Last month I introduced a family of crows that set up housekeeping at the end of my garden in a large pine tree. I'm sure you will be glad to hear that the marriage was consummated and mother and babies are doing fine.
What a burst of color the month of April produced. The roses and fruit trees were exceptional.
May is the window to plant your summer vegetables into the garden... peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, beets, parsley and all the other favorites that will enhance your table.
Last month I suggested that you plant your indeterminate tomatoes inside six-inch-by-sic-inch square of concrete reinforcing wire six feet high. After planting the tomatoes, wrap an eight inch wide strip of black roofing paper around the outside bottom of the cage.
This traps the sun's heat and protects the fragile plant until it grows tow feet tall. Then remove the strip. This is a tremendous help for starting a healthy plant.
It is surprising how many people have never tasted a vine-ripened tomatoes. What a taste thrill to pick the first tomato and eat it in the garden. Sheer ambrosia!
There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes. Each one tastes different. Some I raised only once. Others (like Burpee's Early Pick indeterminate) I have been growing for 20 years.
Every year I raise two or three new varieties. That's how I found Early Pick.
We are enjoying spinach, dikon radish and green onions now. The dry onions are starting to bulb. Some will weigh over five pounds each in August.
The sunflowers are 12 inches tall around the fence line. Those will be six and seven feet tall with many branching flowers that will hide the fence.
The ground has warmed up enough so that you can plant any of your vegetables. On April 27 at 4 p.m. the soil temperature under the silver plastic mulch was 80 degrees, the same temperature as the uncovered soil -- but the temperature under the black plastic mulch was 95 degrees.
The silver mulch helps to even out the huge temperature swings between day and night. This can put a lot of stress on your plants. The reflective mulch will keep the soil cooler during the day and warmer during the night. (part 2)