I read a really good gardening book this week, The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem by Christopher Shein. It’s got good basics, easy to follow layout, lots and lots of photos and diagrams, a section on specific plants, and never once does it say, “this is how you have to do it.” It encourages experiment and recognizes different climates, different wants, and different needs. I highly recommend it if you are planning to grow an edible garden.
Speaking of garden, what a week it has been! After last weekend’s creative madness, this week has been much calmer, yet there is still plenty happening. Tuesday we had instant summer with a record-breaking temperature of 98F (36.7C), this after we had had a light frost two days before! The rest of the week was still warm but in the comfortable zone. But it was dry and we had to water all our sprouts and new plants daily. Mother Nature decided to help us out Friday and gave us rain. Yesterday too. Now this afternoon even more with the added bonus of a tornado watch, meaning conditions are right to produce a tornado so pay attention to the sky and be alert for the warning siren. I am more worried about hail and straight line winds than a tornado, but they do touch down in the city now and then so it is nothing to scoff at.The warm weather turbo charged seed sprouting. All of the early cool seeds are up: lettuce, spinach, beets, kolhrabi, mustard, pak choi, radish. What about the corn and the peas that the squirrels liked so much? Well, there are only two corn sprouts so we might get a couple ears of sweet corn. So, swishing corn seeds in alum does not work. Note to self: pre-sprout the corn next year. And the peas? Well, you are going to laugh. The squirrels apparently didn’t dig up all of them like I thought. In fact, judging by all the vigorous sprouts, they only dug up a few. So almost all I planted on the first go round and my panicked second planting are giving me lots and lots of peas. There are snow peas and shelling peas so we will have a nice variety.
Yesterday afternoon was warm and humid and perfect for planting warm-weather seeds. I planted: pumpkin, yellow bush beans, purple bush beans, scarlet runner beans, cantaloupe, summer squash, cucumbers, and cabbage. I also planted nasturtium in all the garden nooks and crannies. Besides some morning glories and sunflowers that we pre-sprouted in our greenhouse and will go out later this week, everything is now planted.
All the apple trees burst into bloom this week. Bossy and Bingo in the front yard are loaded with blooms. In the backyard,Walter, the crab, has a dozen or so blossoms as does Bea the Honeycrisp. Bea is still a young tree so I don’t expect any apples to form, but I am secretly hoping there might be at least a couple. And Boo the blueberry has blossoms too. Quite a few actually. I don’t know if there will be berries in August since it is still a young, small plant, but the flowers are a good sign. My orange and yellow tulips are blooming and spreading. I have no idea what variety these tulips are or where I got them but they sure are pretty and they look even prettier blooming right along with the pasque flowers (prairie natives). And, I noticed this morning the little dwarf bearded iris is blooming too. My next door neighbor’s lilacs are starting to bloom. I know lots of people love lilacs, and they are pretty, but I hate them because I am highly allergic to them. The neighbor used to have four very large ones and now she is down to three. I think all these years of me giving them the evil eye finally got to them. One down, three to go. Bwhahahaha!