Open Thread

Got up at the crack of dawn to get the garden in, finally. Still have several rows left, but I’ll get it tomorrow. The onions, peppers, brussel sprouts, and most of the tomatoes are in. Another row of tomatoes and then a couple of beans and that will be it.

23 replies
  1. 1
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    I filled the last hole in my perennial herb garden on Sun – now we have a lemon verbena (mmmm verveine tea!) in the bed with the bay shrub and curry plants.

    If only the grapes weren’t so sad – they were very happy until 2 weeks ago when glorious sunny spring turned into normal british cold and wet spring.

  2. 2
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Got our home plot and community garden plot in yesterday. Hoping the seeds don’t rot at the latter. All the plots on the down hill side (which ours is one) had some standing water. Wettest April and May on record in the Green Mountain state.

  3. 3
    shortstop says:

    Good job. Putting my extensive container herb garden in tonight, iffen the rain stops in time. God, I love summer.

  4. 4

    Not gardening related, but last night The Somebody and I saw Herzog’s cave movie. While the movie was very good and interesting, Herzog’s voice was so … unique as narrator, I couldn’t help but imagine him narrating a video of Sarah Palin’s bus tour, or the GOP presidential race. If I could do a decent impression, it would definitely be quirky high-brow lulz.

  5. 5
    Rosalita says:

    in the Northeast the rain finally stopped, the sun came out and my peonies opened up Sunday morning – gorgeous!! The dark pink flowers mingled with the lavender cat-mint blossoms make a beautiful display. I haz a happy.

  6. 6
    Valdivia says:

    Was just perusing the internets on this sweltering day and saw an article on Palin and her ‘to-run-or-not-to-run’ thing linked by Greg Sargent (it’s on RCP, so I won’t link it myself)and the interesting nugget for me was that apparently it’s her husband who really really wants her to run. Boy does that send red flags up for me, not that they weren’t there before but that just makes it clearer that this is all about power grabbing for them.

    ETA–apparently the Corsi book debuted at #6 on the NYT list. Isn’t that a sign of failure though? Usually these crazy books go straight to #1 no? Am I wrong?

  7. 7
    PeakVT says:

    A piece of paper swept up by the Joplin tornado traveled 525 miles.

  8. 8
    geg6 says:

    We got the main garden plot roto-tilled this weekend (the smaller ones were already done). And with the weather finally cooperating, we can actually get the peppers and tomatoes in. We had the asparagus, beets, potatoes, and carrots already in one of the smaller plots. Hopefully, it will be zucchini, snap peas, and beans this weekend. I have another 4-day weekend (gotta use up my vacation days before I start losing them!) coming up this weekend and, hopefully, it will all be done by then.

  9. 9
    Poopyman says:

    I finally got the raised beds built, filled, and forked, but it turned too damned hot to plant anything other than the seedlings.

    If only the grapes weren’t so sad – they were very happy until 2 weeks ago when glorious sunny spring turned into normal British cold and wet spring.

    Our grapes are going great guns. Unfortunately, it’s wild grape, and it’s growing through all of the boxwood and any other shrubbery in the yard.

  10. 10
    Joel says:

    I’m assuming you’re using a heat-tolerant variety of brussels sprouts? Even the summers up here in the pacific northwest can give them a hard time…

  11. 11
    R-Jud says:

    Now that the Bank Holiday weekend is over, the rain has stopped, which means I’ll need to spend my evening weeding.

    For whatever reason, I have had zero issues with slugs this year. Normally by this time I am locked in slow-motion combat with the bastards, digging trenches around the lettuces, etc.

    @TheMightyTrowel: I’m similarly bummed about my raspberries and strawberries. They were booming until about two weeks ago; it looks like I should still get plenty of fruit, but smaller than I hoped.

    Dunno about you, but here in the Midlands, the weather for the week looks markedly brighter and warmer. Let’s hope they’re right.

  12. 12
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    Hey, John, you have a pretty huge garden, yes? Pics please when you’re done?

    I have a smallish vegetable garden, just three raised beds, adding a fourth this year. The only available space for them is between the house and some large trees so sunlight is not as plentiful as I would like, but we make do. I am planting bush tomatoes and bush cukes this year. Going to tackle pickling!

    Turned over, worked, and planted the second raised bed last night, adding lots of compost from my awesome tumbler composter. It felt so great to be reusing all that kitchen waste and leaves and shredded paper and tea bags and pizza crusts and what not, all crumbled down to rich, black loam, in my garden bed. I am going to use Miracle Grow on the veggies in one bed, and rely on the rich compost mix in the other two, and see how things go for comparison.

    Most of my backyard is patio and lots of perennial/annual beds, and that’s where I spend most of my puttering time.

    Guess I really am a middle aged old fart now.

  13. 13
    Kristine says:

    We finally have warm weather in NE IL, and my broccoli raab and lettuces shot up. The tomato seedlings are maybe 3-4 inches high. Warm expected through the week, so they should keep with the growing. Planted impatiens in the front yard planter, then spread the deer repellant. It worked last year, so hoping for a repeat performance.

    Saw my first hummingbird y’day. They always make me happy.

  14. 14
    alwhite says:

    Sounds like another bankster in town for the week had a bit of a ‘misunderstanding’ with the help:

    WTF, if your job is based on fucking people over (not that it HAS to be, just that is the way you like it) then you just assume all the women on the planet are there of your enjoyment also?

  15. 15
    chopper says:

    had to wait til later spring in NY to get the cold-weather stuff in due to the incessant rain. now it’s in the 90’s, so i’m sure my broccoli is bolting before it can go anywhere.

    what a spring. summer’s going to be fun here. i can just feel the broiling temperatures already.

  16. 16
    Violet says:

    @Tim, Interrupted:

    I am going to use Miracle Grow on the veggies in one bed, and rely on the rich compost mix in the other two, and see how things go for comparison.

    You may find the Miracle Gro bed works better this season, but ultimately chemicals damage the soil structure in your beds. You are better off in the long run using high quality compost and good, organic fertilizer, including foliar feeds when appropriate.

    Building up the soil quality is better for your soil, your food, and ultimately the environment, as synthetic fertilizers are petroleum based.

    If these are new beds with new soil, you will get much high yields by adding high quality organic fertilizer to the soil before you plant. You need more this year, less in following years so long as you are going organic and improving the soil with compost and other organic methods. A strong soil food web produces the highest quality vegetables.

  17. 17
    Origuy says:

    Correction on that tornado story:

    The May 22 EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri did not set a new record for longest transport of debris by a tornado. According to MSNBC, a couple living in Royal Center, Indiana, in North Central Indiana, 525 miles from Joplin, found a receipt from the Joplin Tire store three days after the tornado hit Joplin. However, a press release from Purdue University clarified that the receipt did not arrive via the tornado, but had been left behind by a relative that had visited Joplin before the tornado. The longest distance recorded for debris from a storm was a cancelled check that traveled 210 miles after the 1915 tornado in Great Bend, Kansas.

  18. 18
    Tim, Interrupted says:


    Violet, thanks for the tips. Any advice on good organic fertilizer?

    How the hell do they make fertilizer out of oil? What the hell CAN’T they make out of petroleum? Seems a waste to be burning the filthy shit for energy, ya know? :D

  19. 19
    chopper says:

    fertilizers are really made from natural gas, but that’s neither here nor there.

    espoma makes a nice line of organic fertilizers. really you don’t need to use much of it if you keep your soil in good shape.

    1. add organic matter. lots of it. good compost is key.
    2. mulch. keeps the water in, the soil temp stable and the critters happy enough to break down #1 to create nutrient-laden humus.
    3. even, deep watering.
    4. don’t till or fuck with your soil except to do #s 1-3.

    if you want to amend your soil, do it once every couple of years with stuff like rock phosphate (bone meal is good but not as long-lasting a source of phosphorus) and greensand (which is the shiz). otherwise leave it the hell alone. digging your shit up pisses off the flora and fauna that keep your soil alive and kicking.

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    @Tim, Interrupted:

    Any advice on good organic fertilizer?

    The one I use is formulated for my area. It’s recommended by all the quality garden centers in my area. I’d recommend you visit several of the locally owned (no national chains, no big box stores) garden centers in your area and ask them what they recommend. You can also google around and see if anyone in your area has a good recommendation.

    As for petroleum based fertilizer and food, well, a significant percentage of our non-organic food has plenty of petroleum in it, if you look at it from a fertilization pov. That’s part of why increasing the price of oil increases the price of food (transport costs also, obviously).

    Ultimately those types of fertilizers damage the soil and increase pests and weeds, requiring more poisons to treat them. It’s a bad cycle to get into. You are much better off going organic, especially for backyard growing.

    chopper is right that you don’t want to mess with the soil very much. The food web doesn’t like to be disturbed, so things like tilling it up every year are actually damaging to it. The list chopper gave is excellent. I’d just say that adding fertilizer to a new bed the first year definitely increases your yields. New soil doesn’t have a good food web, so adding fertilizer can help the plants. Make sure you also add plenty of high quality compost to really get that food web rocking.

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    @Tim, Interrupted: What the hell CAN’T they make out of petroleum?


  22. 22
    chopper says:



  23. 23
    Bella says:

    Can I brag? My tomatoes (orange, yellow, red, pink, purple and black) all are fruiting. Some of my peppers are fruiting as well, and the rest have flowers. Zucchini is going great guns, watermelon, cukes and cantaloupes are taking off…for me this is the best part of gardening, watching the takeoff. Every day brings something new.

    I have horses and compost the poo….it does wonders for the garden.

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