Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Before yesterday the last time it had really rained was April 21st - almost a month ago. Not that we got a lot. We could use about 2" now to really soak the soil. Don't get me wrong. I'm really happy we got that quarter of an inch, but I noticed that even the weeds along the bike path were starting to wilt. And there is no more rain in the forecast. Nature really needs a good soaking right now. We aren't in any trouble or anything. The rivers are still running high from all the snow we got earlier in the year. But May is typically wet around here. I've been wondering if I should water my apple trees. The ones in the rock wall bed get plenty of water as they are on a soaker hose because the strawberries are there. Strawberries really need regular water thus the hose. But trees are more resilient. And their roots go down deeper. But the apples just set a lot of fruit and I'm thinking if I want to eat it and not have it drop, maybe the hose should come out.

Since it was raining I did some housework and got some buns made. Mine are gluten free. I used to love to make bread, but now that I can't eat any at all from the store (because they contain gluten or potato starch) it seems a bit more of a chore. I still need to make my mock rye. Maybe today. What I really ought to do is make two loaves and freeze a lot. But my mock rye is sandwich bread and I only have one pullman loaf pan. Hmm should I invest in another?

I did get a little gardening done. I saw that the long range forecast is for a warming trend. Usually I'd start rooting my slips about a week from June 1st, my planting date. But since it is getting warmer and not colder I figured a few days early would be nice. Their spot is already empty as it had the overwintered spinach there earlier.

In addition I killed yet another cutworm. The day before I got four. I go out every morning for this chore. Half my carrots are missing already. I know there is at least one cutworm left. I couldn't find him as he didn't drag his leaf down into his lair. He just chopped the leaf off and ate it on the surface. Every time I squish a cutworm I wish I had chickens to feed them to. I'm sure they would appreciate the cutworms more than I do.

I've also noticed that only two of the asparagus crowns are still alive - sort of. I planted ten two years ago. Last year half of them didn't come up. This year half of the remaining didn't come up. The two left are very weak and they aren't long for this world. Asparagus hates it here. So mine is destined to come from the store from now on. Does anyone remember Kate and Garden Bloggers' Death Day? That was a hilarious meme. I would have had so much great death material for this month if the meme was still around. But on the good side I have a 4'x 4' area that needs to be filled - the other half bed that died last year is filled with Brussels sprouts and spring onions. The empty area has volunteer dill all over it. I'm thinking of thinning it out on one side of the bed and sowing some cilantro on the other side. Last year I didn't have nearly enough green coriander. But I have space to fix that this year.


  1. We've gotten almost 3" of rainin May, which has kept the soil too wet to work much of the time. What is planted is loving the rain though. Today is cold and windy and I'm not wanting to work outside at all!

  2. You know, Daphne, I wonder if, while you do see cutworms, your damage is from voles. Typically a cutworm just cuts the stem of a plant and feeds off it, while I've seen voles dragging carrots down, leaving the carrot tops poking up. What do you think?

    1. I doubt it. I've had voles at my other house. They disturb the soil in a way that I would notice. Different cutworm species behave differently and typically mine drag the leaf down into the soil. Plus when the leaves are dragged under that way I can usually find the cutworm there. Maybe only a quarter of the time I can't. My problem now is that the cutworms that are left aren't dragging them down, so I can't find the cutworms. They are just cutting them off at the surface and leaving them there, just like yours do. Luckily for me at this point they are cutting them leaf by leaf so sometimes the carrot plant lives. The ones that drag them under usually cut off the whole plant. It has just been a bad year for cutworms for some reason. Most of the time I get some, but they aren't so numerous.

  3. Sorry to hear about the Asparagus. Still, there are lots of other lovely veg to grow.

  4. We haven't had much rain either - and since I have all of the new berry canes & fruit tree plantings, I've had to do a lot of watering. Dragging that hose around is not fun. And I would say - yes - investing in a 2nd Pullman pan is a great, time-saving idea.

  5. What delightful looking gluten free buns. Very cute :) To water or not to water, that is always the question. Sounds like you have planned plenty to keep yourself busy Daphne.

  6. When I woke this morning I was surprised to discover that it is raining. Wasn't in the forecast yesterday. And it's a nice gentle rain. It probably won't amount to much but whatever we get is desperately needed. I went out and bought a drip irrigation setup earlier this week. I didn't want to do it but the gardens were going to die if I didn't. I wonder how long before I'm complaining about too much rain? :)

    We've lost a lot of our asparagus over the last two years as well. But my plan is to plant more. It's just too amazingly good to go without. :)

  7. No shortage of rain here we need May to smarten up its act!

  8. I would have some posts for Death Day! Slugs have got my brassica seedlings twice now, I'm deciding whether to sow again or buy some plug plants.
    The cutworm grubs are grim, I haven't seen them before but maybe I just haven't noticed them munching my veggies. My asparagus has always done badly, as I neglected it after first planting it out and couch grass got into the bed. This year Ive planted a couple of squshes in the bed to make the most of the space. The coriander and dill sound good :)