Monday, June 7, 2010

Rain on the Garden and the Enemy Returns!

Sweet Shrub - This plant is a cutting from my Grandmother house in southern Indiana
As I recall her's was a huge plant - maybe 6-8ft tall/ Mine is 3-4ft even after 20 yrs.
Onions rinsed and ready for planting
They go in as a bunch and can be thinned later.
The finished row.
Red stemmed dandelions are great in salad.
Evil Punks!

We got a nice rain over the weekend and things perked up. The potatoes have started to show. The parsnips and salsifly seeds have sprouted so I have pulled most of the radish markers out. The broccoli looks good and I had some onions plants left so I put in a row. When I plant onions I rinse the flat in water and let them soak while I bunch plant the row. Because I can thin the onions as they grow for eating I usually plant a cluster of three or so. Even though these are Alicia Craig and supposed to get really big, mine seldom do, so this method works just fine. The video is the rinse and soak. Most of the spinach is done for - bolted in the hot weather so I pulled it this week and put some of it in the compost. The first rice crop failed to grow so this week I replanted and mulched the seedlings. I think the ground just got too hot for the plants so maybe the cooler root run will make for a happier rice crop.
The grafted tomato count is at five plants that survived the process but I have another group of seedlings coming along to practice on. I think I will plant the grafted plants in a row of their own just so I can keep track of where they are and how they do. Once again names have been lost so I will have to see just what kind of fruit these plants make, if any, to tell what is grafted. Luckily all the root stock is the same - Red Peach. The next batch is the same - Red Peach root stock and a Pink Russian will be the grafts.
The apples are getting almost bagging size but I am thinking that the Plum curculio will soon start hitting them so I will have to try to get to bagging as soon as I can. We will be using plastic and "footies" this year. I got some wire twist ties at the hardware store that I can cut in half and have the right size for securing the "footies" to the apple stem. "Footies" are not as cheap as zipper bags but will make for a better environment for the developing apple; not that the plastic is bad but last year with the real hot weather I have my first scalded fruits in plastic.
The red dandelions are really doing well and they are very nice in salads. I thought the sparrows were picking at my lettuce like they have been doing to my peas - they have really damaged part of the pea row- but OH NO! IT'S SLUGS! We have the worst problem with slugs and with all that hot weather I had thought they would not be here yet. But they are BACK! The rain this weekend just seemed to be what they needed. I found a real mass of them on at least one of the lettuce plantings. Although they are still small they make up for it in numbers - two to three on each plant feasting away. Unfortunately control is either by hand picking - been there done that or with chemicals. I hate to use the chemicals but this is a real war. I think they are making a mess of the sesame seedlings too. Night picking them into salt water will be complicated because the rain will bring on a mosquito hatch - and I hate mosquito bites - I swell up badly.
Three years ago I planted morning glories because I wanted them to grow to the top of the house which they did. I have always planted Morning Glories late in the season because they are short day plants and make the best flowers in the fall so planting them around July 4th makes for a great show of flowers. However, flowers make seeds and I am still pulling Morning Glory seedlings out of the bed where they grew seemingly so long ago - no wonder they are outlawed in Arizona. The Sweet Shrub, Carolina Allspice -Calycanthus floridus is blooming and those red/brown flowers really makes a wonder aroma floating on the breeze.

Happy Gardening

The onion rinse method...


  1. Sorry 'bout the slugs. I'm in Pennsylvania and don't really have much of a slug problem, but the potato beetles are out early this year here. Good luck on the grafting. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

  2. Hi Richard,
    Wow, a garden without slugs - lucky you. Potato beetles you can pick in the daylight but slugs you have to pick in the dark - tough holding the flashlight, tweezers, and salt water kill jar. The second set of tomatoes are getting close to grafting size so we will be trying the process again and will keep everyone posted as to process and results.
    Happy Gardening