Sunday, February 15, 2009

Catch Up

Wow, what a slacker I have been lately. Not in real life, but definitely on the blog. Sorry about that folks. Nothing like a best friend to tell you it's time for an update, thanks Nikol:). You can all thank her for this post. Since it's been so rainy, some days monsoon caliber rainy, I've had little motivation or need to go out in the garden. The rain watered everything for me! Now that it seems to be letting up I should really get out there. The veg rows need weeding and the compost really needs to be turned.
During the torrential downpour Greg and I -but mostly me because Greg was sick- set up a simple rain catch system. And I DO mean simple, essentially buckets and garbage cans placed at strategic points outside. We were able to catch a lot of water off of the roof, several garbage cans worth. I plan on using this to water the garden when everything starts drying out.
My seedlings are growing by leaps and bounds. It's clear they are as ready for spring as I am. Most of them need to be repotted and are quite leggy. The tomatoes especially. I hope the evenings warm up soon because I don't have enough counter space to house everything once they're moved to bigger pots and I don't have enough cloches for all of them to go outside. I've been using some empty baby food jars as make-shift cloches for a few of the smaller sunberry bushes. They work quite nicely.
I'm becoming fairly certain that the strawberries are riddled with verticullum wilt. Why?! Why must I be plagued with these horrible, irradicable, soil diseases? And of course the plot I have slated for berries is the one with verticullum wilt. Verticullum attacks most berries.
In trying to replan the garden to allow for a different berry plot and sufficient space for all of the cucurbits I've decided to make one giant grow heap out of all the compost and some soil from Alpine Rock and Block. It'll be on the left side of the yard, where the cucurits were going to go anyway, but instead of several small hills I've decided to grow all of the cucurbits in one big, long grow heap. The plan is to plant the bushing varieties (zucchini and such) along the top, and the trailing types around the edges. I'm very excited about this and I've been building up the compost in anticipation. I think the best part may be that at the end of the season I'll be able to just flatten out the grow heap and have lovely rich soil ready for winter plantings.
Those of you who have read previous postings may remember me saying that seed catalogs are going to be the death of me. That remains true. These days I'm in love with the hardy kiwi, specifically the red variety, but honestly I love them all. The hardy kiwi is a vine that has beautiful red and green foliage, it produces small, completely edible kiwi fruits that can be eaten like grapes. The skin isn't brown and furry like the traditional kiwi. One vine is said to produce over 100 pounds of fruit in it's first year! I've got my eye on this one for next year.
I can't believe spring is almost here! I get so discouraged at the end of summer because I know I'll have to wait months until I can really garden again. This year winter went by very fast. Maybe because I really got into winter gardening. Either way, hooray spring is almost upon us!!! And speaking of winter plantings, we had a lovely salad from the garden with our dinner tonight. We had the parents over, it was wonderful! I expected the lettuce this year to be covered in nibbles from bugs, but it hasn't been, it's been pristine and lovely. The mustard is all hole-y though, maybe there's something to that. Maybe the mustard distracts the critters from the lettuce.

That's all for now. Ta ta!

1 comment:

NIKOL said...

With our tax return, I was thinking about getting rain gutters for our house, and then a nice rain barrel to go with it. I know it doesn't really rain here all that often, but it still seems worthwhile.

The stories of verticullum wilt scare me. It sounds so awful. And I'd be crushed if I nursed these little seedlings into healthy plants that wither before their time. It's just not fair.