It's hot. It's cold. It's hot. It's cold.
Such has been spring so far. But for the most part, the garden doesn't seem to mind.
The lettuce is abundant. The carrots are tall. The peas are huddled together, latched onto each other like a little codependent family.
The majority of the work in the garden over the last month has been in thinning carrots. We haphazardly distributed carrot seeds when we planted them, and it appears we overplanted, because we have carrot sprouts galore. Each day we thin a few more, trying to give them space to grow. Now that the carrot tops are more than four inches tall, pulling up the plants seems like a shame, but we know it's needed.
Lazy gardeners alert! The plants we ordered from Burpee arrived: nine tomato plants (Black Pearl, Sun Gold, and Super Sweet 100 varieties) and three basil plants (Christmas Basil). When they arrived, it was really warm and we had no qualms about getting them in the ground. But since then, it's turned cooler, and the tomato plants are struggling a bit, showing some discoloration on their leaves. We expect they'll perk right back up with the return of sun and warmer temperatures.
We traded some plants with our friend Trevor, giving him some of our tomatoes in exchange for some Big Boy Hybrid tomato plants and a Golden Egg Hybrid zucchini. The zucchini, sadly, looks as if it will be the first fatality of the gardening season. Keep him in your thoughts.
The majority of our lettuce so far is a red leaf variety, from seed leftover from last year. We've harvested lettuce a few times already, including a big bunch of it for dinner one night this week. While running errands one day we picked a packet of lettuce mix seed and planted it. That second crop of lettuce is coming on strong and we hope to start eating some of it within the next few weeks.
Other items are thriving. Our beets grow a bit each week. Parsley we planted from seed has emerged and the plants are growing stronger. Our CSA season is kicking off next week, and on a visit to the farm last weekend, we picked up a kale plant that's now at home in our garden. Our little raised beds are looking pretty full!
Lazy gardeners alert #2! You may notice in these photos that a hose is visible. We've gone all fancy this gardening season and have installed a soaker hose and timer in our raised beds, so that the watering is automated. We haven't been using it much in the last few weeks, since we've had ample rain and low temperatures, but we expect it will be very useful this summer, especially when we're away for a few days.
It's been a low-maintenance but productive month in the garden. As May temperatures heat up and the days extend, we're eager to see our plants take off and start producing more heavily.
It's going to be a great May.