Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sitting in the garden on a near-perfect day

I only say near-perfect because there's no such thing as perfect. It's pretty close right now, though. Boo said earlier how wonderful it is, and it is. 77 right now, a little breezy, hardly a cloud in the sky.

The last few days have kept me from really doing anything in the garden. I was out of town for four days, in which we got torrents of rain...and when I came back it was hot and muggy enough that I wussed out on weeding. Well, that got the best of me, for sure, because the weeds out there are MANY. As in, much. Mucho. Lots. Well, they were, at least, until I weeded, and now it's not so bad. I love my scuffle hoe. :)

The excellent thing is that my early-planting experiment, which some of you may remember (with the Wall-o-Waters and the homemade milk-jug and pop-bottle greenhouses) has astounding results. Here it is June 10th in Zone 5b, and those tomatoes are already as high as my hips and blossoming! (And I am 6 feet tall.) The tomatoes set out normally are about a foot and a half high. Guess what I'll be doing with ALL my tomatoes next year. :)

Had some casualties, though. Not a single dill seed produced. Culprits? Birds, I think. They seemed really pleased with my dill patch once it was planted. Some of my patty-pan squash didn't come up, and the same with muskmelons and cucumbers. Short story: planted them in mid-May, and while we didn't get a frost, we had two weeks of wet, cold weather. I checked the seeds near the end of the month. Rotted in the ground. Same with the herbs I planted. Not much of anything. So...a quick trip to the nursery (Vite up in Michigan), a little resowing, and there are now some muskmelons, cucumbers, and patty-pans, as well as rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram...and a couple ornamental peppers by the front door on the porch.

The potato experiment (tires and trash can) is a mixed bag, though. The trash can taters are thriving like crazy, but the one stack of tires? Not so much. I think I just finally overextended them. I filled in dirt one last time and the plants never came up again. Maybe I'll put some squash or something in there, too--hate to see something like that go to waste. The other two tater tire projects, though, are also thriving--only two tires high. Maybe I'll even get a couple of taters.

2 waves of poppies, coral belles are incredible, and the, uh, let's call them "native grasses" are doing just fine.

Tomatoes by June! It's not just a hope, it's a rallying cry!

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