Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Status report

This spring we were receiving just about the perfect amount of rain, but now it has stopped, which means the daily watering has begun. A few things in pots get watered everyday, while in-the-ground items receive a shower every two or three days. I only water the shrubs when it is dry enough to cease mowing; there are only so many hours in the day.

The tomatoes like this weather. The Early Girl teases me with its green fruit, but all of them are blossoming. I've resigned myself to daily watering of the Topsy Turvys, but I'm a little frustrated with the Gardener's Supply upside down planters. They have reservoirs on top with wicks to pull the moisture to the soil, and simple hydrometers to register the amount of moisture in the bag. This system worked well at first, but now the hydrometers say the soil is dry even though the water in the reservoirs is disappearing (maybe through evaporation?) There are extra wicks, but I don't want to start using them up so early in the season. Guess I will have to drag a ladder out there and fiddle with the whole thing to see exactly what is going on. I'm guessing the soil at the top has shrunk away from the bottom of the reservoir, hence not enough contact between the wick and the soil to effectively transfer water. That's my theory anyway.

I have four tomato plants in hanging bags, three in big pots, and three in the ground with red reservoirs beneath them. They are all different varieties, so I won't be able to draw any conclusions from the harvest, but it is fun to try different methods.

One experiment is doing well, that of growing onions in pots for scallions. I planted onion sets around the rim of the tomato plant pots and have been reaping the fruits of my labor and eating them in salads. Ditto the herbs in pots. I have a planter of lettuce that needs a little sun protection, but I have high hopes there. I may add a few radishes to that mix because the ones in the ground bolt too quickly.

The pepper plants look kind of puny despite the helping of fertilizer they started with. I have not had much luck in recent years with peppers. The snap peas are starting to produce pods. They get some afternoon shade, so should be okay in spite of the heat. The cukes are at the end of the pea fence, and I think the shade is hurting them, as they are not getting very big very fast. The zucchini gets more sun and is doing fine. I'm ready to plant another hill of each. The rabbits have not yet eaten the beans, so I'll make another planting of those as well.

Speaking of rabbits, Bunny Daddy has fled the premises and now Mama lounges around under the arborvitae, getting fat. I brought her a bowl of water since she can't reach the bird bath.

Enough about the outside.

It's up to me to prep the quarter round for the family room flooring installation, and I have discovered something about myself. I hate to paint. There is either too much paint on the brush or too little. I apply either too much or too little. I dribble. I smear. I get paint in my hair. I lack both the patience and the steady hand to do a good job. To add to my misery, it is hot and humid. I'm barely moving and yet covered in sweat after about two minutes.

The baseboard is stained, but I am painting the quarter round because I plan to have the baseboard painted later on. Meanwhile, there will be "antique white" quarter round over dark walnut baseboard. That won't look strange, will it? Maybe it will motivate me to hire a painter in the near future.

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