Sunday, May 23, 2010

In the garden.

What a beautiful day it was! Partly cloudy, warm, and a little breeze - perfect for being in the garden. My husband took the kids swimming at the Y this afternoon, and I stayed home and started on my laundry list of garden chores. I did a bunch of stuff, ran to Lowes for bamboo stakes and more mulch, then made a summertime dinner (Caribbean jerk marinated grilled chicken, corn on the cob, homemade drop biscuits and fresh strawberries). After that I went back out and planted until dark.

I got a lot of stuff planted and mulched. First was my tomato patch. Two 'Kellogg's Breakfast' beefsteaks, three 'Yellow Perfection' slicers, and six 'San Marzano' paste tomatoes, planted, staked, and mulched. I planted some marigolds among them, to help repel insects. I decided to use bamboo stakes, to save some money - tomato cages seem to be increasing in price like everything else lately. Even the bamboo cost more than I remembered from several years ago.

I also planted some other garden seeds: hills of zucchini ('Gold Rush,' pretty enough to be used as an ornamental with its silver-splashed leaves), butternut squash ('Early Butternut' from Pinetree Garden Seeds), and melon 'Burpee's Ambrosia Hybrid' (my daughter's choice for her little garden patch). I've still got pumpkins and a couple other squash to plant, maybe later this week.

One last veggie bed - the snap peas are coming along okay in one half (a little slow due to lack of rain, so I watered them well), and in the other half I planted two eggplants, 4 jalapenos, 4 mixed sweet peppers, and some onions. I had planted that half with green beans several weeks ago, but the birds (probably grackles or starlings) stole most of them. I've got all of 4 healthy green beans there, out of many, so I left them. A little is better than none, right?

Then I planted my blueberries - 8 bushes, 4 'Northland' and 4 'Northblue.' I'm hoping for big harvests in coming years. We love blueberries. My daughter planted her strawberry plants last week, and while I don't think they'll fruit this year, we might be pleasantly surprised if they produce a few berries for her delight. (They're everbearing, so it's possible).

I mulched a lot of things - the little garden plots up the side of the back yard, the tomato patch, the blueberries. I planted more nasturtiums out front, to eventually cascade over the retaining wall. I got a few more winter-sown containers emptied, and put out nicotiana 'Lime Green' (with its cute little apple-green flowers, it's quite unusual), and my daughter's snapdragons, marigolds, and zinnias. It's good to get the containers off the back porch. I still have my daylilies to plant out, later this week.

It was a VERY busy weekend in the garden, and I'm oh so tired in a good sort of way. It will be good to take a shower and melt into bed with a good book. Ahhhhh. . . .