Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mark's garden report

It is time for the garden report.

The new rain barrel is not yet installed.  It is in its spot, propped up an nice blocks, but I need to reconfigure the downspout to drain to the barrel.  I also need to re-fasten the spigot.

I planted three tomato plants.  One of them spent a couple of weeks looking yellow and sickly, but it has turned green again, and started growing.  I suspect it must have had root damage.  All three are looking good now.  Only one of them is a cherry tomato plant, and it is the only one to have any (small) fruit on it.  I rate my odds of having a ripe cherry tomato by July 4 at about 25%.  My odds of having a large, ripe tomato by that date are about .01%.

I was picking some asparagus in May, but I stopped before June ever got here, and now the asparagus patch has turned into what looks like a little enchanted woodland.  I’d like to spend more time weeding around it and then put down some mulch, but it’s obviously not struggling, so I’m not too worried.  My goal now is to keep the weeds there under control, let the asparagus run wild for the rest of the summer, and have even larger plants to harvest from next year.

I’m happy that my glad bulbs survived the unusually harsh winter.  I think some of them died, but most are growing and looking good.  The garden spot where they are growing is very weedy and overgrown, but there isn’t much I can do about that without damaging the gladioluses, so I think I’ll wait until late fall and dig the whole area up. Then I can turn over the weeds, separate the glad corms and cormels, and replant them (I hope with some mulch) next year.

I have sown seeds for purple coneflower and Shasta daisies.  I grew daisies when we first bought the house, but they failed to return the second year for some reason. I hope these do better.

Back in March (I think) I had a few potatoes on our kitchen counter, and they had started to sprout.  I covered them in a pot in our yard, and they grew until last weekend when I noticed that the leaves were turning yellow.  It was getting hot and the weather had been dry, so I decided it was time to dig them up. I ended up with enough to go with dinner last night.  I sliced and boiled them with onion, then oiled and baked them with rosemary until they had turned a little brown.  We had them as a side with fajitas, and they were quite good.

Spiderwort, bee balm, coreopsis, and daylilies are all blooming. They look nice.

There is a little blackberry sprig coming up in our yard, ten feet from the main plant.  I think I’ll give it to Helga.  She said she wanted some again, and the blackberry bush originally came from her.

I have some green onion and basil started from seed in a whisky barrel planter with some lavender.  They came from last year’s seeds, but they had been refrigerated, which I think is a good way to store seeds, and now they are growing.  They are all pretty scrawny, however.  It might be because I have not kept the soil in the barrel moist enough.

The kale I grew last year is growing again after dying back.  I did not know it was perennial.  It’s pretty scrawny, though, and is already starting to bolt.  That whole area is covered in a layer of leaves I piled there last fall, and that annoying ground ivy is growing over that, so that whole area looks sort of rotten.  It’s in the back of this area that I sowed the coneflower and daisy seeds. I might rake up the rest of that spot and put in more sunflowers, which I have started in a couple of other spaces.

I guess that’s all I feel is worth mentioning.

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