Wednesday, May 7, 2008

State of the Garden - April 18, 2008

April 18, 2008 - My last garden related entry, though posted on 7 May because I'm so tardy, was from April 9-12, when I did the majority of the repotting of seedlings. The late seedlings that is.

I actually got a lot done in all those missing days. Because my first seedlings did so very poorly, I did go search for tomato and pepper transplants out in town. There was a stunning lack of heirlooms this year. I'm not sure if there was feedback that was negative from the abundance last year or if that fad is just passing, but I sure was happy to finally locate the best heirloom ever; The Brandywine.

Most of those tomato and pepper plants were planted out or shared with others in during the first 10 days of April, again breaking the last frost date rule by a small margin.

I've definitely noted a difference in the growth between the beds. One of them is really more of a partial shade bed and I'll either have to move it or alter my planting strategy for it next year. I don't remember it being so shaded in the summer, so maybe it will get better. Who can say with the trees and bushes growing like they are.

The seeds planted in March are going like gang-busters and I've never been so excited waiting to see a pea in my life. Jeepers.

The beets are doing exceptionally well and I had to perform the very sad task of thinning them. Because all the books say the baby thinnings are quite delicious I did use them in a salad. Delicious is an understatement. They were awesome and if it wasn't so wasn't so wasteful, I might have gone out and planted a whole packet of seeds in one area just to take the baby greens and not let them grow.

But, that is wasteful so I didn't.

In a side experiment, I have read a lot of conflicting advice about bush and pole beans. Some say to soak them first, others don't mention it and most say to use innoculant powder. By the time I got around to planting the seeds and went looking for the innoculant powder, no one was carrying it this year and it was too long a wait for a mail order. So there is no innoculant powder in any of my bean areas at all. What I did was plant 1 square, or 9 plants, of Kentucky Wonder bush beans without soaking and another square with soaking.

I'm going to compare their growth and time lines and rates and such, in an informal way, and see if there is a difference. At this point, I have seen no difference at all because there is only one sprout, but that sprout is just gorgeous!

The "Unknown Plant" that lost it's marker has two possibilities, I think it might be the lone Brussell Sprout to survive our Spring Break vacation while there is some similarity to the cauliflower plants. Since I've never grown either before, I guess I'll find out when someone tells me or I see it mature! Whatever it is, it is doing well.

Not all is food around here though. The bushes out front, which I did not pick out are in bloom and giving me that 2 weeks of good reason for being there. The flowers are tiny and barely visible, but the smell is heady and beautiful. I like to open the living room windows and let the smell drift in.

And to close with the dog shots for the day, here is Gigi showing her fabulously red ears. She is, in fact, the Veronica Lake of the Beagle world.

Boscoe finally had his dental! He needed so much rehabilitation before it was safe to have him go under for this major dental that it took 4 months of delay. But he finally was well and perky and his teeth, after a decade of neglect by the previous crap-bag owner, were in dire condition. He came through swimmingly and has now officially 18 teeth less than he should. Some of them apparently had just fallen out they were so loose, which makes extraction easy. Our great doctor did a fantastic job and is trying to save a molar, which does have some root exposure, so we aren't completely out of the woods yet. He must have teeth brushings and careful monitoring.

This is him just hours after his surgery. He was perky and feeling shiny and clean.

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