Friday, June 1, 2012

Garden Life: the Garden is In!

Finally. Last minute travel plans and other events meant seeds didn't go into the ground until the 3rd week in May. And almost everything went in as seed, no indoor starts and only a few bought jalapeno and bell pepper plants this year. It's plenty warm in the daytime and still cooling down nicely at night so the seeds are happily following their genetic imperatives and everything looks promising. However, the weather and water have also jump-started a bumper crop of weeds.

Although may not be the case in a few weeks, my views on weeds thus far flow along these lines:
 Many gardeners will agree that hand-weeding is not the terrible drudgery that it is often made out to be.  Some people find in it a kind of soothing monotony.  It leaves their minds free to develop the plot for their next novel or to perfect the brilliant repartee with which they should have encountered a relative's latest example of unreasonableness.  ~Christopher Lloyd, The Well-Tempered Garden, 1973
'Soothing monotony,' until you really start paying attention to the 'weeds.' Here's what's happening amongst the Tiger Thai Eggplants: 

eggplants in lower left corner; elm seeds, grass and volunteer basil

Okay, everything gets pulled but the basil, we'll get it when it's big enough to season some pasta or serve as a garnish. Of course, all this extra growth is occurring on top of the mound so a hoe is out of the question -- at least in my hands -- and even the Hori Hori has to be used sparingly. The work gets even closer in some areas. Wonder what's supposed to be growing in this row...

not tomatoes... not pole beans... it's a row of Dill, those tiny, 2 leaf seedlings next to the soaker hose

Why all the volunteers? Remember the frozen vegetable section photo from last year's freeze?* The mild winter and lack of moisture must have preserved all kinds of seeds, our own little heirloom seed saver project without the collecting... and the labeling. Some of the volunteers will get to stand their ground and others will go friends' gardens in a week or so when the thinning is done. I don't think they'll mind the addition of mystery tomatoes... unless some of them happen to be Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes. Those were some of the best cherry tomatoes we've ever had but they were teeny and the skin tore when you picked them so you had to eat them almost immediately, or snip off a bunch still on the stem.  This year, Matt's volunteers will be treated like weeds.

Alas, there has been no inspiration for a novel, although a downright seedy thought came to me while weeding tomatoes from tomatoes: our parsley has bolted and is just starting to flower; a planter or two under the heads for the seeds as they drop should result in another pot of parsley. Yep, that's easy* and... free!!

Flowering parsley; the pollinators are here, yay!

 From weedy & seedy to chic, check out the cool small space gardening ideas at No Ordinary Homestead. This is link-y fun so join us if you can!

*Yes, Intrepid Reader, you know I'm a bit of a lazy gardener. The garden litter did not get picked up with alacrity; I thought it would be good for the soil. Yeah, that's my story... 
 * See? That's a lazy gardener.

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