What a great month, May was. The sun came out, the flowers came out, and we started working at the Farmers Markets. Lots of learning this month as well, as things we should have done but didn’t became evident (net the snapdragons), as well as things that we did but probably should not have (planting techniques).
For this years flowers we had chosen a number of snapdragon varieties, including Chantilly White, Chantilly Yellow, and Apricot Blossom. All came in with lovely color and were a hit with us, with our friends at the farmers markets, and with the bugs. We planted these in one of the front beds we had affectionately dubbed Wolfie 1. Wolfie is our daughters little puppy, and seemed an apt name for the small beds out front. We planted these snapdragons in December, and kept them covered all winter under greenhouse plastic, and a frost cloth.
They looked puny throughout the winter. I believe we would have had earlier and stronger plants if we had planted earlier in the year – perhaps in September which is our plan for this year. When late April and May came around, it was if they had been taking steroids, and off they went.
I mentioned earlier, that we did not net these flowers. That was a mistake as the beautiful flowers which reached to almost 3 and a half feet had a nasty tendency to lay down. The flowers were still good, but were best used in smaller arrangements.
After the tulips and daffodils, the next field flowers into the game were Stock. We had several varieties, but Apple Blossom, Iron Purple, and Amazon Neon did very well. We did notice a marked difference in the vitality of the plants that had been grown in a high tunnel versus those grown directly in the field. The best example of this was the Iron Purple Stock, which grew in the high tunnel we affectionately call Charlie, named after daughters older puppy, an adorable Cocker Spaniel. I say adorable, only because he no longer lives with us.
The Iron Purple stock was vibrant in color, tall and looked good against the lighter colors.
May was a month to focus on planting. As I mentioned, we tried a number of ways to get the seeds and seedlings in the ground. Lots of sunflowers, lots of zinnias, lots of celosia, just lots of flowers. To keep spacing consistent, we used a template to burn holes in plastic, and then put the seedlings or seeds into the ground. For some flowers like zinnias that worked extremely well. For others, like sunflowers, it was painful. Our experience led us to trench out rows for the sunflowers and put the sunflowers into the ground. Lots of opportunites to learn.
One of the things I most enjoy about Farm Life is that it affords the opportunity to develop systems. Everything runs so much smoother with a good system. Taking the time to develop a system has saved time.
The biggest joy for me personally in May, was the full time arrival of my partner in crime April. May is sort of a big deal for us – my birthday, our anniversary, and Mothers Day. It also coincides with the end of the school year. April loves teaching and her school. It was great to have her to come home this May to help improve our systems, and just to hang out together.
Friends, I hope your May was awesome, and that June brings much joy into your life.