Garden Update – MAY WEEK 2 – Cut Flowers and Vegetables! Hooray!

Hey, everyone!

Welcome to the May Week 2 garden update! So much has happened over the last couple weeks! I’m almost completely done transplanting everything into the garden. Here’s some of my favorite pictures from this week –


Some of the green bean seedlings look really nice! The germination was pretty uniform, with some exceptions that I’ll talk about a little later in the post. I’m growing two varieties of bush bean this year. One is ‘Blue Lake 274’ – which seems to be a pretty “normal” bean, at least, in terms of color. The other bush bean that I’m growing is called, ‘Borlotto Di Vigevano Nano’. I can’t pronounce the name of them, and I’m not going to try. However, the actual pods themselves are striped with pink, and are absolutely beautiful.

If you remember my post about the dahlia order that I got from Leafari, you may be wondering how the tubers are doing. Well, it’s been about three weeks now and only one of the tubers has started to grow. The rest still show no signs of growth. Honestly, I probably won’t give them too much more time to see if they grow or not. The weather has been wet and warm, so if they’re going to grow – there’s no reason that they shouldn’t have already showed signs of it. I checked out the Leafari website last week, and it turns out the guarantee is only good for seven days after the package arrives. Lol, whatever.  So far, the only one growing is one of the ‘Belle of Barmera’ tubers. 

Here’s another look at the green beans. I love fast-growing summer crops like green beans – they make me feel better about myself as a gardener. It’s nice to see things grow into nice, big bushy plants.

This month, the biennial cut flowers that I planted last year have really started to bloom. This is a sweet william dianthus plant that I grew from seed that I had saved. The results have been really great. I’m sure that I’ll be sharing more pictures as they continue to grow. I love the range of bright pink colors, too!

I shared on YouTube not too long ago that I was trying to grow a lot of vines this year. A lot of the vines have germinated, and some of them have not. I’m sure there will also be another update on that coming sometime soon. Here are some of the black eyed susan vine seedlings. I’m not sure about the reason for the circles on the cotyledons, but they are pretty consistent on each seedling – so I’m just going to assume that it’s nothing I should be worried about. I’ve never grown black eyed susan vine before, so I’m not quite sure what I should expect. 

My hollyhock plants will be blooming soon. This is one of the few plants that survived after the backyard flooded during the winter. You can see that there are definite signs of rust on the foliage. Unfortunately, rust is just something that I have to deal with. Though I don’t know much about it, I’ve had many fellow Kentuckians tell me that they’ve never been able to grow hollyhocks without it happening. 

I recently made an impulse buy when I was at the home improvement store. I’m not proud of it, as I’m always trying to save money. In fact, I don’t even remember the last time that I went shopping for clothes. I need to go buy some socks. Anyway, they had trays of lisianthus. I couldn’t pass them up. Lisianthus are notoriously a giant pain in the butt to grow from seed. I’m still determined to figure out how to easily grow them without growlights. I’m sure that I’ll share it here if I ever figure it out. These lisianthus are the varieties called ‘Mint Cocoa’ and ‘Champagne Magic’. With names like that I feel like I have to mention that these are NOT EDIBLE. They’re strictly grown for ornamental purposes and for the cut flower trade. Remember, always research the things you plant in your garden. Safety first!

I finally transplanted my chrysanthemums, too! I wanted to take some cuttings from these plants, but time just seemed to get away from me. I still might do it when I pinch the plants (to make them branch) in about two weeks. 

The potatoes are FINALLY growing! If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you’ll remember that we planted potatoes back in March. I was able to get a fast start to planting by using the Ruth Stout method. However, our spring weather was so rainy and cold. I was beginning to worry that the seed potatoes might have gone rotten. Thankfully, they haven’t – and now they’re growing! Woohoo!

Another reason I love spring – ROSES! The roses have suddenly started blooming with the recent high temperatures. Temperatures usually don’t climb into the 90s this early in May – but the roses don’t seem to mind at all. Though the blooms look really great, the state of the plants is making me a little crazy. I didn’t prune them last year, and if I’m being honest – I don’t know the correct way to prune them. Therefore, the rose bushes are falling all over the place. The pink variety is called, ‘Queen of Sweden’ and the orange is ‘Lady of Shallot’. Or is it ‘Shallott’? I don’t remember how to correctly spell it, but they’re both David Austin roses. 

I’ve been working on my transparency this growing season. I tried taking a time lapse of the roses opening, and I completely failed. As you can see, my camera doesn’t fit the tripod – so I duct-taped it. The duct tape failed and the resulting video was a time lapse of grass growing. I need to buy a new tripod, obviously. 

The cowpeas germinated so well this year, thanks to the extra heat and warm soil. Last year’s cowpeas were a major disappointment, so I’m hoping that this crop will do much better. As you can see, I have them planted extremely close at about 3 inches apart. Ideally, I’d love to give them a little more space to spread their roots, but I simply don’t have it. 

I started the tithonia seeds this year in a cardboard box, lol. They transplanted great and are now beginning to put on true leaves. I think tithonia are so pretty when they start blooming in late summer. 

The onion seedlings are still looking pretty small. I’m going to find a good source of food-safe nitrogen and begin a feeding routine.

Every year, I have this issue with some of my green bean plants. The seeds germinate, but things don’t quite look “right”. Most often, it looks as if there is no growing tip on the seedling. I’ve done a lot of Googling about this, and my best guess is that the issue results from seedcorn maggots. Gross, right? Nothing makes me cringe like the word ‘maggots’. No. No. No. Anyway, turns out that one method to avoid this damage is to just wait, and plant the seeds a little bit later. Perhaps I’ll have to give that a try next year. Do you have any experience with this issue? I’d love to know about it in the comments. 

I planted a packet of zucchini. I’m not the biggest fan of the stuff, myself. My mom likes it, though – so I figured I might as well grow some. Who knows? Maybe I’ll try some interesting zucchini recipes this year.

Since many of my flowers were winter sown, a lot of them are already blooming. My petunias, nasturtiums, and stock have all started to bloom. I’m frustrated that the stock is blooming, because the plants are still so small. It looks like my only option for growing large stock plants for cut flowers is overwinter them. 

The pea plants have been absolutely hating this hot weather. In addition to the heat, I haven’t even been able to water the plants, as birds have made a nest right above the garden bed. Every time I go near the plants, the birds get verrrryyy upset. The purple flowers are ‘King Tut Purple Podded’ peas and the white flowers are ‘Green Arrow’. ‘Green Arrow’ peas are always a really reliable crop for me.

One of the most common themes that occur here on the blog is the whole “lack of space” thing. I have one flower bed that is a complete mix of all the different flowers that I needed to plant. The “spikey” things are gladiolus.

The tomato plants are finally starting to get some nice size. I only have about ten tomato plants this year. I grew way too many last year. I have no idea what type of plant this is, but it most likely came from an heirloom variety pack.

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