The nights are still cool, hovering around 50 degrees, but all of the beautiful spring rain over the weekend has done good things. The first watermelon seedlings have come up, so that means it is only a matter of time for the rest of the cucurbits to show themselves. Corn is starting to really germinate and emerge now. The pepper and eggplant transplants that went in on Friday night are looking good for the most part, although five or so took some slug damage. That's the only downside of wet weather - slugs and snails are the enemy. I think the plastic mulch has definitely helped reduce the damage, but we don't have a hole burner and so I found that the plants in holes that weren't as cleanly and completely removed were more susceptible. It's our first year using the stuff so there is a bit of a learning curve. I definitely think that tool belongs on our list at this point. Aldi has landscape fabric (even better than plastic mulch as it is reusable) for less than $3 for a 50-foot roll. This is a total steal and we have been stocking up. It's not extremely thick but I think it will do the trick for our needs.
The tomatoes are looking exceptional this year. The plants are very thick and sturdy and I'm hopeful that we will have a few early fruits by the end of July. The rhubarb can be harvested at any point this week. A few of the plants went to seed thanks to the sudden warm weather after that bitter winter, and I've decided to allow one of the seed heads to flower. I'm planning to collect the seeds and start a few young plants, and I'll probably have some extra to share. I don't know the variety but it is a mix of red and green in color, and it's quite productive with many nice thick stalks. We'll have salad veggies soon, too.
Cut flowers: SO MANY LILACS. The yard smells so sweet and I can't get enough - I have a few bouquets floating around the farmhouse right now. I found even more of those beautiful white doubles so I will be able to make a few mixed bouquets, but I have so much of the lavender that I could make a whole wedding's worth of bouquets and centerpieces. I also have lots of fern for filler. The Narcissus poeticus singles are finishing up but I've found a whole bunch of doubles that smell sweet and like cinnamon. They look absolutely dreamy - a perfect wedding flower, in my opinion.
Since we moved in, I have been itching to put in asparagus but I didn't want to do it until I was 150% sure I was happy with the placement. I'm going to start land prep this week so we can put crowns in next spring. Basically, that means we should have some green and purple asparagus by 2021. It is a long wait but that means reliable harvests for many, many years to come.
I've also been doing some planning for the second plot, which I hope to tackle by 2020. This would give us an additional 3,000 square feet of flower and vegetable production, doubling the growing space. It's an exciting thing to know that as overgrown and mysterious as this land was when we moved in, it is going to be able to meet our needs and also give us room to grow with our business goals.
As always, thank you for keeping up with our journey. Now, who needs some rhubarb and lilacs?