Catching up, part 2

The second in a series of three posts in which, during the rainy parts of my vacation, I'm catching up on blogging. Today's topic: the community garden from early to mid Spring.
 
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Snoozing at the community gardenOn Earth Day, while Piper napped in the shade under the bench, I cultivated the soil in the three pollinator beds and rearranged the plants that had survived the winter. A fellow gardener and I have volunteered to plant and tend this vital part of the community garden. In early May we liberally sowed California and Shirley poppy seeds in the beds and added other plants including Echinacea, Asclepias and Allysum. By early summer, or sooner I hope, the blossoms will be providing nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies.

 

So far, I've harvested only a few crops from my own plot: assorted Asian greens (a little), chard (a lot), and radishes (just enough to add a spicy crunch to lunch for the past 2 weeks). Broccoli raab is missing from the list because a mysterious creature with paws trampled the bed soon after the seedlings emerged. Then tiny slugs with big appetites ate most of the remaining young greens and baby spinach. (Help -- what is your successful, organic slug control strategy?)

 

Community garden plot in mid-May

Plot inventory, May 19th: chard, garlic, greens, herbs, peas, radishes, spinach

First radish harvest: Pink Punch, Easter Egg II, French Breakfast (Renee's Garden seeds)

Above ground, the garlic is green and mildew-free. But now that I've learned about all the pests and diseases that can afflict this herb, I'm tempted to pull one 'Purple Softneck' to see what's going on below the soil's surface. I'll resist and and hope for beginner's luck and good garden karma as I'm growing most of this garlic for a friend.

No peas yet, but the robust vines and pretty flowers are promising.

Dwarf Grey Sugar pea transplants, April 22nd

First pea flower, May 26th

And now as I write this, it's 12 noon and the sun is shining -- barely. I'm off to you-know-where to prep the open squares for the tomato and pepper transplants. See you soon. Though I hope not too soon as it will mean it's raining again.

'Swallow' pepper ready for transplanting and chard ready for a frittata