Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Garden Update from the Pacific Northwest

With the weekend "heat wave" and subsequent days of heavy rain, my little seeds are happy!

Sprouting in the garden: carrots, chard, a few beans

Sprouting in the front flower bed: nasturtium, a few sunflowers, and wildflowers in the half-barrel

Sprouting in the pots: mint, cilantro, and radishes

Sprouting indoors: yellow tomato, heirloom tomato, basil, walla walla onions, bell peppers, lettuce mix, black-eyed susan vine.

Here are tomatoes

Walla Walla Onions

The peppers surprised me- the instructions said to put them in peat pots in a saucer of warm water, and replace the warm water each day. I threw them in the tray with everything else- Survival of the fittest!

The black-eyed susan vines also surprised me- only 5 out of my 12 seeds sprouted. Since almost everything else came up, maybe they were bad seeds? I didn't think they'd be so finicky. Unfortunately I shared these seeds with my friend, and now she has a tray of duds too.

I'm going to let things set one good set of "true" leaves, and then pinch them out to make sturdy, bushy plants (especially important for the tomatoes, I've been told.)

Other things growing in the yard: We have an annual tradition with our Grandmother- every Spring she asks if we need anything from the yard, and our eyes light up as we head for the shovel and bucket. She's a generous gardener with a prolific yard. This year I brought home hosta, mint, lemon balm, and orange crocosmia starts. I also scored a few potted plants in need of soil- a pink hydrangea, jasmine vine, and some sort of bulb (all that's left is the foliage.) The fig tree we planted a few weeks ago looks like it will make it- I found some leaf buds a week ago, and it looks like the weekend heat forced them out. We'll have leaves soon!

In addition to all this, we picked up a 4-year-old fig tree over the weekend from Mama Papaya. Her house, chickens, and little Maia Papaya are all adorable! (We took a quick trip over the weekend, sans Ernie, to visit family and see a few sights.) The fig tree still needs a designated spot in the yard. I'm torn over whether I should plant it in front with our little fig-lette stick, or maybe across the yard, near the neighbor's apple tree? Do I want to turn our front yard into an orchard? When I'm 70 years old and still live here, just how much fruit do I want to be harvesting every year??? Is there enough sun in the backyard? (No) Hmm..any suggestions?

How is your yard doing this year? Any big plans?

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