Sunday, May 15, 2011

Water, water everywhere...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we really received that predefined one-inch-per-week of rain throughout the growing season instead of getting too much in May, not enough in August?  Fortunately, the weather forecast changes daily, this time from day-after-day of predicted rain to a break in the clouds tomorrow.  One problem with mowing high is the lawn looks long a couple of days after cutting, and the almost-constant showers are not helping any.

(Another problem with mowing high is finding dog poop - it is well hidden - so I patrol both before mowing and after, to find what I have missed.)

Yesterday, before the storms hit, I managed to stroll the nabe with Baby N, stopping to chat with one of the few neighbors who gardens.  Their vegetable patch (and yard and house) always look perfect; I have to remind myself not to compare their property with mine because they are both retired.  Anyway, the conversation naturally turned to rain and gardening.  They practice what I think of as "traditional" gardening - rototill in the spring, plant in rows.  Consequently, they have not been able to get the early veggies planted yet.  My unmolested raised beds, on the other hand, have onions, potatoes, peas, and lettuces going strong.  While my garden is not as pretty, it is productive.

The tomato plants I ordered from Seed Savers arrived last Wednesday, so Thursday I dug up the bed where I plan to plant the Amish Paste.  However, this time I marked the bed with string before I dug.  Since my raised beds are not planked in, they tend to bleed into the paths, making them appear smaller than they really are.  So, not only is there room for the Amish Paste, but for the Hungarian Heart and German Pink as well.  (My tomato patch sounds so international!)

I recently read in some gardening forum one man's solution to Canada thistle: smother crops.  He plants buckwheat in the summer and winter rye in the fall, and their dense growth chokes out the thistle.  Now that all the tomatoes will fit into one bed, I have a free bed to try this on.  There is also an area I am prepping for raspberries, so I can do the same there.  Each time I use RoundUP or WeedBGon, I suffer the guilts.

If it weren't so rainy out, I would provide you with a few pics of what is blooming right now.  You will just have to take my word about the bleeding heart, columbine, creeping phlox, lily of the valley, lilac, and spring phlox.  Or take a look at my May blog entries from years past.

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