Garden Log, end of May

Not much got done in the way of gardening between May 23-28, so this week’s log is extending to include Memorial Day Weekend.

Saturday and Sunday nights of Memorial weekend hinted at a possible last frost, which thankfully did not come to my location. Memorial Day Monday wound up being perfect for getting seedlings into the ground: consistently overcast and a high of only 70.

Lesson Learned

Low germination rates due to waterlogged seed trays.

Over the prior week I realized I was keeping my seed trays overwatered. Here I was thought I was being oh-so-diligent, but not allowing the water in the trays to work their way up the soil and then evaporate led to lots of green algae on the surface and many seeds sogging up and rotting in the cell, so my germination rate for many things was pretty low. Other seeds, thankfully, were forgiving.

The empty holes in the top tray is what managed to germinate from the “Grandmother’s Cutting Garden” seed mix. The bottom was a collection of other seeds from a friend: Cosmos (3 rows), Bells of Ireland (2 rows), Nasturtiums (1 row), Forget-Me-Nots (3 rows) and Aubretia (last 3 rows).

I plan to empty out the remaining cells setting aside the seed-starting soil to dry out, and rinse out/sanitize the seed trays. I have enough seeds of most things to try again, now knowing better to keep cells damp but not waterlogged, but the Nasturtiums sadly were all I had.

Northeast Garden Bed

Clear soda-bottles with the bottoms cut off make for great cloches when transplanting seedlings or direct-sowing seeds. The protect and prevent wash-aways and dislodged roots, but still allows water to get close to where it needs to be. The removed caps allow for air circulation, bottle bottoms can also be used – just make several punctures using a nail in each of the bottle “feet”.

Behold! My soda-bottle garden! I transplanted seedlings from the “Save the Bees” mix started indoors.

Confession: I was a bit anal-retentive with the “Save the Bees” seed mixture – not only did I try to start individual seeds of the mix indoors in seed-starting cells, but I even spent several nights painstakingly SORTING out seeds, so that I could plant a row of cells of each to cluster them together outside.

Though – after several nights, even I had enough of sorting, and after filling a 72-cell tray, I resorted to randomly sprinkling into another tray. There is STILL lots of seeds left – so I might as well go ahead and try to broadcast sow the rest and consider it an experiment to compare between indoor and outdoor sow results.

I had greater success with germination with this lot as by the time I got the batch started, I had figured out my lesson to keep seed trays properly moist.

I also added additional lines of twine to the Sweetpea Teepee. I’ve been a bit neglectful of the Sweetpeas this year (sown late season last year), but they don’t seem to mind AT ALL, though I’m a bit baffled at how one side is so ridiculously thick and another side completely barren when I know how evenly I planted those seeds last year. Oie. After adding the twine, I sat and did my best to weave the Sweetpeas in and out of the supports.

There are also so many plants in this bed working on their buds and blooms!

Southeast Garden Bed

I had fewer transplants for this garden bed, but still have a lot of seed in the mix left. I am debating between seed-sorting and broadcast sowing. While I have a list of what flowers are included in the mix, I’m not yet able to identify what is what from seedling for yet, so it will all be a surprise as they develop!


Can you guess my next crazy plot? I took long branches acquired from pruning the lower-most branches of the pines and determined they were just the right height (and arc!) for creating trellis frames for climbing roses. I most likely will need to get and nail in some netting for the gaps, but I have time – I also need to order the roses. I’d also like to get some river rock to place at the bottom of the downspouts. Right now there are just left over bricks buried and/or heaped there from the previous home owners.

From the “Save the Bees” mix, I was able to identify Basil and Dill seeds during my sorting process, so I transplanted those seedlings into terra cotta pots. Now I have just one more pot to figure out what I want growing in it.

Oregano, Thyme, and Chive seedlings are doing their thing, but no sign of Sage. I even direct-sowed some seeds into the pot, but still no sign of life. I will have to make another indoor attempt.

Driveway Bed

I finished clearing the bed out of old cedar mulch and over-wintered leaves. Looks SO much better! Now to fill it with plants.

Pine Tree Bed

I finished pruning the lower branches of our two pines to match the lower branch height of the pine set off to the side. It’s nice to see Husband no longer have to duck or get thwacked in the face when mowing, and it’s much easier to maneuver beneath for future plantings. After clearing the branches away, for the first time since we moved here, I raked out the several-inches-deep layer of pine needles to clear the ground beneath the pines. All told, it came to 6 heaping wheelbarrow loads of needles!

I’m looking forward to getting more English Bluebells and Snowdrops for the space, and also want to add Lily of the Valley.

The lower branches of the pine to the far right were much higher than the two to the left, and even the two to the left weren’t at a similar height, making it all look a bit wonky. They look much better now with the lower branches gone. I even got a compliment same-day from a neighbor on how good the trees were looking!

2 thoughts on “Garden Log, end of May

  1. I am really excited about the rose trellis over the door, that will be lovely. My sweet peas are wayward weeds who do whatever they wanna, so I’m interested in your teepee. I’ll have to come out there soon and review in person


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