Sweet Potatoes for 2017

Here is a post that is a couple weeks late.

I was a bit worried this year that I might not find sweet potato plants. A friend from work and I usually keep an eye out and buy them locally when we see them. After striking out at the usual spots I was finally able to find some. I have to say, these plants look to be some of the best we have had. Time will tell if they actually produce in the fall.

These were planted Memorial Day Weekend, May 28th.

Finally found some sweet potato plants at one of the local Lowes

Finally found some sweet potato plants at one of the local Lowes

Decent looking sweet potato plants this year

Decent looking sweet potato plants this year

Deep hole for the tall plants

Deep hole for the tall plants

Just the top leaves are left above ground

Just the top leaves are left above ground

All 12 plants planted

All 12 plants planted

Post frost update 

After a very cold morning, the garden seemed to do well enough. In addition to getting the garden supports all back in place, I also decided it was time to put in a second planting of green beans. This time I planted a single row of bush green beans between the bean and pea towers.

Bush Green Beans to supplement the pole beans

Bush Green Beans to supplement the pole beans

The cucumbers were also not looking happy and I already lost one of the plants and one of the seedlings. I planted a few more seeds in the hopes that the warmer weather now will be kinder to them.

The rest of the garden is looking pretty good. Below are a few status updates.

Tomato glad to be past the frost and ready for the 80s next week

Tomato glad to be past the frost and ready for the 80s next week

Sweet corn a bit patchier than I would like

Sweet corn a bit patchier than I would like

Lettuce and radish looking good

Lettuce and radish looking good

Onions perked up

Onions perked up

Peas still looking good.  I think they liked the cooler weather.

Peas still looking good. I think they liked the cooler weather.

All in now

Another great day today and I decided to roll the dice and go all in with planting the garden. The 10 day forecast has nothing colder than 44 degrees and many more days in the 70s and even 80s. So, after work I went out to the garden and got to planting.

Planted today:

  • Pole green beans
  • Zucchini plants and seeds
  • Cucumber plants and seeds
  • Yellow squash seeds
  • Sweet corn
  • Kale

Most of these are just repeats of the tried and true from previous years.  I will record a bit more details about the Sweet Corn since this is just year two and last year didn’t go as well as I would have hoped.  This years variety is Kandy Korn.  Lesson number one from last year was to not over plant and make sure to leave a little room for the plants to grow.  This year I cut back on the number of seeds I planted and have about 18 seeds planted in each of the four rows.  I also tried to stagger the seeds by placing the adjacent row’s seeds in the middle of the two neighbors.

According to the Kale seed packet, it is recommended to plant it in a container.  I retrieved one of the old pots from the garden and planted some Kale in it.  I will follow up in a couple weeks with a second back to try and extend the harvest a bit.

Pole beans planted around the bean tower

Pole beans planted around the bean tower

Zucchini home for 2017. Plants in back, seeds up front.

Zucchini home for 2017. Plants in back, seeds up front.

Cucumbers. Three plants and four seeds planted.

Cucumbers. Three plants and four seeds planted.

Sweet Corn. This year's variety is Kandy Korn.

Sweet Corn. This year’s variety is Kandy Korn.

Watering the seeds

Watering the seeds

Easter planting of radish, lettuce, peas and … tomatoes?

The weather recently is more like late May than middle of April. With temperatures over 80 degrees yesterday (record high temperature) and upper 70s today, you couldn’t ask for better weather on Easter weekend. Saturday I spent some time tilling up the garden beds. I’ve been neglecting the soil for a while now and in the years past I haven’t had a lot of time to spend in the garden when it was dry before jumping straight into planting. With the weather being so warm this year, I really didn’t have any excuses. I picked up 10 bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil from Lowes and worked two bags into the five beds that haven’t already had something planted.  By the end of the day, those beds looked pretty good and ready for planting.

10 bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil

10 bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil

Two bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil tilled into the bed.

Two bags of Sta-Green Garden Soil tilled into the bed.

Five beds tilled up and ready for planting

Five beds tilled up and ready for planting

So, my seedlings have not been looking good since I transplanted them into the bigger pots. I tried more water. I tried less water. I moved them outside to the deck where they could get some fresh air and real sun. Nothing I did seemed to help.

A tray of not so great looking tomatoes

A tray of not so great looking tomatoes

Yellow and sickly looking seedlings

Yellow and sickly looking seedlings

What to try next?  Well, with the warm weather we have been having I figured what the heck, let’s just plant them in the garden and see if that helps. So today, Easter Sunday, I decided to go ahead and plant half of the tomato seedlings.  I’ll try and nurse the remaining inside as a backup should a freeze or frost still happen this spring.

Before I get too far ahead of myself though, I needed to update the new garden planting plan for 2017.  Below is my plan for this year.

Garden planting plan for 2017

Garden planting plan for 2017

Today I planted two plants of each of the three tomato varieties, Brandy Boy Hybrid, Oh Happy Day Hybrid, and Cherry Baby Hybrid.  In addition to the tomatoes, I also planted some more seasonally appropriate vegetables.  I planted the Sugar Snap Peas, Radish and more lettuce.

Peas planted and ready to grow

Peas planted and ready to grow

Little tomatoes planted a little too early

Little tomatoes planted a little too early

Second round of upgrades

Today I got a chance to finish transplanting the rest of the seedlings into some larger pots. Since the weather was much nicer today, I took advantage of doing the task outside on the deck.  Eight more tomato plants and two of the lettuce plants scored an upgrade.  Four of the lettuce seedlings were left over and instead of finding some place inside to cram them, I figured I’d let them take a chance out in the garden.  With 70 degrees today, a forecast with snow on Friday morning and then back to 70+ on Sunday, it might be a bit too early but we’ll see how they do out there with the onion plants.

In news from the past garden season, tonight’s dinner featured sweet potato fries from last year and canned green beans from the year before that.

Upgrading seedlings outside on the deck

Upgrading seedlings outside on the deck

More tomatoes getting some room to grow

More tomatoes getting some room to grow

After some time outside, this is the complete set of seedlings

After some time outside, this is the complete set of seedlings

Lettuce vanguard

Lettuce vanguard

Hands dirty

The weather is always full of surprises.  After a quick peek at the garden last night, I felt there was little chance it would dry out enough today to get the onions planted. To my surprise, when I checked today after work there was an area big enough for the onions that was good enough.

Again this year, I planted two rows of each kind of onion. There are red, white and yellow. Now all I need is some rain from mother nature (forecast for tomorrow evening) and we’ll get them growing.

Six rows of onions

Six rows of onions

Row of onions

Row of onions

Needing some room to grow

I’m afraid I might have started some my seeds a bit early. The tomatoes are fine but the lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini seem to be growing faster than spring weather is getting here.

To give some of the plants a bit more elbow room, I transferred about half over to some 3 inch pots.

I also received my onion plants in the mail this past weekend.  I checked the garden tonight and it is still too wet to plant.  Tomorrows weather looks like a great day, but I am not too confident that a single day will dry out the soil enough to prep it for planting.

Crowded seedlings

Crowded seedlings

Angle view of the crowded seedlings

Angle view of the crowded seedlings

Transplant in progress

Transplant in progress