Now it's Feeling Like Summer

The weather has been unpredictable, and looking at the progress of my greens, I think I got a late start from seed. But look - some of this stuff is going to find the dinner table soon! There were some innocent young chard leaves that fell prey to what I suspect was a vicious band of hungry thug bunnies.

The pert jalapeƱo pictured below is from friends Brian and Ari, who donated some young poblanos and heirloom tomatoes as well.  I'm hoping the heat will send the peas quickly up their trellis, and warm the soil for the successive beans.

I will be buying my veggies from the grocery for a few more weeks. Patience <sigh>.


Greens. On the Way.


Update for the Memorial Day weekend.
There are now several distinctly different greens popping up. I think I even see some cilantro and parsley, but that's unconfirmed. Tomato and pepper plants are going in shortly. Neither lemongrass nor lavender have germinated as far as I can tell.

To do differently at the next go: sew fewer seeds, farther apart. I have a lot of greens to thin as they begin crowding.



Buttercrunch Lettuce sprouts.


Word on the Mets

This year's Mets. Fun. Their payroll is deceptive, because the bulk of that money is apparently being payed to players who have been traded or are injured or are victims of Bernie Madoff. Most of the roster comprises scrappy young dudes eager to make a mark. I miss Jose Reyes, but his replacement Ruben Tejada, who is maybe 14 years old, is fun to watch. I've liked Daniel Murphy since he came up. He's getting better - will never be a star, but is a good spirited player capable of clutch play (possibly). Seems like a key guy. David Wright is hitting like he's always been billed - a franchise guy. Ike Davis is a lefty Jew at 1st, so he'll have to be below the Mendoza at mid-summer before I criticize. And in place of some dude who was injured at centerfield on opening day, Kirk Nieuieuwenheyessses is totally killing it with diving catches and clutch hitting. Also he looks like a dude who hangs out at the local guitar shop. 

This is in comparison to the local Sox, who are at this moment on a tear, but up to this streak have been a lumbering, underwhelming disappointment machine. And to the Yankees, who are always on a Mets fan's radar, but geezis if they don't have an unlikable lineup (sorry, Yanks friends), especially now that Nick Swisher is their top character guy...blech.

I'm happy this season to take a shade over .500, if it comes with the vibe the Mets have been playing with thus far. Though I will wear my Red Sox hat too.


Seeds in the Ground!

120427_garden_0002I sowed some seeds in the dirt today. Yes! Let's see: since my last update, I got a little sidetracked clearing out some brambles and planting some ground cover on the woods-side of our house. The garden was dormant for a little bit after I threw a bunch of loam in the beds and doctored them up with compost and peat. I ordered seeds and received a rattling little envelope a few days ago. Very excited.

Here's how sowing went:

Added bonemeal to the carrot plot. I'm told this is good for root veggies. Apparently, it is also good for dogs. Guess I'll be dealing with that problem soon.

The directions on the back of lavender seed packet: cover 4x the seed depth [or something like that]. These seeds were flea sized. Poppy seed sized. What the hell does that direction mean, huh? I put them in the ground and covered them with some dirt.

Greens, squash, and a couple herbs sown. Cukes and most herbs wait a few more weeks for the soil to warm. Tomatoes and peppers are coming as transplants from a friend, also in warmer soil. Peas and parsley I 'm supposed to pre-germinate-soak before I put 'em in the ground this weekend. Okay.

If nothing grows, I did see promise of a lucrative venture with invasive beetle grubs.

So! Once all the seeds were in and the popsicle sticks were placed, I dusted off to check out my work. It looked desolate. Bonneville-Salt-Flats-desolate. I can really see the benefit of starting indoors - when you put the seedlings in the ground you have some miniplants to encourage your efforts.

Sure hoping to see some sprouts soon!


There's Two of Them!

Just finished the 2nd bed, which was a little trickier because it wraps around the corner of the deck. The slope of the ground made it necessary to have 2 tiers. The stack will also allow plenty of soil depth for me to unsuccessfully grow the root veggies I've planned. I wish I remember how Michael Pollan solved his carrot problem as described in Second Nature. I should probably read it again. Belated thanks to Ethan for that recommendation.
There's a really big garden center a couple miles away that has been great for all my questions and wandering-around-while-envisioning. I bought a bag of bonemeal which should give me the strength I need to do all this soil hauling that lies ahead. First, math. I convert cubic feet to cubic yards by dividing by 9, right? Ugh.
I imagine this is as excited as I'll ever be to pay money for dirt and poop.

Next up: filling the beds.



There's 2 kinds of wood available to build these raised beds: cedar, which is beautiful and rot resistant, and not-cedar, which is affordable for a normal person. I bought the lumber yesterday and it was delivered this morning, and with a couple of hours I was able to get most of the first bed done. Tomorrow I'll add some wire mesh inside the box to keep out gophers ["License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations..."]. I didn't buy enough 2x4 to finish the mitered cap around the bed, which will be good for sitting and sipping lemonade while contemplating the bare patch of dirt that was intended to yield some crop.

  • My lovely wife took Caleb for a long walk so I could work uninterrupted on this sucker. xo
  • Surprisingly gratifying garden task: raking soil level. Oh baby.
  • Note to self: buy more ibuprofen.

Frame leveled and secured to 4x4 posts.
Almost there. Essbee loping over to look for edibles.
Spider with ability to become 1/10th its original size when picture is taken.
Next up: finish the cap around the bed, add mesh, figure out volume of soil and compost needed to fill