The Beltane

The midpoint between spring and summer

If you look at a calendar, you will notice that we have just crossed the midpoint between spring and summer. Celtic traditions call this the Beltane, May 1st, and as the days draw us nearer to the summer solstice, it is time to take stock of spring’s seedlings while asking higher powers for an abundant summer.

As an edible landscaper, this is a moment where gardening is in full motion. Where we are busy helping clients build new raised beds, nourish their soil, and implement or reinvigorate their veggie paradises.

This sweet spot of May also heralds another transition, that is, the seeding and transplanting of warm weather crops! Cherry tomatoes, medicinal basils, stripped eggplants, pattypan squashes…, warm weather crops include the pantheon of summer’s darlings. And at PDX.FARM we are in heated debate over which summer varietals we are going to plant – Thai Basil or Perilla? Lemon Cucumbers or Slicers? In many cases, these considerations are as much preference as they are climate specific, and it’s important to choose the varieties that will flourish during our variable, sometimes cooler, Portland summers. For instance, Japanese eggplants tend to do better in this area. Meanwhile, listening to Marisha Auebach talk last night, I learned that Russian tomato varieties tend to excel in Portland – makes total sense given the similar summer weather spells these territories experience!

Clearly, there is so much experimentation and nuance when it comes to warm weather crops (from spacing to trellising). So whether you need help reducing the stress of transplanting (on plant and person) or you are looking for some education on spacing and companion planting, we are here to support the ever unfolding process of establishing and maintaining a bountiful garden.

And wherever you are in the process, remember to refrain from haste! While May marks the beginning of warm weather crops, it’s also important to keep track of soil and air temperatures. Even though tomatoes may be on the mind, it’s important to not plant too early, as any early planting can weaken the plant’s immune system. In which case, pay heed to seed packets, do a little research, and enjoy the final jars of last year’s canned tomatoes. As you do so, feel free to reach out to us, as we are ready to advance your edible gardens!
With care,