Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Maintenence Marathon: Part 1

This week I've been creating a list of things to do in the garden. Since there is an extra day because of the holiday weekend, I thought I'd get tons of things I've been neglecting. After all, spring is passing and summer is just beginning. The bleeding heart blooms are starting to fade and the blanket flower has it's buds. There's a subtle changing of the guard happening in the garden right now and it isn't waiting for me to be ready.

I've worked my first full day of the weekend and have reviewed my list to mark off what I've accomplished. I then giggled a little hysterically. This may have been due to dehyrdration. It was horribly hot today (89 and humid) and is expected to be for the remainder of the weekend. After struggling a bit to be productive at all outside during the hottest hours of the day, I decided to put a siesta into action. I went inside and took a nap, not returning outside until about 3:30. Armed with this knowledge gained through first-hand experience, I plan on doing this Sunday and Monday too.

A bright spot in my day was a visit to the local farmers' market with my Better Half. We made it there fairly early purposely to avoid the huge Saturday morning crowds. We purchased two hanging baskets of wandering jew for the front porch. We also picked up our summer vegetable starters including kale, Mulato Costenao (heirloom) pepper, Ace pepper, Thai Basil, flat leaf parsley, cilantro, chives, Mr. Stripey (heirloom) tomato, Black Cherry (heirloom) tomato, and a Pink Brandy (heirloom) tomato.

When we planted the vegetables this evening, I took the advice of the tomato ladies and my gardening friend Mrs. R. They said when planting tomato or pepper plants to plant the seedling deep into the ground, in some cases up to two inches deeper than the current potted soil line. On all of our plants, this was around the area of the first big branches of leaves. If you do this, roots will grow along the length of the newly buried stem. It makes the plant sturdier and allows it to fair better in hot, dry weather.

The map for the two 4'x4' raised vegetable beds is in it's third revision. The first planting of everything except for the radishes and beets did not do well. We think at April 1st, we were a bit anxious and planted too early. My Better Half replanted everything else again about a month later. This time we received some onion and snow pea sprouts. Not until it warmed up quite a bit did we get carrot sprouts. The green onions have not done anything.

So, in addition to our finds from the farmers' market, we planted cucumber, okra, and pole bean seeds. The okra replaced the radishes. The chives replaced the nonexistent green onions. The kale was placed behind the climbing snow peas so it would receive only dappled sun. The basil was booted over to the other bed along with the peppers. The tomatoes were planted in front of the snow peas to offer a bit of break from the growing summer sun/heat. Now I have to build some structures for the beans and cucumbers before they sprout and are ready to climb.

Here's what else I accomplished today:
  • potted black-eyed susan vine for pergola
  • potted the Picasso petunias
  • potted the leftover Coleus
  • took out all but one Forget-Me-Not from Loki's bed
  • assembled rain barrels
  • collected all the rocks from the pergola project and raked out the loose soil
  • emptied all the planters I'd grown spring bulbs in
  • prune peonies, irises and last of spring bulbs in backyard

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