Another Open Thread

Thought I would share a picture of the mini greenhouse I’m building on Tunch’s window:

I think one of my begonias is dying.

Early Morning Open Thread: Dirt Talk

February must’ve been more brutal than I remember, or else I was permanently scarred by last summer’s rain-intensive Year of Almost No Sunlight, because somehow I ended up with 42 different tomato varieties, mostly single plants, mostly mail-order. (And, yes, I understand that completely violates the whole virtuous green locavore ethos of growing one’s own, but there you have it.) This year’s repeaters: Black Prince, Cherokee Purple, Isis Candy, Jellybean, Juliet, Oxheart, Pineapple, Rose de Berne, Roma, Sugary, and Sun Gold. Couldn’t find a Garden Peach or Black Pear, but otherwise I’m pleased and hopeful, now that all the transplants have been crammed into what passes for the “sunny spots” in our tiny New England fiefdom.

On the other hand, the boutique seed potatoes I planted early last week aren’t sprouting, but the ones waiting in the kitchen are.

Product review: The Bionic gardening gloves have been worth every penny. Tough enough for the heavy work, but thin enough that I didn’t end up taking them off while potting out tiny transplants. This is the first year I’ve been able to rake winter mulch, dig planting holes, clean out pots, transplant seedlings, and prune the blood-thirsty mini-roses without my hands ending up looking like I’d lost an argument with a large bobcat or a very small bear. But even though they’re supposed to fit tightly, they run small — I actually bought mine at a local garden show, and had to move up from a men’s medium to a large to be comfortable.

Everything in the garden is running a couple of weeks ahead of schedule this year, thanks to an unusually warm & rainy February/March/April. The Zepherine Drouhan (pink) roses and Rozanne (pale purple) geraniums have been glorious for the last couple of weeks, and now the Don Juan (dark red) roses are starting to open. The Siberian and dwarf irises are over, but the daylilies are just starting to bud. After almost 20 years of poor choices, missteps, and failures, I’m finally starting to see results approximating the pretty pictures of my snow-bound phantasies…


So… how’s your garden plan going?

Master of My Domain

Garden planted and watered, tomatoes staked and hay spread.

Weeds pulled in the landscaping.

Grass cut, dog pooped from several walks and cheering me on barking her ass off at everything while I worked.

Now off to buy a new weed-eater and then to edge the sidewalks.

Figured we could use an open thread.

Open Thread

Rainy and cruddy all day. Just a wasted day.

On the other hand, the newly planted garden needs the rain. One thing that never ceases to amaze me about plants is that even when you do your best to plant them, they sometimes look a little cock-eyed and tilted when you are done, but within 48 hours, they are growing straight as an arrow. I’ve sort of just given up on the aesthetics of the garden for this year, and am just piling tons of hay and grass clippings as needed on the lot.

I’ve also decided that I enjoy this enough that I am going to get some grow lights and put a little grow table in the basement so I can do my own seedlings this winter and really kick it up a notch. I figure the initial outlay will run me a couple hundred bucks, but if I have success with it I will save a ton of money in the long run on plants.

Open Thread

Finally had the garden plowed. Our tiller is broken, so a neighbor did it and it looks like the soil is pretty rich underneath, so I’m excited about that. Had a good dirt color, no sand and clay, and lots of worms. I hope to spend some time getting the big clumps of sod and any roots and rocks out tomorrow, and get everything planted on Friday. That will be an effort because there were two forsythia bushes there and the roots for those are unbelievable.

Since this is the first time this area has been used as a garden, my plan is to plant everything and then either mulch it with grass clippings to keep the weeds down or drop some landscape fabric before planting. I’ll have to think about it. Eventually I want to frame this plot and build it up so that it is a raised plot. Decisions.

BTW- learned quite a bit about Ginny and Guesly while dogsitting the last 48 hours. For one, I learned that EVERYTHING is a crisis. The slightest sound and the dogs go racing outside to ward off any potential intruder. Second, they watch television. Not only do they bark at any animal on tv, but they get confused by things that look at animals. There is one commercial for Bush’s baked beans with a dog wearing sunglasses and a mustache, and they look at it quizzically, because they are not sure what it is. I guess the disguise works.

Finally, Ginny watched Wheel of Fortune. And I’m not kidding. I’m going to video tape it for you all some time. As soon as she hears the “beep beep beep beep” as the words is presented, she runs into the room and sits down in front of the tv. Her head then turns from side to side, and if someone calls out a letter that is not there and the buzzer goes off, she barks like a lunatic. I’m not making this up.

The good news is that Jack Russell terriers are only this energetic for the first ten years or so.