Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Growing Challenge: Planting Season

It's just about the end of May and while I've grown several hundred tomatoes from seed, I have yet to put a single one in the ground at my place, for my own consumption. Or any of those seeds I bought.

I've been waiting for this:
First bed emptied of all flats and weeded. Now it's ready for seeds!

And this:
Six cubic yards of soil. That's a lotta dirt! Extremely helpful neighbor earned some prize tomatoes later this summer for his work.

And definitely this:
Finished beds! Getting filled with soil! Yeeeeeeee-haaaa! Yes, it is THAT exciting.

In the meantime, I've been pricking out and potting up yet more plants. On Monday night, after clearing out all the dead plants from the first bed, I washed up 108 pots (Hundreds left unwashed!) and then potted up 108 plants that I'd pricked out. Among them are Holy Basil, Heuchera, Chinese Asters, a few more tomatoes (The slower growing ones: Candy's Old Yellow and Black Cherry), Stevia (Really slow growing.), and some big yellow marigolds.

I've also been out weeding. Little by little, when they twins are sleeping (Hah! Speed weeding.), I rip a few out of the ground.

There is a serious downside to being too pregnant to weed - those buggers will do their darnedest to take over your yard while you're busy drinking water and laying down!
That pile of weeds may not look like much, but to put it into perspective, I used a 5 gallon pot to truck them to my bin and it took at least 4 trips. When swept up together, they made a big pile that I didn't bother photographing. Fortunately I did have some help with the weeding. Caitlin decided she wanted to give me a hand in the garden, so I had her pulling out purple coneflowers and lamb's ear.

Of course, I had to explain what the real definition of "weed" is: a plant you don't want. I told her we were editing the garden and taking out actual noxious weeds as well. Big prickly beasts that have been enjoying the cooler and wetter weather of the past few days. The bonus for me was that it softened up the ground enough that I could pry a lot of those taprooted weeds out pretty easily. Since this is my xeric garden, I don't generally water it until it gets seriously hot somewhere in June, although that tends to make weeding harder. Rainfall is always appreciated.
Unfortunately, I have about a zillion more weeds to pull! Grass, bindweed, coneflowers, lamb's ears, brown-eyed Susans, Damesrocket and more. Sometimes it's hard to look at my yard and see anything but work, work, work! But I try to look at it from my neighbor's perspective: it's pretty, not lawn, attractive to all manner of bees, butterflies and birds. Best of all, by the end of June it will have its share of hummingbirds again.

Oh well. Things are looking pretty good, even if I did ignore the yard for a year!
Now if only we had time to mow the lawn....

In the meantime, here's what's in bloom now:
Johnson's Blue geraniums.

Prairie Smoke.

White iris.

Wine colored multi-petalled columbine.

Yellow columbine.

Blue columbines. State flower!

Ice-blue iris.

Big old bumble-bee on catmint.


Blue flax.

Basket of Gold alyssum.

Yes, there are a whacking lot of columbines around here.

How's your garden doing?


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Ha! I need a machete for the remaining weeds in our 20x20 plot.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

That's exactly why my blog title is Woman with a Hatchet, actually. One year, I let the side yard go INSANE and had to take a hatchet to the 6' tall weeds growing there.

Now, of course, that side yard is where the raised beds are! I showed those weeds a thing or two!

Jennifer H said...

And now I'm a little bit afraid of you!

I'm amazed that you have all those things blooming in your yard. Beautiful flowers.

I hate weeding, but it is pretty satisfying when you're done.

Nina said...

envy I tell you, envy!

Constance the 14,000th said...

my columbines never grow!!! never! love your gardening skills! your plants are to die for!

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