Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Beautiful Weekend

Except for the 20 mph wind, today was such a gorgeous day. Tomorrow will be even nicer as the temperatures will rise by 10F and the wind will die down. So of course I was outside getting things done.

My fruit trees showed up on Friday right on time. I figured they would all be bareroot but they weren't. Only the Pink Lady apple was. So I unwrapped it and put it in a bucket of water to soak over night. The Ichy persimmon and the 2-in-1 plum (Redheart and Shiro) were both in pots which I watered. The plum was a decent size, but the persimmon was tiny. It was only a foot tall. I hope that doesn't mean it is a really slow grower.

This morning I was out to dig out the last stump and plant the trees. Then I fixed the trellis for the apple tree. I've got the wires spaced 18" apart with four going across. I cut the top of the whip to the bottom wire. Hopefully I can get enough branches going in the right spaces. Last time I did this one of my trees had to be cut again to encourage the right branches to grow. I've never been very good at getting apple trees to grow branches where I want them.

The persimmon and plum won't be espaliered. I'm going to grow them semi naturally. They are against a fence and by the driveway so I'm going to try to shape them more linearly. But I think that will be easier than trying to trellis them as stone fruit just don't do that well espaliered. Natural growth is so much easier with them (they don't send out spurs like apples and pears, but put out buds on newer growth). I seem to do better shaping these kinds of trees than apples, so I should be OK. Either that or I'm deluding myself. We will see if I have to rip these out in five years.

Dark spots used to have alyssum

Next up was cleaning up the alyssum from the paths. I probably shouldn't let it stay over the winter. It really gets in the cracks. I've got little alyssums coming up everywhere the plants were draping in the cracks of the path. I don't put this in the compost. There are way too many seeds. I put it in the yard waste and I let the town compost it. They get much hotter than mine. Mine doesn't kill seeds.

Then it was on to the spinach seeding. I had two beds of spinach left to do. First I fertilized and aerated the soil. Or tried to. The last two feet of each bed was still frozen about 5" down. Some years I'd do the bed in two batches doing the unfrozen end first then coming back. But I decided not to this year. Our forecast is for mostly sunny weather in the 60Fs for a whole week. The ice won't last long. Certainly not long enough to rot a spinach seed as they are very hardy in these conditions. As you can see above I measured out long rows to seed in and used my measuring stick to make a small trench.

I dropped in the seed and covered them up and watered them in. One of the beds got Space which has always been my goto spinach. The other got pot luck from the store. It was Bloomsdale Long Standing. We will see if it really is longer standing than Space. Not that it will have a long time to stay in the bed. I have corn and squash that needs the bed come June.

I put on their row cover. This keeps the leaf miners from damaging the leaves. I don't need to do this yet as they don't come out until May some time. Usually mid May but it varies. But I didn't even think of leaving it off when I was doing it. I just automatically put it on. I probably should wait at least a couple weeks as then weeding would be easier.

I have some more seedlings that need planting, but today was way too windy to put them in. Tomorrow ought to be milder so hopefully I'll get a chance to get out and do that. I'll be waiting a bit longer on the celery, parsley, and celeriac that needs to go in. I want the soil to warm up just a bit before I do. I'll be able to do it later this week for sure though.


  1. Wow! Your garden looks so clean and neat! What you usually do with space between the beds? letting the grass grow and mulching?

    1. There is no grass in the garden. I often mulch it to keep the mud down. And I do weed it. Sometimes the alyssum grows in the paths too and the dill.

  2. I like those nice neat regular rows - they are even neater than mine! Good luck with those fruit trees.

  3. Your beds are always organized and planted so nicely! I like how you use the measuring sticks to make your rows so straight. I'm going to try to be a little more "organized" with my planting this year!

  4. I love Pink Lady apples. We had a lovely week,last week but this weekend the weather has dropped off.

  5. You are much braver than I, obviously, when it comes to pruning back apples. I have no idea what my trees will look like, but I doubt that I will be able to cut anything off once I plant it (even though I know you are supposed to, especially if you want them to stay small, as I do).

    Boy, your beds/paths look amazing. Mine are still a whopping mess, but today is the big cleanup - in the beds anyhow, the paths still need a whack of weeding/mulching to make them at all presentable.

  6. I did a poor job laying down mulch between my raised garden beds so am constantly digging out chunks of grass. I look forward to nothing but mud and mulch as you have!

  7. I have a 3 year old persimmon tree, still very tiny, not doing much, I heard it's supposed to fruit between 3-6 yrs of age, I'm not expecting to see any this year, good luck with yours.