc. In the meantime, we'll be thankful for farmers markets, right?

  6. We received a lot of rain in North Texas too. I finally gave up planting somewhere in the middle of May. I finally have some beautiful zinnias, strawberries, blackberries and beans for harvesting and it looks like zucchini, cucumbers, carrots and broccoli will be ready in a couple weeks. We've got more rain headed this way. Can't complain I guess all the lakes and ponds are filled beyond. The break this last couple of weeks has been nice. Your garden looks great!
    Carole @ Garden Up Green

  7. Carole, this rain has been crazy, hasn't it? What you're getting today we'll be getting tomorrow, perhaps 4-5 inches! It's certainly been a "different" year. You may have given up planting, but it sounds like you have a pretty good variety of food growing out there in spite of it all. You're way ahead of me!

  8. Look at all those volunteers! Seems I get mostly volunteer weeds!

    1. LOL - me too, Daisy! This was a nice change!

  9. How wondie you're still reaping rewards from last year's planting season with a little help along the way with the birds ;)

  10. Yes, Mary, the chickens plus the abundant rain did me a good turn!

  11. Wow! That's a lot of rain. We get far less than that in an entire year. So glad to hear of God's faithfulness in your garden even though you started late. Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!


  12. This is an unusual year, Jennifer, with far more rainfall than normal. After several years of drought it's very welcome! Thank you for visiting.

  13. I love volunteers as well, I always think of it as a surprise gift, sometimes they turn out to be the best plants of the season. :) Looks like your garden is off to a great start! :)

  14. Yes, April, well put! Volunteers are a gift from God.

  15. Your garden is looking lovely - it's wonderful how it has all come together. I'm fascinated by the tiny pear shaped tomatoes. I have never seen them before! Thank you for sharing this post with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

  16. Thanks April. Last year was the first year I'd grown the yellow pear tomatoes, they were really good. I'm glad I'll have more this year. They're fun to eat while gardening.

  17. Your garden looks great! Our last frost was May 17 this year, so my garden went in late too. It's ok...it'll catch up!

    Thanks for sharing your post with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope you'll join us again this week!


  18. Hi Lisa, your last frost date was quite late this year. I hope your garden catches up fast!

  19. Stopping by to say hello from the Country Fair Blog Party! That's a lot of rain to contend with - wow! I live in Minnesota so it seems I'm always waiting until late May / early June to plant warm weather veggies because it takes that long to warm up around here. So far, the yellow wax beans are looking great as are the onions, carrots, squash, cucumbers and tomato plants. I also planted garlic and celery for the first time ever so we'll see how that goes. The garlic is looking amazing but the celery is very, very slow ... :)

    I enjoyed reading about your garden!


  20. Hi Lara, I'm so glad you stopped by. It sounds like your garden is doing very well!

  21. I can not seem to grow onions out here in Virginia, but I keep trying! Thank you for sharing your story with us over at Country Fair Blog Hop! this year we made new raised beds, and it has only been a semi successful gardening year for me. I can not wait to read what you're doing now when we open up a new link up on Aug. 1st
    Jan@ TipGarden


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