After five rainless days, the mud in my garden had dried out enough to qualify once again as soil… but just barely. There were no sucking noises when I dug, the holes held their shapes, and the soil actually crumbled (well… some of the soil crumbled).
My small kitchen garden dried out quite a bit over the past week; we had no rain for five days! Encouraged, I decided to move my brassica seedlings into the main garden bed.
The highest point of my garden is at its southeast corner, so naturally I started there. The soil was dry enough that I could loosen it to remove weeds, dig holes, and set seedlings without hearing sucking noises. But it was still very wet. In most years, I’ve planted in far drier soil in early April.
Slow Going in my Kitchen Garden
Even after setting in my broccoli and cauliflower, I wasn’t motivated to work more in the main planting bed; it was just too sloppy. And, while I waited two more days for the garden to dry out, more rain arrived.
Five rainless days for my small kitchen garden to dry out, and still the soil is very, very wet. Nearly every scoop I removed to dig holes for my broccoli and cauliflower seedlings stuck to the trowel—even when I tipped it to point at the ground. Rain has started again and there has been standing water in some low spots so it looks as though I won’t be planting anything else in the garden for some time. I’ve shifted attention to container gardening, and when the rain is light I’ll prep and plant my newer planting bed which seems to drain more quickly than the main planting bed.
At this point, the broccoli and cauliflower look happy; they don’t seem to mind having wet feet. Sadly, we’re about two weeks away from tomato and chili pepper planting season which is supposed to mark the beginning of the end of the pea harvest.
It seems unlikely I’ll plant peas this year. Even a wilt-resistant variety won’t be happy maturing in July. And, in an average year, I’d plant winter squash after removing the peas around July 1st; were I to plant peas now and were they to survive into July, they’d have a rather awkward relationship with the squash.