Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 5/6/13

I think we need an ark for my sanctuary garden! Rain, rain, cloudy days, mist, more rain…. Today is the first day the sun has come out in a week. I’m not worried about ground water as my raised beds drain well. However, all the rain and humidity is the perfect environment for fungus and disease on many plants. I pulled a couple of lima beans that looked troublesome (didn’t want it to spread to the other plants), and I’m investigating some black spots on one of my pepper plants. (Mold??) Yet, my garden IS growing.

In just three weeks, my raspberry canes have gone from sporting a few new leaves to becoming thick with green as well as the showing their first tiny flowers. (See picture above.) These are Heritage Everbearing, so I’ll have a small harvest in another month or so, then a very large harvest in the fall. I can’t wait!

All ten of my gladioli are poking through the ground.

Gladiolus

Gladiolus

My hydrangea are full of buds, and yesterday, one of them started to open.

Hydrangea blooming

Hydrangea blooming

After work today I’ll be planting my moonflowers. The seeds, which I harvested from my moonflowers last fall, have been soaking since Saturday evening, so most are cracking and ready to plant.

Moonflower seeds soaking

Moonflower seeds soaking

My key lime tree is budding and producing tiny key limes again. The limes all fell off in February. Whether due to lack of pollination (no bees in January) or because the plant may be too young to bear fruit, I don’t know. So, I’m cautiously hopeful for this batch!

Key lime blossoms & fruit

Key lime blossoms & fruit

I’m harvesting snow peas regularly now.

Snow peas

Snow peas

Unfortunately, I noticed a few dozen aphids on the leaves on Saturday! It’s the first time I’ve had aphids in my garden. While immediately attacking them with neem oil (they carry disease and are a danger to beans and legumes, especially), I saw a lady bug crawling along my fence. A veritable feast was one leaf away, yet he was content to climb my fence. I hope he ate later!

Lady bug (hard to photograph that little guy!)

Lady bug among peas (hard to photograph that little guy!)

My Black Beauty eggplant, which I bought at Lowes, is doing well among the kale.

Eggplant among kale

Eggplant among kale

My carrots are doing well growing among my tomatoes.

Carrots among tomatoes

Carrots among tomatoes ~ 4 weeks post planting

The Red Sails lettuce I sowed last week among my peppers is coming up now. The Black Seeded Simpson and Tom Thumb lettuces I sowed four weeks ago among the peppers are growing well.

Lettuce among hot peppers

Tom Thumb lettuce among hot peppers ~ 4 weeks post planting/transplanting

All my tomatoes and tomatillos are growing like crazy! I staked them last week and had to add new ties to the stakes this weekend.

Paste tomatoes

Paste tomatoes ~ 4 weeks post transplanting

Slicing & cherry tomatoes and tomatillos ~ 4 weeks post transplanting

So far, my squash is doing well. No signs of insect infestation among the radishes. But I didn’t experience real issues last year until they’d been fruiting for a few weeks. We’ll see.

Squash & radishes

Squash & radishes ~ 4 weeks post planting

My snap beans are getting rather large. I expect flowers soon.

Snap beans

Snap beans ~ 4 weeks post planting

It’s unbelievable how large my artichokes are already!

Green artichoke ~ 4 weeks post transplanting

Green artichoke ~ 4 weeks post transplanting

I had to replant my summer savory three times because squirrels seemed to think the pot was a great place to hide their acorns! I’ve finally got some coming up.

Summer savory ~ 3 weeks post planting

Summer savory ~ 3 weeks post planting

The rest of my herbs are growing well, and I’ve harvested them several times already for fresh herbs in my cooking. I think this weekend I may start drying some of them. I love having them outside my backdoor (on my patio) – so easy to reach for cooking.

One of my 4 rosemary bushes planted last spring

One of my 4 rosemary bushes planted last spring

Cilantro

Sage & Dill

Sage & Dill

Curly parsley

Curly parsley

Oregano & Thyme

Basil

Basil

With that yellow orb now shining in the sky, I’m hoping for more growth – and drying out – in my garden this week. What’s happening in your garden? Let me know on my Facebook page. I’d love to see!

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