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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

They are taking a chance

Winter arrived in April after being conspicuously missing November to March, and the "cool weather" plants are shell-shocked. There's been maybe two inches growth on most things, if that. And two freezes have set back the potatoes.

Of the lettuces, Red Sails is doing best. There are broadbeans down the middle of the greens beds, to provide a little nitrogen and, later, partial shade. Not to mention early foliage and then early beans. Onions and leeks are interspersed throughout.

I like Red Russian kale for its hardiness but the young people have requested Lacinato. It is aloso popular with aphids so I will have to keep an eye out. 

These three beds are a polyculture of broadbeans, French Breakfast radishes, Chioggia beets, turnips, Chinese cabbage, assorted kales, walking onions, leeks, chard, and whatever I will throw at gaps as the beds develop.

I got into a frenzy of transplanting yesterday morning to take advantage of the quarter inch of rain that was predicted, and which we got. This morning is very dark, but we are supposed to get a week in the 70s (F).

Here on the left are some of half a dozen Stupice tomatoes. They are a little more hardy than the long season heirlooms, so they are taking a chance. I got these, and some other plants, at the most recent Food for Lane County Youth Farm plant sale held at Grassroots Garden. I like to start things from seed, but I'm not well equipped to do tomatoes in a timely manner, (i.e. they all died again) and I like to support the food bank and its young farm trainees.

There is room for six more tomatoes behind them, and six more in the greenhouse. Eighteen should be enough. At one time I had seventy-two.

I have been working on the ancient bathroom (major to-the-walls update, with some big senior grab bars) and had the water off, then back on, so when I came out in the morning to let out the birds, I found a hose nozzle going full blast -- irrigating in the rain. Oops. Senior in so many ways.

Right after a rainstorm is no time to till, but you can broadfork.

Do not mind if your beds are not exactly straight, as you are not The Mother Earth News.

The violets in the strawberry planter have grown quite a lot, and Jiz┼Ź has relocated closer to the gate, to greet visitors as it opens. His new location is a work in progress -- it needs a few more stones and a few less weeds.

If you like, you may leave him a flower, or leaf, or (he especially likes this) water his moss, and put palms together to greet/take leave of him. He's just a bit of rock, but you may find him very calming.


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