Saturday, April 21, 2012

Before The Rain

Our weather forecast is for rainy cool temps to move in after today. Finally normal weather. So today and yesterday I was getting ready for the deluge. Well OK the predictions say 2". I'm good with that. It is enough to wet our bone dry soil.

The first chore yesterday was to plant up the flower bed. I grew the cosmos in the back. They have been out for weeks waiting their time to get planted. In the front are Johnny-Jump-Ups that were transplanted from the places that they jumped up in and didn't belong. In the middle I sowed some zinnia. But the first thing I needed to do was run my irrigation system in this bed for the first time. It shares irrigation with the asparagus and strawberries and a few fruit trees. Basically the whole rock wall garden is on one system. The system ran perfectly the first time except for the ends. The doohickeys that are at the ends of the lines aren't holding well enough. Some water drips out. If it were the same as the emitters on the T-tape it would be fine, but it isn't. It runs out faster. The other connections didn't leak at all. I'm going to have to do something about this, but I'm not sure what. Probably a call to the company is in order.

Oh and speaking of irrigation. I looked at the strawberries. Two of them had already died from dehydration and some showed problems. Hopefully the water we are getting will perk them all up again. They are all in flower right now and setting. Hmm which makes me think I have another chore coming up soon. Protecting them from the varmits.

I didn't want to plant anything else yesterday as it got to 80F. So I waited until today. I moved some more Johnny-Jump-Ups to the back yard in front of the raspberries. These aren't them, but the ones I moved are small and not as in flower. I'm sure they will look like these soon. If only they would jump up in the right places. They do come up all over, but never ever where I want them.

Then I dealt with the baby Asian greens bed. The ones that have been in there were weeded and thinned. I found two cut worms in the mix. Hopefully there aren't more. Then I planted the ones I started indoors on the other side.

It was so dry I would dig a trench. Water. Let it drain. Put in the plants. Then water again. I don't think I watered enough to moisten the whole bed, but it was enough to keep the poor plants from dying until it starts to rain tonight.

Then I had to preform the last rites on a poor dehydrated broccoli plant. RIP

Broccoli with chard in the back

This is what he should be looking like. He was replaced with some extras I had saved. The ones that survived are twice as big as the ones that I planted today. I put two into the hole. I'll cut one down mercilessly once I'm sure one will live. I dumped my extra transplants. I was tired of looking at all the too big plants for their soil blocks. I just kept them long enough to make sure I had plants that lived.

Then it was on to the mustard patch. They had come up, but there were some bare spots, so I transplanted about five of them to fill in.

Then my miscellaneous bed got mostly planted up. It is just missing the cumin which I ought to start indoors soon. I put in a 3' foot row of: Ventura celery, Red Ventura celery, parsley, and bunching onions. It also has the beets that I sowed before. The beets are just starting to come up. By the end of the two day storm they will probably all be up.

Then it was a hunt for sweet alyssum. I saw one in my spinach garden, but not along the area where I let them run. I figured it was just too dry for them to germinate. But I had been keeping the spinach watered after I cut it. And they had popped up. I transplanted all the ones I could find and put them along the brick path. I like a wide swath of them all along. It smells so good all summer long. And the beneficials really like them.

Then I had to fertilize the perennials. I got some acid loving fertilizer for the blueberries and cranberries. And some regular for the fruit trees and other perennials. Some I fertilized and some I didn't. In general the perennials will do fine without much fertilizer since we mulch them regularly.

I didn't do anything with the above fava bed. But look at all the well spaced plants. Out of exactly 50 seeds that I planted, 49 of them came up. I only have one gap and one plant is still very small so hard to see. 98% germination. The packet said 86%. I think they like it here. I'm dreaming of favas to come.


  1. I wish we could get 2" of rain. The front came through here and we got only .07". I hope you get more than that! Your garden is looking great.

  2. Hi! Can you tell me what the metal rings are for laying in your beds? If it is a trellis of sorts do you have a reference pic of them standing? Thanks.

    1. They are just tomato cages that fold up. But the cats really dig up the bed and leave unwanted presents in the soil. So I lay them down and the cats stay away.

  3. Johnny Jump Ups always make me smile even when they pop up at the most unexpected places. You just reminded me that I wanted to fertilize the garlic before the rain. I'll have to do that after dinner.

    NOAA is predicting 4-inches of rain for us over the weekend and into Monday. I did plant some potatoes this morning, so they should be watered in nicely with the expected rain.

  4. Your brave putting your zinnias in this early. I won't even seed mine indoors till May 1. Your flower bed should look awesome when it blooms.

    We are supposed to get about an inch of rain here. I got the slug bait down just before it started. No way are they going to win the battle this year.

  5. I have some zinnias seeded earlier. They are already germinating. If they don't make it, I'll do it again.

  6. Hi! I love Johnny Jump Ups! The yellow and purple ones remind me of happy smiling faces. I bought just a few but had them at our place in MI and use to dig them out of the lawn like you. You and Annie have such wonderful gardens and you both get so much done! Nancy at Cozy Thyme Cottage

  7. Everything (well, except one broccoli) looks great! Not at all like a water starved garden. I'll be so glad when my veggies are large enough to make the beds look full and lush.

  8. Fingers crossed for rain! Our Cascine fava germinated well, the two Aguadulce fave not so much... good thing there's time to replant!

  9. wow and I thought my place was dry. I'm afraid May's water bill is going to look like what July's usually does. We're supposed to a little rain next weekend... up to .2" which of course won't really do a lot, but at least it will do a little and maybe cool things off some...we were 90+ today