Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Planting the Chard

I did get out yesterday morning very early to plant my chard. I wanted to get them in before the rain started. The soil in the bed was very dry. Since we were getting rain I didn't worry about it. I didn't water the plants in either. I just left the soil block in its little hole without bringing the soil next to it. The rain washed the soil into the hole for me and watered.

The above photo really shows you how much I'm using row covers this year. I have mixed feelings about it. I really wish I could leave them off, but I know how much better the plants do when I have them. Two of the row covers you see are for the leaf miners (chard and spinach). Many of the leaves would be ruined without them. The leaf minters start laying eggs around mid May, but it varies. The other is over the onions for the onion flies. Even without the flies my storage onions have issues with rotting in storage because of the diseases we have. With the holes the flies make, they wouldn't make it more than a month or two. So I'm continuing to use them and appreciating them. But part of me wishes I could just leave them off.

My MIL flew in on Monday. I had a pile of dirty flats piling up by my back door. Guests are always a good way to get you to clean up things you have been putting off.

Not much is going on for the rest of the week until the mulch comes in on Thursday. I've planted all that I can until the mulch is spread. I do have one plant still on order that could show up - a serviceberry. So I have a couple of days off which is kind of nice as the weather is bad and I've been doing things every day for the garden since the good weather came in.


  1. Hi Daphne
    I use row covers too. What do you use to cover your plants.
    I've used re-purposed sheer curtains, but maybe they may block too much light? I'm looking for another low-cost durable alternative.

    1. I use fabric netting (like tulle but the holes are bigger). It is really cheap at about a dollar a yard, but not durable at all.

  2. I have a little love/hate relationship with row covers also. I use them to keep the birds from munching, but the biggest problem is that they keep beneficial insects out but somehow the aphids always find a way in. Birds are the biggest pest here, but aphids are number two, it's a dilemma at times to decide to cover or not.

    I can see that you've been really busy planting!

  3. yes, guests and visitors are a really good way of getting neglected housework done, i will agree!!!
    i'm lucky i do not suffer too many bad insects beyond aphids 0 and i am learning to co-exist with them, as they bring little birds to the garden. but i need to put stuff around the base of my seedlings to protect against scruffing blackbirds.
    i must plant new silverbeet (chard) soon too.

  4. I've tried row covers before, didn't seem to make any difference for me, the flies and aphids still get inside so I gave up.

  5. I have been thinking row cover as well. I rearranged my planting plans so I have similar items needing covering in the same bed. The cover helps with flea beetles and cabbage moths, so the brassicas get covered. I will do the same with the chard and beets. I cover the squash until they start flowering, when I have to uncover them. Hand pollination is too much work

  6. Yup, row covers are a pain and a blessing all at once. I spent quite a bit of time today recovering some of my beds as the winds have been brutal & the covers keep coming off.

  7. That reminds me, I need to cover my onions before the leek moths start laying eggs (they lay them on onions too). I don't like covering things over but otherwise a crop can be ruined so easily. I do try to leave as much uncovered as possible though. Some people net all their fruit but I don't bother, there's enough for me and the wildlife! Onions however are a different story as the whole lot can be lost.