"You have a garden, don't you?"
Why, yes. Yes I do. How did you know?
I actually went to the grocery store in my gardening clothes the other day, and happened to look down at my knees. They weren't this dirty, but there was definitely evidence that I'd been working in the garden that day!
Yesterday was spent digging the first of my two corn beds. I won't have to actually dig bed #2, but bed #1 just happens to be in an area that was previously lawn, and contained a patch of Bermuda grass. When we rototilled the new garden plot, of course the grass roots were broken off and distributed all through that entire area in the garden. Each little (and sometimes big) root is now sprouting, so I'm trying to get them all dug out before growing crops cover them. The corn bed was particularly bad, so I dug down a good 8-10" and sifted the soil through my fingers, pulling out every piece of root I could find. It took the better part of the day to complete this 7'x8' section. Then I planted it with corn seeds. Of course, the sprouting corn and the sprouting Bermuda grass will be almost identical, so I can only hope I got most of the grass roots out of the patch. Fun, huh?
The roots of all evil.
My indoor sprouted corn was a bust. Of the 36 or so plants that sprouted, only about six survived. I had run out of the "potting mix that shall not be named", so I used a bit of potting soil that I'd originally purchased (and not had very good luck with) and mixed it with some peat moss and compost. All of the corn sprouted, but it turned brown on the tips and withered. Other seeds planted in that same mixture have failed to germinate at all. That would include my Grandpa Ott morning glories (some were direct seeded in the garden, thankfully), the Honey Bear squash and cantaloupe. Marigold seedlings that were up-potted into that same mixture also turned brown. Note to self: do not buy cheap potting soil at Lowe's, and follow your own advise to never use potting soil, only potting mix.
I had to do a bit of fence alteration yesterday. As you know, I used the plastic mesh fencing around the garden, and put a 1' high strip of welded wire fencing all along the bottom to keep Annie from going underneath. Otto has never tried it, but Annie would go under any chance she got. Well, she discovered she could push the wire fencing up just enough to get her body under it, then push up on it hard enough to bend it, then get in and out of the garden again. I removed the welded wire from the section she destroyed, and replaced it with folding wire fencing held in place firmly with bamboo stakes. I don't think she can push up on that! Eventually I'll probably replace all the welded wire fencing, it's just too flexible to withstand the force of Annie.
It's rainy, but warm, today. It looks like I'll get a day off from gardening so I can do something constructive....like cleaning floors, dusting furniture and vacuuming carpets. YUK! But first I'll brave the rain and take a few pictures of the garden.....
Onions and potatoes are looking great!
Sugar snap peas are beginning to climb, oregano loves the spring rain, lettuce (in the background, inside "The Thing") is giving us a couple of salads a week.
Rows from left to right are dwarf cabbages, celery and two beds of carrots. Nothing is planted between the bamboo sticks, but it will soon be planted with more carrots.
Peas are beginning to grow up their tepee trellis, radishes are being harvested every couple of days. Broccoli is finally beginning to grow, but garlic is not doing well after being transplanted. Beets are popping up in the foreground, and flowers have been planted in between the vegetables. In the covered bed, the beets are growing large, I'm harvesting a small amount of spinach, and the onions grown from seed are still doing next to nothing. Turnips in front of the bed are growing very fast. All of the perennial flowers along the fence are looking really good, and much larger than they were this time last year. Zinnias planted last week are still very happy here.
Behind the shed, the zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are happy campers. I drilled some small holes in an old hose and coiled it around the squash, under black plastic and straw, so this bed can be watered without getting the squash leaves wet. I'm hoping that will foil the powdery mildew that usually ends my summer squash season early.
The garlic that was transplanted here is doing much better than what I put in the triangle beds. Four varieties of basil are growing in the pots, with parsley under the ladder.
My hybrid cantaloupe seeds haven't yet germinated, but I had no trouble getting seed saved from a grocery store cantaloupe to sprout. I'll also plant a few of the packaged seeds near these, and if they do grow I'll probably pull these out, as I have no idea if they would be true to the parent melon (which was exceptionally good). I may even just let both varieties grow and see what happens, as they don't take up an awfully lot of room like the squash.