Garden Notes—May

In some ways the month of May has flown by and in other ways it’s dragged. But the garden has kept me on my toes as the weather has been a rollercoaster. This year I’ve been watching Gardner’s World on Brit Box and even though I don’t have the same weather as most of the UK, I’ve learned a lot about how to deal with cold snaps and the tools available to help me out and that came in very handy in the last week.

I’ve left most of the side and front yard alone, keeping an eye on the new Shasta Daisies I’ve put in to replace a few things that weren’t doing well, but other than that, things are humming along. Some ground cover that I have no idea what it is (one of the things you deal with when buying a house), has bloomed all it’s delicate yellow blooms and it brightens things up so much. I have it in three spots around the house and absolutely love it. It’s evergreen, so a nice shade of green the rest of the year. Also crickets love it and hide out in and chirp away.

I planted out my pots with an assortment of annuals that looked good to me and they are doing well. I usually buy whatever I find at the nursery and this year was no different. Some trailers and other things for color. I’ve also put in Cosmos in a few spots near the patio for some butterfly attraction and color. I still want to fill in more with some other things there, but it’s coming along. Annuals for color are usually hit and miss for me, so we’ll see what happens this year.

The veggie garden is well and truly under way now. Just this morning I harvested my first three sugar snap peas, and there are more on the vines and lots of flowers, so I think these are gonna do well. We have cooler nights through mid June, so there is still time for them to do their thing before it gets too hot.

I put in four tomato plants and two cucumber plants about a week and a half ago. Last Sunday we were at close to 90F and everything was loving it. I bought a pony pack of 6 basil but didn’t put them in the beds right away and I was still taking my pepper plants in every night. I checked the weather for the week and welp, immediately decided that the basil and peppers would stay inside at night for another week and bought garden blankets for the tomatoes and cukes.

By Thursday morning we had snow on tops of the foothills around us. I covered the tomatoes and cukes on Tuesday evening and added another layer for overnight all week long, leaving them covered during the day since the highs were only around 60F. I’m happy to report it worked! I just took the covers off for the first time since Tuesday night this morning and three of the tomaotes have flowers and the cukes look to be in good shape. My first time successfully keeping things alive in a cold snap!

Within the next week I’ll plant out the basil in the remaining raised bed space and I’ll put the peppers in the two pots I’ve got ready for them. I am, however, going to be making a garden blanket cover for the peppers since we’ll still be chilly at night for the next few weeks, most likely, and they really like the heat so will benefit from some insulation at night.

I’ll admit, I’m now researching cold frames and cloches, looking for easy ways to pop something on a young plant to keep it safe overnight during times like these. Living where I do and with the weather changing so much, I think I need to be ready for anything.