Kitchen Garden

Too Much Spring Rain

Seedlings Waiting for Dry Soil

On a glorious spring Monday I began spading the next garden plot. The soil was too wet to work so I stopped after four feet.

Excessive spring rain not only affects gardeners, farmers are feeling it too. Vegetable growers were either “mud-planting” or not planting at all. Less than half the anticipated corn crop was planted by May 12, according to Iowa Public Radio. It’s only the fifth time in the last 40 years that has happened.

I planted spring onions, Daikon radishes (KN-BRAVO, 49 days) and Rudolf round (24 days) and D’Avignon (21 days) radishes in three in-ground containers.

The apple blooms continue, although when the wind blows it is a snowstorm of petals creating drifts under the trees. This year has been one of the longer blooms I remember. There are so many blossoms it wouldn’t be bad if some of them didn’t pollinate, sparing me the chore of thinning the buds once they form. The good news is after the long growing season, there should be apples.

After my soil blocking shift Farmer Kate have me a guided tour of her farm. I took photos, which can be found on my Instagram account here. She farms about nine acres in large plots. A lot of it is planted and what isn’t remains in cover crops until its time. Although I’ve worked at Wild Woods Farm for a couple of years, this was the first time I saw the entire acreage.

I started a tray of seeds that didn’t germinate well at the greenhouse. Yellow squash and tomatillo seeds did not germinate at all at the greenhouse. The squash looked a bit funny when I planted them, so I’m trying again. I also used up the arugula seeds, and planted a few blocks of okra and pumpkin as an experiment. Like many things in gardening, we experiment and watch the results.

I’m ready for the second wave of planting as soon as the ground dries. Then it will be a mad dash to get everything in. Even though rain holds us back, the season’s not hardly begun so there’s hope of a bountiful year in the garden.