In The Garden: May 2015

A lot has been growing since my last garden update in March!

For the past few weeks, we’ve been harvesting asparagus, spinach, lettuce, and a few herbs. Strawberries are just coming in now, which is super exciting.


With the threat of frost past, I’ve removed the row cover from this first bed. I should probably put it back up to protect the cabbages from the white cabbage moths, but I just love watching everything grow! This bed holds peas, cabbage, dill, spinach, garlic, fennel, and celery. Plus a couple of random red lettuces that volunteered.

cabbage head

This is H.C. Wakefield Cabbage. I don’t think any of the Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage I planted survived.

I can’t wait to harvest our first head of cabbage for this year. My kids love eating fresh cabbage, sliced and sprinkled with a little salt.


I went a little crazy scattering dill seeds around in the bed. Looks like I’ll have plenty to dry this year!


We’ve been harvesting spinach for 5 weeks now and they’re still going strong. It seems they enjoy being cut, and grow even more vigorously after a heavy harvesting. I cut from the outside working my way in toward the center of the plant, making sure we eat the largest, oldest leaves first and leaving the young tender greens in the center to continue to grow. We love spinach fresh or lightly sauteed with garlic.


The fennel is still very small, but they’re coming along nicely.


This raised bed has onions, sweet potatoes, catnip, and peas growing in it. The broccoli I planted died. As usual.


The peas are just getting tall enough to start training them toward the trellis. It’ll be so fun watching them grow up the arches!

leafy greens

We had a ton of potatoes come back up in this bed from last year’s planting. I can’t believe how many I missed harvesting! The potato plants are popping up all around the carrots, lettuce, spinach, and kale planted here. So far they seem to be doing okay together.


Some pretty mixed lettuce.

lettuce and potatoes

Buttercrunch and Red Romaine.


Here are some of the St. Valery carrots coming up.


So, I enclosed three sides of this bed, with just a little room to squeeze in behind the archway. Not sure if it was a good idea, but I wanted to have plenty of trellising area for the Amish paste tomatoes. I put stepping stones in the center of the bed to avoid compacting the soil too much as I work in there. Calendula (Pot Marigolds) are growing in between the stepping stones. I also put some rosemary and celery in this bed.

tomatoes growing

Mulching around the tomatoes makes a tremendous difference in the health of the plant. I definitely need to add more mulch to the garden. I used straw around these tomato plants, and sprinkled dried eggshells as usual to add a boost of calcium to the soil (this helps to prevent Blossom End Rot).

tomato bed 2

I planted more tomatoes here, with the same trellising idea in mind. Wild Shepherd’s Purse and Lamb’s Quarters came up in the center of the bed, and I’ve allowed them to grow since they’re also useful. A couple of pepper plants and a Tomatillo plant are at the end of this bed.


Last year I planted way too many peppers and had more than we knew what to do with. I only have 2 plants put in this year. I chose Friariello Di Napoli because they’ve always been heavy producers for me, and the mild flavor is so versatile.


I had to put in one tomatillo for fresh salsa. They tend to grow plenty on just one plant.

horseradish asparagus strawberries
The large plant on the left is Horseradish. The rest of the bed is filled with asparagus and strawberries. I wasn’t sure how the asparagus and strawberries would do together, but so far it’s working out beautifully. I’ll have to thin the strawberry plants eventually though, and that may uproot some asparagus crowns. Ummm… yeah, that might be a problem.


We’re still getting a few asparagus spears popping up here and there. Not enough at once to make a meal of any longer. To be honest, after doing more research I’m concerned about the possibility of our asparagus absorbing arsenic from the railroad ties we lined the bed with. At first I assumed using older ties would be okay, since the chemicals are probably long leached out. But now I’m not 100% sure. I’d like to have the soil tested for arsenic soon.


Lucky for me, the kids didn’t pick these strawberries this morning when they raided the garden so I can share a photo with you. We’re all very excited about the strawberries coming into season. The wild strawberries are also ripe and ready to harvest. We’ve been enjoying them as well.

potato bed 1

Potato bed #1. I need to hoe between the rows and add more dirt and mulch.

potato bed 2

Potato bed #2. All of the potatoes I planted were seed potatoes leftover from last year’s harvest.

corn beans squash

You can barely see them… the squash, beans, and corn just beginning to sprout from the earth. We use the Three Sister’s Method anytime corn is planted. I planted sweet corn and dent corn (for cornmeal) this year. We’ll miss not having popcorn, but I wanted to try making our own cornmeal for the first time. I need to till up more space for more corn!

In the back left of the photo you can see our Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes) coming up. We’ve found the tubers to be very much like potatoes when roasted.

Other than the various herbs and fruits that are blossoming with Spring, that’s pretty much what’s going on in the garden. I still need to plant melons and pumpkins… gotta get on it soon!

6 thoughts on “In The Garden: May 2015”

  1. We had problems with white cabbage moths within a few days of setting our plants. I was planting garlic and decided to mince some a put around the plants. Worked like a charm. Now, I place a little fresh garlic at each plant every few weeks when I work out weeds. Not a sign of moths or any other pests, so far.

  2. I’m jealous you have so much growing! I should have my first spinach and lettuce in a couple of weeks…if the squirrels don’t eat it, first!


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