Yesterday we were busy dancing in the May (actually in person this year, though we had to adapt some of our dances for social distancing), but today we celebrated the spring Gardeners' Holiday at home by planting all our garden seedlings. These weren't actually scheduled to go in the ground until next weekend, but the weather has been so balmy, and the seedlings (with one exception you'll hear about later) looked so big and healthy, that we decided to jump the gun and plant them now. And, since we were doing that, we just went ahead and got the crops we're starting from seed off to an early start as well.
However, there was one new variety that, even with all Brian's extra-careful efforts, still was not ready for planting. That's our new Apple pepper, an allegedly "dependable and problem free" frying pepper that we selected from Fedco after our first choice, the faster-growing Banana, turned out to be unavailable. Brian started three seeds in each of two seedling tubes, and of those six seeds, only one actually germinated — and not until three weeks after all the rest of the pepper seedlings. So, while we do now have one Apple pepper seedling, it's had three weeks less to grow than all its fellows, and Brian feared it might not survive out in the wild. He's going to hold it back for another week or two at least, and if it still doesn't look hardy enough at that point, he might just skip it and plant one of the backup Carmens instead. And we certainly won't attempt to grow this variety again next year.
put them in last year. However, they suffered some deer damage early on, before we added our new invisible fence to keep the deer out. Nearly all the plants got munched on to some extent, and while most of them eventually recovered, one of the coneflowers did not. So along with the rest of this year's seedlings, Brian sprouted a new one to replace it. It's now installed in the back corner of the flowerbed, temporarily covered by a chicken-wire cage to protect it until it gets a bit bigger. (We also need to replace most of the violas, but those will go in later.)
Belle Mead Co-Op and buy some new asparagus crowns to fill in the gaps. However, on a recent trip to Ocean State Job Lot, a big discount store where we like to shop mainly for interesting foodstuffs, we found a big section in the front devoted to garden supplies. To our surprise, among the seeds and trowels were packages of asparagus crowns, containing six crowns each for just four bucks. The label didn't say what variety they were, but we figured at that price, we didn't have much to lose by giving them a try. In fact, it turned out to be an even better deal than we thought, since the package actually contained seven crowns, not six. Brian managed to squeeze the extra in by digging a second row in the side-yard bed so the plants could go in one behind the other. The indentations you see here in the backyard bed are the spaces where the new plants were added.
So, in short, there are quite a lot of new plants in the yard at the moment. If all of them are successful, we can look forward to a summer filled with beans and greens, squash and cucumbers, crisp peppers, ripe tomatoes, and sweet, juicy honeyberries. And for now, there's the satisfaction of looking out at the garden and seeing it green and growing and full of promise thanks to our efforts. Something attempted, something done, has earned an evening of relaxing on the couch watching Critical Role before bed.