Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Random thoughts on a Spring day

With so much growing and changing in the garden, I thought now would be a good time to journal a bit about the garden goings-on.

Most of the garden is in, and I was even so bold as to put in my basil, tomatoes and peppers. I'll have to see if there's any good or harm in it. Normally, I plant my tomatoes so late that I'm the last one on the block to have any. Last year, I had some sort of a blight on my tomatoes so that I had none at all, with the exception of the cherry tomatoes, which seem to be indestructible.

Yesterday Zach and I sprayed the fruit trees with sulfur, copper and rotenone. It's the first time we've sprayed any of our trees; so far, we've had good fruiting but they're always riddled with curculio worms or other little beasties. Sometimes I can just cut the fruit away, but many times the fruit is no good because it has rotted from the center. I plan to keep up with the spraying until the fruit is ripe and see if this does any good. If not, we'll have to try some more aggressive organic methods. There are plenty of fruits on all of the trees, including the cherry, plum, peach and asian pear. After spraying the apple trees this year, I'll have to determine whether they're worth keeping. There are five of them, and they're about 20 years old, planted from the seeds of a single red delicious by the children who used to live on our hill. All of the trees are different--some worth eating, and some not--but I've not tried using them for sauce so far because they're so small and usually riddled with worms and fungus. One tree has decent eating apples, so that's the one we'll likely work on the most. One is a fabulous climbing tree, and that's the one the kids want to keep. This year should tell the tale a bit.

For the first year, I have an asparagus patch that can be picked from, but it seems to be slow coming. We've had a lot of wet, cool weather this year, so I don't know if that's why. The great news is that we also found a wild patch just down the hill in the fencerow last fall, and I've found the stalks again this Spring, so between all five spots, we should have some asparagus sometime soon!

We tilled under the cherry trees and I plan to plant watermelon and cantaloupe there as soon as the weather warms a bit. Tonight calls for a low of 47F, so we're creeping that way little by little.

We saw our first hummingbird of the season last week. As Toby and I stood on the porch, a sound like a small jet engine whizzed between us. The tiny bird made its way to my violas and took a few sips then landed on the fence for a moment, and then he was gone. It's time to add the hummingbird feeders to the others.

Toby has been busy putting an archway up leading into the herb garden. The original archway was given to me by my friend Joannie from her greenhouse, but it was in need of repair, so Toby bought some posts and is building a frame for the pieces. On top, he'll mount the farm bell we bought at auction a few years ago, and I'll add a few hooks for my hand tools.

I found this fabulous copper birdbath at my favorite thrift store and sat it on top of a stump. A few floating candles will make this a real treat this summer.

Zach has been working on making a stone patio and pathway, but it will come bit by bit. The stones were from Freecycle, so we'll have to wait until we find another good deal on them before we continue the project. Anyone with extra flagstones can send them my way!

Taylor has been working hard in her perennial garden and is pleased to find new things emerging every day.

Well, it's time to head back out and put in some beets, arugula and scallions.

Get out there and garden!

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