Beltane is the halfway point between the spring equinox and summer solstice. A time of fertility. The garden is really showing that and embracing the season!
Painted mountain corn flower
Things are flowering in the garden. The corn is flowering, spinach and pumpkins are flowering, horseherb is flowering.
Spinach going to seed for next year
A toad in the grass
I saw this little toad this morning. First I heard him, then I had to look close to see him under the grass by the comfrey patch. I saw our box turtle friend a few days ago in the privets, but didn't get a picture. Things are very alive.
I harvested a good deal of comfrey last week to fertilize the front corn patch. There's enough to harvest more, which I'll probably do this week to make a batch of comfrey tea.
Pumpkin flowers, planted by the chickens
This is a male flower. In my observation, squash put out male flowers earlier and more abundantly than the fruit bearing female flowers. Squash flowers are edible too, so when there's more on these pumpkins, we'll harvest the early male flowers to eat. I'm going to be pruning these plants to keep them from overtaking the garden like last year. I'll keep the vines trimmed back when each plant has one pumpkin on it. I still have Post Traumatic Squash Disorder from last year.
One of our few surviving amaranth plants
I think the red color of the amaranth attracts birds to eat the sprouts of our Hopi red dye amaranth. Next year I'll do another variety like opopeo. I think there's maybe a half a dozen of these small plants about, instead of the hundreds I planted. That's okay though, I'll have seeds for next year, and a crop to grow for wildlife. Remember, if something isn't eating your garden, it's not part of the ecosystem. The goosefoot is doing really well though, I'm excited because I keep finding it all over. It's a relative of amaranth, with both the greens and the seeds being edible.
Provider bush green beans flowering
These are the beans we're growing this year. I've got more to plant, and I'll be putting them in the front corn patch along with watermelons from seed we saved last year. I'm hoping for a more successful three sisters setup than last year. My planting schedule was all off last year when I planted the sisters all at the same time. You want the corn to be coming up before you plant the other sisters, or else the others will drag down and overtake the corn.
A carpet of horseherb, our summer ground cover
Painted mountain corn silk
Hopi blue corn patch
In addition to comfrey between the corn plants, I added compost between the rows to keep the grass down and build soil. I'm working on proactively staking the Hopi blue corn before it gets big enough to blow over. A lot of our painted mountain corn blew over in storms last week, and I had to put stakes to stand it back up. These stakes so far are all from the privet bushes and small hackberry and mulberry trees growing right next to this patch. The land provides.
It's exciting to be nearing harvest for some of the garden! This'll probably be our most productive year yet, but with plenty still to learn and improve on. The important thing is observation. See things happen, remember what works and what doesn't, and act accordingly.
Thanks for reading my little update! Hope things are going well for all of you as we come into summer.
Love from Texas,