It’s a sunshiny Flourishing Friday and on this upcoming Monday Canadians across the country will be celebrating our role in the Commonwealth and thinking fondly of dear Queen Victoria’s Birthday for Victoria Day, a Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25 in every province and territory, and … well, actually … mostly just having a day off from work, to be honest.
What the May Long Weekend more typically marks is the official start of summer weather, at least on the Canadian Prairies, where campers and gardeners and adventure seekers who have been hibernating for the long winter will emerge and begin the short seasonal sprint to warm weather fun.
For me, for at least a few hours this weekend, it means finishing the planting of my vegetable garden.
As of right now many of the heartier, stubborn, perennial, or fall-planters are already in the ground, and in some cases sprouting.
My garlic and onion patch has made a clear effort to get ahead of the spring rains and is aggressively showing it’s greens.
I transferred my rhubarb plant from my now-101-year-old granny’s garden about fifteen years ago as literally the first thing I ever planted in this space, and it has also decided to make its annual appearance on time and in force.
If you are a fan of this sour-stalked vegetable, or understand that it is an excellent baking balancer to sweet-fruited deserts, you won’t be surprised that of nearly all the garden products we grow this little plant has the longest queue of friends inquiring about “is your rhubarb ready yet?”
I’d like to write that my carrot patch is thriving, particularly after I spent a bit of time and money installing a low-flow irrigation system a couple weeks ago and covering the whole bed in bird netting to keep the swallows out.
While I’m sure a subset of the little green sprouts in the photo above are actually carrots, they are easily confused with another vegetable which I made the mistake of planting about five years ago that has never exited the garden fully: dill weed. Dill is lovely in small quantities, but each dill plant produces about ten thousand seeds and some of those seeds sprout this year, some sprout next year, some sprout in spring and others sprout in mid-summer. Some of those dill plants are a meter-and-a-half tall and easy to remove, while others grow barely taller than the carrots and hide in the foliage until one day you are delicately untangling their crowns from the other vegetable tops, spilling seeds into the soil in the process.
I’ll let a couple grow. I like dill. But about 99% of what has sprouted needs to be removed as soon as I can tell them apart from the neat rows of carrots that I planted.
At least they are well-irrigated, I suppose.