It seems like everything is starting a bit earlier this year. i've been in a rush to get my gardens planted, even though in the past this area doesn't plant until Mother's Day weekend. Many folks don't even put out their tomatoes until Memorial day. Although the weather is warm, and seems perfect for planting it was only a couple years ago that we had a freeze the last week of May, so i'm really trying not to get too ahead of myself.
My late winter lettuce is still doing well, and i have a spring planting that is close to harvest. We are beginning to get asparagus, and i found a few more morels last week. Chickens are still laying well, despite about half my hens trying to go broody.
The weather has been a bit strange this year. The spring has been warmer than usual,and then we had a freeze at the end of April that really seemed to screw up my broccoli. Almost all of my broccoli plants began to button after the freeze. Buttoning is when the plant produces a small premature head because of a drop in temperature. i have had broccoli bolt because of hot temperatures, but this is the first timei've had it button. i don't know if the plants will recover, but i removed the buttons and am watching to see if they are stunted or will continue to grow side shoots.
The late freeze also killed the blossoms on my pear trees, and most of the blossoms on my peach trees. The temperatures went from freezing one week, to 80 degrees the next so now i'm dealing with spinach, radishes and kale that is bolting.
Root veggies have never done well for me,so this year i planted them all in pots of raised beds. My radishes were doing fabulous up until we had a week of 80 degree temps and then they suddenly began bolting. i planted the Easter Egg radishes, which had a really nice variety of colors. All of the white bolted, but i did get to enjoy a few radishes on my salads this week.
i plant the Redbor kale every year because i love the deep purple color it turns in cool temps. It also grows well in the heat, but the leaves are green when the temperatures are warmer. This springs temp seem to have confused my Redbor kale, as the plants are both purple and green. Some of them are trying to bolt, while others are still growing fine.
i have a few tomato plants that were started early that are doing really well. One even has baby tomatoes on it! Most of my tomatoes are still really small. We went on vacation for a week in April and i didn't get them started until we came back. So i should have a few early tomatoes, and then lots of later tomatoes as well. The eggplant that overwintered is doing great too! :)
Most of my tomatoes look like this, and i somehow managed to start over a 100 plants again this year. i have no idea where i am going to plant them all.
My frost free date this year was May 6th, which just seems so early. i have all my old crops in, even though it's been 80 degrees all week. i have potatoes, cucumbers, peas, squash and beans coming up. This week i'm working on getting all of my tomatoes, sweet potatoes and peppers in the ground. My main garden is still pretty empty, but i have the other 4 about 75% planted.
i'm hoping that things cool off again,so i can continue to enjoy my homegrown salads. These are one of my favorite things this time of year. i'm continuing to sow new lettuce seeds about very 3 weeks, but if the temperatures stay this warm, it's just going to bolt and get bitter.
i'm definitely excited for the growing season, and optimistic for a good year .i've just got to finish getting it planted! :)