Sunday, May 4, 2014

Last week

Well I've been remiss in blogging. But I did get out to the garden to do a few chores last week. Wednesday I got out and put in my zinnias. First I had to pull out the lemon balm and the yarrow that I no longer wanted. I haven't been using the lemon balm and it self seeds here like crazy. The yarrow just isn't happy and the flowers flop all over. In addition multiple of the plants die every winter. They do self seed to a certain extent and I've used that to replace them. But they just aren't blooming enough. So I'm switching to just doing zinnias along this edge. I do have some herbs at the right edge. I've got a couple of French tarragon and some very very small winter savory. One of the zinnias is dying too so I think I'll put some basil in that spot when the basil get big enough (right not it hasn't even germinated yet).

The other section is by my neighbor's fence. He grows tomatoes on his side of the fence every year. And I grow zinnias and sweet alyssum to edge the bed. Previously they were full size zinnias that get about 3' high and need support or the wind blows them over. They are beautiful and put on quite a show, but it does block my neighbor's sun and is a pain to keep supported. This year I'm trying some new ones that only get to 18". Maybe that will be short enough so they can support themselves.

Friday I got out and finally put the netting row covers on some of the beds. This is the chard. The leaf miners start to come out around Mother's Day so I wanted to make sure I got the netting on before that.

I also covered the onions and carrots. Onion root maggots hit the peak of the first flight at 700 base 40F GDD. But that is the peak. I've hard the first ones can come out around 300-400. I use a spreadsheet and my weather station info to calculate the GDD. On Friday it was 410. So They needed to be covered. Also the carrots which are above the garlic. I've tried to find a number for the GDD for carrot maggots but can't. I know from my own experience that there is damage around the middle to end of June. It takes the maggot at least a month in the soil before you see any damage. The row cover probably needs to be up by the middle of May. So all three of these pests start to come out about the same time. But now they are safe.

On Saturday I went out and weeded the garden a bit. I really didn't NEED to do anything in the garden, but it was such a beautiful day. I just wanted to be out.

I noticed that my rosemary in the circle garden had definitely died. One more is hanging in there, but barely. And one survived and is nice and green, if a bit small. So I layered a couple of branches from that rosemary. Once they are rooted I'll scatter them around the garden. I want to keep my Arp alive at least somewhere. And different winters kill off different ones. Rosemary really isn't hardy here. Our lowest lows for the year tend to be around -3F to -5F (-20C). And really hard years like this tend to kill even the hardiest rosemary plants. Having different locations gives them an extra chance to live. I think the winter winds killed the one in the circle garden. But the one that lived was protected from those winds. But that section dries out a lot since it is near the foundation of the house and can be in a rain shadow. So sometimes that one dies and other ones live. It just depends upon the year.

I probably won't replace the rosemary in the circle garden though. I think the circle will look better if I put the winter savory there. It is shorter like the other plants in the circle. I'm not sure where they will go, but I'll find a couple good spots somewhere. Maybe one along the fence where the zinnias are growing.

I did a lot of weeding on Saturday. Some of those weeds were little tiny lettuce plants. I decided to transplant about 12 of them. I can tell which ones are Red Sails, but the other ones could be anything as they are just nondescript green leaves.

I had two beds that needed cleaning out. I cleaned out one and put on the bone char which I'm using in place of compost this year. I'll see how it works. I still need to buy two bags of compost for the last bed. I should have done that last week when I was at the store buying more rebar, but didn't even think of it. Oh well. My husband ought to be traveling again sometime so I can have the car. I'm not about to bring home heavy bags on the bus.


  1. Lots of work get done.
    How about your asparagus, how many survived?

    1. I'm not sure yet. I haven't checked to see if they are coming up.

  2. Gardening can be complex sometimes! So many decisions to be made. So many plans. So many variables over which you have little control (I mean weather and pests).

  3. I was just wandering if your neighbours have self-seeded plants from your garden :).