We had a series of thunderstorms move through last night. I sat on the front porch and watched the first one roll through about 9:30 last night. The lightning bugs were also out in abundance and they didn’t seem to mind the rain.
I heard another heavy rain roll through as I was falling asleep later. I went out to check my rain gauge first thing this morning and noted that we had received 2.5 inches of rain overnight. We really needed it. There was a small tornado around Naperville and possibly others. We missed the winds as there were no branches down this morning.
I picked the first tomato today, three days earlier than last year, and this was a Countryside Champion tomato from a garden plant rather than a container plant, like last year. The pepper was a Bounty banana pepper. There are also a couple of Gypsy peppers ready to pick. These were from the larger Countryside plants.
We also had a salad from garden lettuce. Goebbert’s Red Romaine and Bonnie plants Oak Leaf. They are all bolting in this heat, but the flavor is still good.
I got up early on this Father’s Day morning and was out in the garden by 6:30. I installed the reinforcing fence posts behind the trellis and planted (from left to right) 1 trellis length of “Crystal Apple Cucumbers”, another trellis length of “True Lemon Cucumbers”, from Terroir Seeds, 5 “Burpless” plants from Goebbert’s on the 3rd Trellis and finally 3 “Summer Dance” plants from Countryside on the last trellis. I also cut up the elderberry, buckthorn and other invasive trees that I had removed on Saturday, and filled up the garden recycling bin. I had cleared and rototilled on Saturday.
I caught a nasty cold the week after Memorial Day which kept me out of the garden for the better part of two weeks, except for watering. The energy and motivation has returned so I got out early and hit the rest of the Canadian Thistle with Roundup, mostly in the front, and weeded and string trimmed the back half of the garden, that is, everything but the three new raised beds. Then I planted the 15 San Marzano tomatoes and staked and watered them. We are in a severe drought with temperatures in the 90s. Severe thunderstorms are predicted for early to mid-afternoon and I am really praying for some much-needed rain. I finished up around 10 AM as the temperature had already hit the mid-eighties.
I need to plant Delicata squash and more zucchini, but the big thing this weekend will be to erect the new cucumber trellis and get the cukes planted. I’m at least a couple of weeks late on those. It is supposed to be a little cooler and less humid as we go into next week.
I picked the first cherry tomato today! Hoping this will be the beginning of an endless supply. This is a couple of weeks earlier than last year. I picked some of the bolting Pak Choi last night and fried it up with onions and mushrooms. I should be able to get 1 more meal out of the rest. The Romaine is ready to pick, and the spinach has completely bolted. I’ll try some of the Oak Leaf lettuce and see if it is edible.
Sitting on the front porch tonight I saw a few fireflies making their first appearance of the year. They are 10 days earlier than last year and about 15 days earlier than 2019. Not surprising, as we’ve had temperatures in the eighties for the past 4 or 5 days. We had a couple sprinkles of rain today but the predicted showers and thunderstorms missed us. It’s been a very dry spring. I guess watering is the first thing on my agenda tomorrow.
I went to Goebbert’s in beautiful mid-80s weather yesterday afternoon to get my remaining plants. I got up early to 55° weather this morning to do the planting.
So, first of all, I bought a large Jalapeno plant (actually there are two in the pot) for the container garden. There’s a couple Jalapenos on the plant ready to pick. THey had large Roma tomatoes for per $4.50 per plant, but I’m not in a hurry for the Romas so it would have been a waste of money. There were no small Roma tomatoes so I bought the last 15 San Marzano tomatoes – three paks for $2.50 each. I’ll plant these over the weekend since I want to add compost to the bed before I plant.
So this morning I planted 4 pots of basil, 3 romaine lettuce and 3 Chinese cabbage (should have been 6 Chinese cabbage, but they mixed up the flats again. I should know better.), a red chili pepper to fill out the hot pepper bed, and 6 mustard greens behind the compost barrel. I also planted the Swiss Chard that I had bought a few weeks ago. I had a tray of sedum that I had pulled out of the front bed that I planted between the walk behind the porch and the dry creek. Finally, I moved four 18″ pavers to the east of Bed 3 where I had cleared out some horseradish, so I could easily reach that side of the bed for planting and picking. It was a productive morning.
Besides the San Marzano tomatoes, I need to construct the cucumber bed and trellis and plant the cukes. Then I need to start the mint garden and get the mint planted, even if the borders of the garden aren’t finished.
I cleared the area behind the barn and planted the three tomatillo plants from Countryside. No one had the purple tomatillos which I prefer. I enriched the soil, which is mostly clay, with soil from under the old compost pit.
The Shishito peppers were from Bonnie plants and Home Depot since Goebberts were out of them. Made the mistake of shopping for plants on Sunday. The larger pepper plants, Bounty, Gypsy, and Cubanelle were from Countryside, the rest from Goebbert’s. The two hills of Spineless Beauty Zucchini were from Goebbert’s. The Eggplant from Countryside.