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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 13 Friday Farming

It must be something to do with Friday the 13th, but Blogger was down for about 24 hours last night and this morning. I wanted to write this post last night and have it up early Friday morning, but couldn't get into Blogger until after work on Friday. 

Oh. EM. GEEEEEEEEEEEEE it's been beautiful out since Wednesday. I become positively giddy when spring really finally arrives. I rode my bike to work on Thursday and Friday, and would have on Wednesday if not for a seminar I hosted. BEAUTIFUL. I want to roll around in the green grass and never wear shoes again. 

I went for a bike ride Thursday at lunch, in the 65 degree heat. Apparently my spring giddiness sucked out all brains, as I forgot the cardinal rule of spring at high altitude: Your pasty-ass winter white skin will burn quickly. 

A year ago, pre wedding, getting a tan line like that would have made me upset. I've always been a little neurotic about tan lines, but especially when I was spending big bucks on photography. These days? Meh. I just feel foolish for getting burned at all!

Of course, all of this good weather is beneficial to the Farm. 

My daffodils near the front porch bloomed on Thursday night. 

The tulips are about to do the same.

The muscari is abloom all around the house. 

DJ was able to install the hardware for hanging baskets on the front porch on Thursday. I can't wait until sweet potato vine, petunias, and white lobelia comes spilling out of these things! 

The clematis vine is snaking upwards, and the hosta we planted at the base of the clematis, to shade the ground and keep the clematis roots cool, is coming back. This is after I was sure the dog had eaten it. 

This tuft of grass, I think fountain grass, between the utility boxes seems to have not made it through the winter. I suspect I trimmed it back too far in the fall. I learned last winter to leave dried grass standing through the winter, as it provides winter interest and also offers insulation to the plant. It gets trimmed in the spring. 

Oh well, I already know what I want to replace it with; Russian Sage:
The thing I love the most about gardening is how foolproof it is, for the most part. I literally threw these plants in the ground last fall, right before the first snow, and then watched them wilt. I was pretty certain I'd be telling Jane that they all died this spring. So far? all but 2 out of 40 have come back! I was shocked to notice the greenery and flower bud! on this plant Thursday night:

I have no idea what that plant is, other than growing. 

Same with this ferny ground cover. I really thought it was dead!

Guys, the raspberry sticks are alive! And sending up new shoots! 

I need to do a bit of work around them; mostly just peeling back the weed mat so they can send up new shoots like this one:

Onto the edibles! 

I made a mistake on Thursday morning, and it appears I'll pay for it. DJ and I debated if I should leave the clear plastic top on the inside-started plants when I put them on the front porch yesterday. We left the top on, thinking that more heat would be good. Sadly, doing so wilted and killed the marigolds, the purple basil and the snapdragon starts. Only the eggplant, which notoriously loves as much heat as it can get, made it through the day unscathed. 

I'm bummed, as I was about a week from transplanting the marigold outside. But, I'm learning. Not much to do about it, other than reseed and hope for the best. I can always purchase these starts at a nursery. 

Many other things are going well though.

The spinach in the front pots is beginning to form actual spinach leaves. Guys, call me a crappy farmer, but this is the farthest I've gotten with spinach. Last year it didn't even come up, or the gophers snacked on it. 

The renegade cilantro in the front pot is similarly doing well. I wish there was more of it; I love cilantro! Hopefully the spinach and cilantro "come in" before Memorial Day weekend, after which I'll plant peppers in the front pots.

Out in the in-ground garden, things are coming up nicely too. The sugar snap peas are finally up. 

As is the bibb lettuce. 

And spinach. 

I planted potatoes on Tuesday. I didn't want them to miss out on the warm weather at the end of this week. I purchased red and Yukon gold potatoes on Saturday. The internet recommended slicing them into 2oz sections, with each section having multiple eyes, and then letting the cuts scab over in a paper bag for 48 hours prior to planting in the ground. I let them scab for 72 hours, and now have nine plants of red and nine of Yukons planted; one plant per square. I hilled them up already and will continue to as the plant grows. 

The transplanted lettuce (bibb?) is doing well.

The transplanted broccoli is struggling a bit. Probably because it's a teeny tiny plant and is overwhelmed. I'll let it go and see if it recovers. 

And across the back fence, the gophers wonder how they can get to the food:

I might re-seed the sunflower, as after a bit of digging I couldn't find a germinated seed where I'd planted them. 
I've seen hide nor hair of the asparagus. There is some kind of nasty red grass growing in the asparagus bed. I'm hesitant to really get in there to yank it out, as I don't want to damage the grass. 

Here's my to-do list for this weekend:

Weed the beds

Finish planting gladiolus corms

Plant sweet peas

Square out 2nd terrace and plant shallot onions

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