This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts. I thought it would be fun this year to post Monthly Garden Chores from both the West Coast and East Coast. You can see my May garden plans for my Seattle, Washington garden HERE.
Well, I’m exhausted – May was buuussssy! I got way more done than I’d planned on so I’m feeling rather proud of myself The big, BIG news is that massive I-don’t-want-to-do-this project (read bag/box up the massive pile of rubber pellets from the old playground) and-get-rid-of-them, is 95% done. (Have you ever used Freecycle? I love the idea of giving away something to somebody who could use it and keeping it out of the dump!) I’m happy to report it’s all cleaned up and the last load is being picked up next week.
The forest elves, eeerrr, tree service guys, came to cut down the trees that cast an annoying shadow over my garden all summer.
I squealed like a six-year-old with a face full of cotton candy every time a tree went plummeting to the ground. Not only, is the amount of sun on the garden increased by 50% but I turned a portion of the extra space into a wildflower garden with the Perennial Bloom seeds from Botanical Interests that I grew in the winter sowing greenhouses!
(Pssst: Don’t tell the HH, I’m seriously thinking I may be able to fit in a few dwarf trees in that space too! Giddy, I tell ya, I’m just giddy with the possibility of fruit trees!)
I took down and stored all the hoop house materials once it was warm enough for the tomatoes. The small hoop house was a perfect place to harden off all the seedlings throughout the month that came from the basement out to the garden, plus it warmed up the soil for the jalapeno that went in that box after everything was planted. Both of the hoop houses took quite a beating this year as we had a ton of strong wind, but I think I can use it again next year!
The HH wanted to build a rock fire pit, but it kept falling down – which drove him crazy, so the man went to HD and bought cement – that sucker is NOT falling apart now. As a bonus, he’d dug up way too many rocks, which I promptly turned into another bed next to the chicken run, which has turned into the misfit garden bed – where all the extra plants go (and may or may not make it).
All the boxes are planted. In fact, they were all planted when I realized I’d run out of space and had no place for beans AND cucumbers, so I added another box in the main garden. This folks is how you end with a bigger and bigger garden every year, lucky for the HH there is a pre-set border where the old playset used to be!
Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month
Beans and Lettuce will be continuously planted outside every two weeks for a constant supply. But seriously – I’m totally maxed out. I don’t think I have any space left for one single plant!
What I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month
It’s all been transplanted and the inside grow lights are dark for the next few months.
Plants and/or Bulbs I Plan to Purchase this Month
With all the trees we cut down (two giant pines in the front that turned out to be 50% rotted), it’s an understatement to say we have a “few” stumps. I plan on doing something with those stumps – it just may take a liiiiittle bit of manual labor. I’ll keep you posted.
What I plan to Harvest This Month
LETTUCE! Yeah – fresh salads again!!
After keeping the baby chickens next to the outdoor pen in the chicken tractor for a week or two, and then in the main pen (in the chicken tractor) for a week or two, we’ve finally moved the babies into the main pen (without the tractor) – and boy was that challenging! Ever heard the phrases “hen pecked” or “mean girls” or “pecking order”?
Holy gravy – that is no joke. So now we’re at the stage where we go out once it’s dark and the grown hens are asleep, or at least calmed by the dark, and we tuck the babies into the coop then I get up at 4:30am (that’s right, you read that correctly 4:30 AM) to let them out before the sun comes out and the mean girls get going. The babies are about ¾ the size of the grown hens so hopefully the pecking order will not have to be enforced so thoroughly for much longer. *yawn*
Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs
Old lemon is not doing so hot. The scale infestation is under control but in the process, of moving it in and out of the house to spray it, all the flowers and little lemon buds fell off. This month we’ve moved lemon out to the deck and fertilized him so we’ll see what happens. Poor lemon….
Trees and Shrubs
In other big news… the front hedge was dug up by my friend Hana who moved the bushes to her yard so I had to do was prep the space, and plant the Hidcote Lavender I started from seed in the winter sowing greenhouses. The little seedlings are soooo tiny – I hope they make it. It may take a year or two before I get the nice hedge of lavender I’m hoping for.
Weed and Pest Control
Our front walk is crushed stone. However, because it’s crushed stone it is also the most maddening part of the yard because weeds love that space. We don’t love the weeds. Ya’ see where I’m going with this? We’ve contemplated paving it with some sort of paving stone but the entry to the septic tank is right.under.the.walkway. Brilliant planning, I know. So, we need ideas – what would you do? Right now, I’m the vinegar queen – hosing the rocks down and plucking the weeds, but, as you can imagine, that’s not really too fun. Suggestions?
When two pines were cut down in the front, a giant garden bed was left behind. What to do with this space is a big question mark. So far, all I’ve come up with is to shovel up the top portion of mulch and re-locate it to the wildflower garden. Then hopefully reduce the overall island to a small circle, but there are still two good sized tree stumps (which we don’t want to pay to have ground down) – so in the mean time I’m hunting Pinterest for some good ideas. Any suggestions?
**These garden chores are based on my Zone 5b Southeast/Boston MA location. Find your garden zone HERE.
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