Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011

May is a month of promise in the vegetable garden.  Seed of cantaloupe, honeydew melon, cucumbers, zucchini and squash have been sown, and this week corn and beans will be planted as the crescent moon waxes.  Does planting by the moon really work?  For millennia, people who depended on farming for survival have been following the practice based on careful observation.  Rather than point to mysticism, we point to principles governed by the Creator; just as the moon affects tides, it seems to affect seed germination for good.

Last month's green manure crop of red clover has all composted and left the soil more workable (and, we hope, healthy).  But while cultivating rows to plant corn, we pulled enough rocks out to fill three 5-gallon buckets.  Someone must have used one corner of our corn patch as a rock dump when grading the subdivision.  This garden represents every sower and seed parable told, and as the lesson goes, there will be no harvest if we leave it like that.  Our fix?  Throw some composted manure in to make up the difference!  We're planting half the corn now, and the other half two weeks later to get an extended harvest.

This is a single head of leaf lettuce 'Salad Bowl' that we planted last September.  The funny thing is, after a fall harvest, we thought winter cold killed it, and attempted to till it under to make way for the peas you see behind Bryan in the picture; but it didn't die, it came back - with a vengeance!  Despite the challenges of gardening in a new location, it's good to know that some things are a success.  Raspberries are in bloom, strawberries are in season, and we are looking forward to a great blueberry crop in a month!

Last week the summer vegetable garden received 3-D structure with the addition of tomato and pepper cages and stakes.  Aluminum electrical conduit pipe makes a great garden stake (or temporary fence pole, tree support, etc).  Pipe comes in 10 foot sections in any hardware store and at $2 each is not an expensive investment.  Cut each pipe in half with a hack saw to make two garden stakes that will last for years.

25-ft. row of spring peas starting to climb.

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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (