Sunday, April 11, 2010
Lettuce Plan Our Day in the Garden
Every bed in the garden is ready for planting. The lettuce in the new lasagna bed is growing neatly in rows and the arugula in the raised bed is showing in a crazed pattern from the scattering throw I made of the seeds some three weeks ago.
Yesterday, I planted yellow finn seed potatoes in cloth bag containers on the lower deck. I can't wait to see if my potato experiment will work. I come to potato farming genetically. My grandfather used to plant rows and rows of them up on the hill overlooking his farm.
Inside the tiny tadpoles are fattening up, growing broader in the chest and little nubs are forming where their arms and legs will emerge. Yesterday, two of them got tangled in the cardboard and cheesecloth construction that I'd made for the toads to crawl out on. The two had died. I scooped them out with a plastic spoon and felt great remorse for my stupidity. The paper bridge was replaced with a more suitable stick version. (Why I didn't think of that in a first place is probably the reason why I always got Bs instead of As in school.)
My friend, Molly, came over and we dug up irises, lilies, hostas, sedums and sage, which she carried off to her garden. And I acquired a new garden buddy, a little girl from across the street came over and helped me weed, pot plants and carry things from bed to bed. We visited and chatted. It was like having my own little girls back again.
Today, I'm reading of how others have planted their bedding plants and tomatoes and other tender annuals and I'm tsk, tsking at their gardening naivete, but secretly wishing to do the same. The temperatures are in the high 70s during the day, but they are dipping into the 30s at night. The week of high 80s was a fluke and we could well pitch down below freezing yet. The rule is not to plant until Mother's Day.
There is still yet some clean up that I could accomplish. The nasty honey suckle is emerging despite my best efforts to beat it back. We have Dr. George Hall to thank for this invasive. Hall brought the plant from Japan in 1862. He offered it royal passage and cared for it during its journey as if were a treasured artwork. Once unleashed however, the plants wicked tendrils have slowly woven itself into the landscape up and down the entire Eastern seaboard and choking out natives as it claimed its supremacy. I, who vowed never to use herbicides in my garden, made one exception this winter and squirted its base (where ever I found one) with Roundup.
But, as I plan to release my new toady friends into the garden, I'll have to retire the Roundup for fear that it will taint their environment. I heard a commercial this week from the Ortho company exuding the benefits of its herbicide products. Urging customers to apply the stuff into their grass to kill the clover. "Clover is over," the narrator declared, never of course mentioning the benefits of clover in your lawn. And then incredibly the narrative followed that once the grass was free of all broad-leafed plants, the lawn owner was going to build a pond in his yard. Good luck with that I thought, the chemicals will all drain into the pond and kill his plants and wildlife there.
The house is awakening now. Time to get my day underway. The Putterer