Garden Notes Mid June ’13
At last, after two plantings of saved heirloom seeds stillborn in the cold soil, a third generation is birthed and growing. Goose Beans have been the staple of our stable of legumes, Tendercrop or some such bush bean making up the balance.
So the thought that I might fail to raise bean one this year has been plaguing my sense of gardening self-worth. Consequently, the mere emergence of those big fat cotyledons above the soil this morning–now finally warm enough this late spring to support life–has given me inordinate hope for harvest, yet.
Sugar Snap vines tied up against the cattle panels with greenbox-found baling twine, have survived the winds that accompany every-other-day storms, and the flowers now sport 1 inch flat fruits. In another week, if we don’t get hail, we’ll eat the rounded pods until we’re sick of them, and take bowl’s full, and some Annie’s dressing, to pot lucks that flourish this time of year in Floyd.
Mortgage Lifter tomatoes are already showing blight, while the first-time for me Celebrity are stout and clear of tell-tale spots, and hopefully will survive and offer seeds to save for next year. Amish Paste and Romas are coming along, and there are even a few frail yellow flowers showing.
I am back to the Gummy Bear “solution” for dealing with moles and voles, the latter more of a problem this year, and I’ve already lost 4 peppers and a tomato to their indiscriminate subterranean tunneling. They do NOT get the red ones.
I have a few hundred pounds of decomposed donkey poo to distribute in unplanted places, along with the rest of last year’s black compost I am putting around new plantings of zucchini, straight neck squash and cucumbers. I don’t know how much nutrition it provides to the young plants, but the dark compost does set the young greenery Â strikingly against the ubiquitous gray-green grass-clipping mulch that is anywhere the soil shows through.
Rains have been almost too regular, but the creeks are running bold and boisterous, especially for this time of year. I am pulling creek water into a 35 gallon plastic can to use for spot watering, which includes the 1:20 personal nitrogenous supplement I’ve written about before.
I’m looking now for praying mantis egg cases to tie onto the fence around the garden perimeter. Seems to me they used to be easier to find, but I’m remembering when, as a teacher, I gave extra credit for certain nature-discoveries, the egg cases being one. And if the student could not be convinced to use them in this manner, I’d gladly carry them home for this. Except the one I forgot about in my office until I opened the door one morning to find a hundred tiny prayers climbing all over my office desk at the community college.