Sunday, May 21

21 May - what a month it's been!

Two weeks of rain, followed by three gorgeous sunny days (Friday, Saturday, Today). Now that it's dried up a bit, I can resume prepping the garden beds. My garden is divided into halves with a strip of grass between the two for the garden tractor to drive upon. Each half is then divided into about 6 beds, each 4' wide, with a 1' walkway between. This arrangement seems to work well, with enough space for plants, but not so much that I cannot reach across for weeding or harvesting. When I plant corn, I tend to do a double-wide bed, or just plant two next to each other, to get the blocking effect.

The entire East half of the garden has been prepped (tilled, double-dug, beds & paths formed, and paths covered in grass clippings) The onions, roots, spinach and beans are planted. As is one section of peas (Oregon Sugar pod, they grow well, and I end up with peas all summer). The West half of the garden has been tilled and sprayed with a herbicide, to reduce the weeds before I dig. This week I'll be starting on the bed for the corn.

The potato bin (I'll post a photo if it sometime soon) is a box with one removable side, similar to a compost bin. I added 4 inches of soil, and planted the potato runts I've saved from the grocery store bag 'o taters, they're Yukon Gold variety. One of the books I read suggested adding more soil to the potatoes so they grow 'up' instead of down, making it easier to harvest. That, and the removable side to the potato bin, should help - I hope to not have to dig potatoes out of the hard clay!

The front area by the electrical box has been partially planted. Besides the lilies, I've added Columbine, Blazing Star, Soapwort, Rock Cress, and Carnations. My Coleus all perished in a cold snap when I left them out while I went away for the weekend. (bad gardener!)

The other front area, with the peach tree, has been started. I have three big rocks, a hydrangea, a couple hostas, and a flagpole. I recently planted daises, Black-eyed Susans, Echinacea, Maltese Cross, Pampas grass, Blue Fescue, and Woodrush. It's going to be a bit busy, but the idea was an unstructured garden with multi-season attraction.

The rock garden is recovering nicely, with several herbs well established. The strawberries are looking prolific, and I might have to add netting to keep the ground squirrels from them. We'll see what I can get. Amazingly, most of the plants are adapting well to the morning/evening sun, with deep shade during the heat of the day. I hadn't expected everything to be so hardy.


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