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New England, May 2016

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New England, May 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/1/2016, 6:12 am

What a gorgeous sunrise this morning to start off May. But...red sky in morning...
Hopefully that means lots of rain for Cape Cod.

To continue with the compost conversation of April, I just wanted to mention that I read somewhere that if you build your compost pile in the shape of a loaf of bread, adding scraps starting at one end and moving slowly to the other end, the first end will be finished and ready to use first with the latter end still taking in contributions. I wonder if we could make a big continuous circle using the useable section as a walkthrough?

Did this even make sense? * insert cross eyed emoticon here*

Off to find a photo of the sunrise this morning...
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/1/2016, 7:26 am

MAY


Tulips should be dead-headed(remove spent flower)

The grass can be mowed when it reaches 3-4 inches (sorry, but
it IS that time again!) When you do cut it, set the mower to 2 1/2 to 3 inches.

Hold off mulching until the soil is warm, or you'll just keep
the cold in!

You can now plant lettuce, beans, corn and carrots right in the
soil.

Tomatoes can be planted when the lilacs bloom. You might sprinkle
a teaspoon of Epsom salts into the hole where they go to provide magnesium.

Marigolds, zinnias and even nasturtiums are good to plant in and around
your vegetables as well as the flower beds. They repel insects!

You can begin to plant gladiolas at 2 week intervals.

This is a good time to weed dandelions, before they flower and set seed!

You can fertilize any bulbs that are up.

Stake your peonies before they get too big. This applies to other tall growing plants. Get the stakes in the ground before they get too tall. (Remember to try rebar.)

Cut back your tall perennials like bee balm and phlox to control their height.

Harvest rhubarb by grabbing it at the base of the stalk and pulling firmly away from the crown, twisting just a bit. Be sure to throw the leaves into the compost as they are poisonous!

You can prune your spring blooming shrubs just as soon as the flowers have faded.

Dead head your lilacs.

Check your lilies for red lily leaf beetles. CRUSH them!

Don't forget to dead head your bulbs as well. Leave the foliage, but take out the spent flower heads.

Have you got Hosta's? Are there slugs chewing them? Try this solution, if you haven't already.
Combine 9 parts water to common household ammonia and spray it on the hosta just before dark. When the slugs hit this, they will dissolve!

Check the apple, cherry, and other fruit trees for nests of tent caterpillars. As soon as the tender, new leaves emerge, so will the caterpillars. Their destruction is just awful! Bt will work if you can get it up there. I also understand that the Praying Mantis is a big time enemy of tent caterpillars. Perhaps you should order some of those! They should be released into the affected tree at the same time the caterpillars emerge. If you place them before their dinner appears, they will find another yard to in which to chow down.

If you have to spray insecticide, do it AFTER bloom is finished to protect the bees!

Plant Annuals no sooner than May 30th!


http://monthlygardening.blogspot.com

So many interesting nature-related instructions, like plant tomatoes when the lilacs bloom. I heard one yesterday for the first time, spred corn gluten weed prevention when the Forsythia blooms. Anybody know of other nature-related helpful hints?
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  RJARPCGP on 5/1/2016, 8:40 am

May, 2016 is starting with below-average daytime temps and showers...
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  camprn on 5/1/2016, 9:22 am

May Garden Chores. 
http://awaytogarden.com/may-garden-chores2/

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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/1/2016, 12:19 pm

Here in Central Oregon, we wouldn't DARE plant tomatoes when the lilacs bloom. 

My lilac thicket is finally having a good bloom, its first since at least 2012.  And yesterday morning, the temp hit 25F. 

I'd forgotten to bring in a small tomato I was beginning to harden off, and the poor thing froze to death.
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 5/1/2016, 1:08 pm

Great link camprn, thank you. It has info about beets! Rock
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/1/2016, 2:05 pm

Hail hail the 1st of May, this is what I planted today


Hopefully they will grow and the bees will come because they sure aren't here yet.
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  Scorpio Rising on 5/1/2016, 2:18 pm

Thanks for the To Do Lists! I need to get those for our region....

Skippy's says tomatoes out next weekend! Yay! Cannot find Yukon Gold seed potatoes...need to go to New Leaf....heading out to the garden to check progress, hopefully an avatar!
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/1/2016, 2:54 pm

@donnainzone5 wrote:Here in Central Oregon, we wouldn't DARE plant tomatoes when the lilacs bloom. 
My lilac thicket is finally having a good bloom, its first since at least 2012.  And yesterday morning, the temp hit 25F. 

I'd forgotten to bring in a small tomato I was beginning to harden off, and the poor thing froze to death.

Donna, will your lilac blooms die from temps below freezing?

My lilac leaf buds are just opening now. It'll be awhile before I see any blooms. Probably around tomato planting time. Wink

Besides planting out quinoa and flower seeds today I also spread compost on the garlic bed due to some yellowing, and planted out more Pak choi and Black Seeded Simpson starts.  

I can't believe how badly the squirrels are digging in my SFG this year. I think I do about 10 repairs every time I go out there. I wonder what's different about this year than previous years. There must be something in my compost that hasn't been there before that they like. Wonder what it could be?
thinking

Just finished watching the Nurse Jackie series. Geez Louise that show is addicting!
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 5/1/2016, 4:00 pm

Wow, what a surprise today turned out to be. Low to mid 40's and a steady heavy drizzle. They use the term "raw" for this type of weather. There isn't a whole lot to do now, except build a nice fire in the wood stove, turn on a game, and relax. I am baking some bread, which makes the whole house smell good. I used some garlic powder, which amplifies the aroma of fresh bread.
     I don't even feel like going into civilization to a hardware store to get the parts I need for my watering systems. The great part about living in the middle of nowhere is it is nice to just see and hear nature. The running joke here is "folks who live in the boonies say we are further out in the sticks." I like quiet.
     If it wasn't so cool, I would be sitting out in my big old barn (built between 1865-70 by returning civil war vets, I was told) in the big doorway, (in an easy chair I got for 10 bucks,) and just enjoying the day. Kind of like a big old draft horse that comes in to just relax out of the sun in a comfortable place. The Ladies didn't even want to come out today. They are enjoying the fluffy pine shavings I put in the coup yesterday.
     Our little dog is laid out in front of the warming wood stove, dreaming of running, making little noises and twitching his feet. The cat is curled up on the corner of the bed, napping as cats do so he can be on mouse patrol tonight.
     This week I am gong to plant my "spuds", I am using potatoes that are growing from the eyes that I got from the grocery store. A friend used them last year and had a bumper crop. With seed potatoes costing so much I decided I will use these this year. I am going to start more beets this week as well. I think I am going to try and plant lettuce between every second or third garlic in one garden, kind of a watering "two-fer". Not sure of the compatibility. 
     I feel a Nap attack coming on, so off to bed for a few. Rock
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/2/2016, 12:14 pm

CC,

Interestingly enough, the single lilacs--those on the north/northeast side of the thicket--were frost-nipped, while the double ones, to the south/southwest, are gorgeous and looking better than ever.



However, they were a bit later to bloom.


Last edited by donnainzone5 on 5/2/2016, 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Trying to add photo.)
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 5/2/2016, 12:37 pm

@bigdogrock wrote:
     This week I am gong to plant my "spuds", I am using potatoes that are growing from the eyes that I got from the grocery store.

My wife did that last year as an experiment and we enjoyed a nice crop.
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 5/2/2016, 6:59 pm

Hi Trolleydriver, thanks for the encouragement!  Rock
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  sanderson on 5/3/2016, 1:12 am

Rock, Nice writing about the drizzly day and the joy of living.

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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  lyndeeloo on 5/3/2016, 8:09 am

Just topped an inch of rain in the guage this morning. Looks like we are getting our April showers in May. Everything is greening up so nicely. Tomato seeds have sprouted under the grow lights inside and the bok choy and radish seeds I planted outside have started to come up. I can see green tips pushing up on the onions, too.

Forecast is for rain on and off most of this week and we can certainly use it!
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/3/2016, 11:44 am

@lyndeeloo wrote:
Forecast is for rain on and off most of this week and we can certainly use it!
Amen!  My rain gauge was at 1/2 inch as of this morning.  It may rise to an inch today!
cloudy-bummer cloudy-bummer
weeee
And we owe it all to Sanderson's rain dance. Smile
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  sanderson on 5/3/2016, 1:05 pm

You're welcome. Laughing We got a surprise rain with wind a couple days ago. Only 0.05" but it was short and strong so it helped clean things.

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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  trolleydriver on 5/3/2016, 1:21 pm

@bigdogrock wrote:     This week I am gong to plant my "spuds", I am using potatoes that are growing from the eyes that I got from the grocery store.

Well guess what Mrs TD did today. She planted her "potato eyes" for the second year. She grows them in one of her regular soil beds in the same area as the raspberries.
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/3/2016, 5:01 pm

I wasn't sure whether or not to cover the broccoli (interplanted with lettuce & onions), then decided I'd better.  Hoola hoops before being covered in netting:

Marvel of the Four Seasons lettuce:

A couple of ornamental cabbages held over from last year for seed.  They are getting ready to put on a lovely flower show - who knew???
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 5/3/2016, 5:56 pm

OK, two things, potatoes and rain gauges.
     First, hope your "potato eyes" bring lots of happiness to you MR. and Mrs. TD. Here it is Tuesday and I have not got mine in yet, bummer. 
     Second, peer pressure is terrible (but don't stop, it is good for me!), I have officially put out the rain gauge. Now I will surely suffer sadistically sour consequences. That's right, it will rain and I will enjoy knowing how much I got, even though it really doesn't matter. Then I will be lulled into this false sense of happiness because I will get to read my trusty plastic rain gauge after every sprinkle, rain, shower, or whatever you want to call the precipitation of the moment involved. Then I will go out to my trusty rain gauge one morning, and it will hit me like a speeding vehicle (of your choice to imagine, but truck or train usually enters my mind at that time) as I walk out of the door and feel the instant chill that a hard frost (that WASN'T in the forecast) brings. My attitude now greatly waning, dissolves more with each step closer to the doomed gauge. As I look to the trusty plastic rain gauge, I see the milkish inner contents which should be clear, as water should be. My shoulders droop, I let out a heavy sigh as I reach for it. Another one bites the dust. Now comes that awkward moment, when a family member asks "How much rain did we get?"  I grumble, and walk away, and everybody knows that I do a wonderful job of keeping the local hardware store in business.
     That plays out EVERY year, sometimes twice, and on occasion a third time in the fall. Maybe someday I will learn...
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  camprn on 5/3/2016, 7:42 pm

CC those flowering cabbages may bring some bees. If it ever warms up again. Rolling Eyes

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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  lyndeeloo on 5/4/2016, 7:17 am

Rock, LOL! So true. I have lost a few rain guages by leaving them out too long only to discover they've become an ice cube tray, but my biggest problem is finding them in the spring. Putting them away for "safe" keeping usually means I forget where I stored them. Needless to say I have to go buy another each year. This year I found 3 stashed in the garage. All that said, I confess, I am secretly obsessed with finding the perfect rain guage. I think I "lose" them so I can continue my search for the holy grail of rain guages.
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/4/2016, 8:14 am

@camprn wrote:CC those flowering cabbages may bring some bees. If it ever warms up again. Rolling Eyes
One can only hope! Rumor has it that next week should warm up, at least for you off Cape folk. Although Matt Noyes said the other day that  it will be warmer and wetter for southeastern New England this May.  He really makes me laugh. Meanwhile, with all this raw weather, the Marvel of the Four Seasons lettuce has doubled in size in two days. I'll be harvesting some today.

This rain gauge dialogue is too funny, you guys. It's really not that difficult. Any straight-sided jar or can will suffice. I use ground ginger jars. They are exactly three inches high. The one in front shows the rainfall amount of the last two days = 3/4".

 I hold my thumb up to it from the knuckle to the tip, which is exactly one inch, to measure. I know it's accurate because my next door neighbor has an 'official' rain gauge.  We often put them together to compare and mine is always bang on. Easy peasy. And it doesn't matter if it freezes and breaks because there's always more.

I also use these little jars to store seeds & tinctures in and to carry around shots of espresso, etc. cutesie
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 5/4/2016, 7:46 pm

Well, no trusty rain gauge tragedies, it got into the lower 40's last night. This evening when I got home it told me that I received .35 inches of rain! It is only 42 out there now, so it is to cold for me to be out there planting potatoes. Bummer. I looked at the forecast for the next 15 days, only three are rain free, the rest all have at least a 40% chance of rain. Good, we need it. Too bad it can't rain while I am asleep or at work, then have the sun shine when I get home, that would be nice. Hey, a guy can dream can't he?
Rock
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Re: New England, May 2016

Post  bigdogrock on 5/4/2016, 8:15 pm

Hey Lyndeeloo, when you find the holy grail of rain gauges let me know, I want one too! Smile

CC, that is very enlightening about the straight walled jars. I am going to save them for my different gardens. Sometimes I think I get more rain at one side of my house that the other, then I feel like the next storm puts more on the side that didn't get as much the time before. I have actually seen one side not get rain one day while the other side gets a fair amount. A few winters ago we got 6" of snow, and only 100 yards  down the road they got a dusting, weird.
Rock
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Re: New England, May 2016

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