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Monday, May 06, 2013

The long view

Many neighbors set out tomatoes last week and the destruction wreaked among those by the unexpectedly heavy freeze is awful to behold. If I had known, I might have planted far more starts and had some to give away. Might anyhow.


Tomatoes and a few other things hardening off in pots. The bin is for watering from the bottom, which helps prevent damping -- mold attacking the plants at the base of the stem. These are Stupice and Sungolds.


When the chives begin to blossom it cheers us up considerably.


The mint returns. As always it looks for greener pastures and a lot of it has to be yanked out. Ditto for nasturtiums and sunchokes. These things are welcome but they have to know their place.


The year's compost has been spread on beds and the composting area tidied up a bit. If you expand the pic a bit you may notice the newest member of the family in the gate at upper right -- Toto, a Cairn Terrier we inherited from my mom and dad, whom we lost last year.


The greens/peas/broad beans bed is doing -- okay. In this dry weather the slugs remain in hiding; however the heat has things bolting and even trying to go to seed, and it's not even summer yet. Yesterday our thermometer, in the shade, registered 88F.


A couple of days before the heat wave, a 27F morning rimed everything and the grapes and potatoes are having to start over. Even some lettuces froze to death.


Leftover material from a rhubarb harvest goes to mulching paths.


We're out of cardboard boxes, and, for the moment, rhubarb leaves, so we finish the path with grocery bags cut open and spread flat. If it's windy, watering the bags will help hold them down till the straw arrives.


Risa putting straw over the rhubarb waste and paper bags. A mulched path helps reduce moisture loss from the garden as a whole, and allows for year-round sheet composting.


Main garden. Paths are the lighter stripes, the brown stripes are beds with barn bedding and compost spread over them, mostly still awaiting planting with summer things. The grapes are in terrible shape, but will make a comeback; they will be weeded and mulched this afternoon.

Frosts and heat waves will come. The gardener must work and may hope; but it is well to take the long view of events in the natural world.

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