So many things have changed since I got back. Some good, some not so much. The flowers are bursting open. My backyard is filled with the scent of lily of the valley. I even cut some to bring in. I love the look of my chives right now. I swear I love the plant in bud more than when the blooms finally open. My peonies are in bud as are my lilacs. My dianthus is slowly getting more and more buds. Everything is just so pretty and green.
Yesterday you saw my pretty spinach. Well the brassicas are going like gang busters too. The photo seems a little deceiving to me. It makes things look small, but the plants on the right are cabbages and the plants in the back are Komatsuna (mustard spinach). The Komatsuna is about a foot tall. it is not a tiny little thing. It is huge. The only insect so far to find my brassicas under the row cover is the slugs. The flea beetles haven't yet found an entrance. Last year they did, so I'm guessing this year they will too, but so far so good.
The bad in the garden is the arrival of the cutworms. Last year this happened on May 8th. I was gone at the time so not sure when they started. They will get worse before they get better. You can't see a cutworm in the above photo, but if you look in the bottom right corner you will see that I'm missing a chard plant. There is a little bit of one left. The growing point wasn't cut off so it will grow back. But the cutworm systematically cut off each of the leaves and ate them. I found the little nasty worm in the soil near the base of the plant and squashed him. Over the next month I'll find more and more. Hopefully they won't cut down anything important.
I have several ugly things happening in the garden. The tomatoes from a distance don't look that ugly, but some disease has started already. You can see a little bit of it on the right most plant. It was mostly in the 60s and drizzly when I was on vacation. Tomatoes don't like that much so they aren't fighting it off well. I've clipped off a few of the most affected leaves. I hope it warms up soon.
My tomatoes that are under the row cover and in real soil are faring better, but some are still affected. The peppers that share the row cover are a bit too close to the fabric. We had some wind when I was gone and the fabric bashed against the poor pepper plants. The above photo shows one of the poor bashed plants. If you look closely you can see a leaf on the ground that was banged off the plant and the growing tip is distorted and turned.
My basil is pretty ugly too. I thought I had hardened it off sufficiently. I had it out slowly over time for a week. It looks like sunburn, but there wasn't much sun while I was gone so it is probably a reaction to the cold. Basil hates cold. Though it is ugly and will slow the plants down a bit, I really doubt this will kill the plant. If we get some warm weather the basil will perk up and outgrow its abuse.