Fava questions

I fell in love with the flavor of fava beans during trips to England and Italy, and since they are not available in markets here, I’m determined to grow my own.  Long-time readers may remember my first dismal attempt last spring when I direct seeded them into the ground.  It seemed reasonable, since we were able to plant earlier than I’d ever recalled.  However, it soon turned 90 degrees and what few favas bloomed, none set pods.

This year I was more determined, and planted two kinds of fava varieties, “Robin Hood” a dwarf from Renee Shepherd Seeds, and the old stand-by “Windsor.”

Fava compare compressed

I started them in pots in early February and planted them out in late March.  This year, I had LOTS and LOTS of blooms on both varieties, but few pods.  Of course, it rained nearly every day this spring, so pollen was washed and few insects could navigate to pollinate.  So, I was delighted to get even this meager harvest

fava harvest 2017 compressed  I wasn’t sure exactly when to pick, even after reading several pieces of advice…”pick when firm,” “pick when lumpy but not too lumpy,” “pick when pod texture is correct.”  So, since it is now in the 90’s again, and no flowers are left, I thought maybe it was time.  Plus, I need the space the favas are in for succession crops.  So, here’s my shelled beans:

fava beans shelled compressed  The greener ones are “Robin Hood” the paler ones are “Windsor.”  I probably should have kept them separate for a flavor comparison?  As you can see, some are big and some are quite immature.  I’ll know better next time.  My questions are these….some of my beans were brown inside, like this

fava brown compressed so I tossed them.  Is it too much rain?  An insect?  A disease?  And some of my pods had these raised black spots on the outside fava black compressed  Very ugly, but it doesn’t come off on my fingers, and the beans inside seemed perfectly fine.  Any thoughts?  I’m sure some of you are fava experts and can give me some answers.

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Shovel ready!

One thing a gardener learns early on is to follow the old adage, “Make hay while the sun shines.”  Timing can be crucial in many things, and especially in gardening.  Decide to sleep in instead of deadheading those chives, and a million seedlings appear that will eventually have to be weeded out.  Binge watch movies instead of picking the strawberries, and when you finally do look, many will be rotten or ruined by birds or bugs.  I could go on for hours…..but I won’t. (I hear your sigh of relief!)  I will just say that I have learned that when it is dry enough to get my truck where I want it, it’s time to shovel mulch.  So, that’s what I’ve been doing for days and days…shoveling, shoveling, shoveling…4 truckloads to date, and I’m happy I did, because last night, we finally got a huge, much-needed rain, which means I won’t be able to get my truck to the potager for days to come!  I’m so glad I shoveled mulch while the sun shone and the ground was firm, even though it was 90 degrees!  Now you can no longer see the bare landscape cloth in the potager’s paths.  Potager mid June east half compressed  It looks so much nicer with mulched paths, don’t you agree?

Potager mid June 17  And, the Front Island, Addition Garden, Potager’s exterior borders, Blue Garden, and Front Garden have also been mulched.  I’d pat myself on the back, but my arms and shoulders are too tired to try.

Shoveling mulch is not that bad, but I’ve spent the last two days shoveling stone.  Yep!  Stone.  Dixie River Rock to be exact.  Two loads!  I finally decided to stone the lavender slope.  You may recall that I plopped 60 baby lavender plants onto a bare slope (it had been bull-dozed to make a level spot for the potager) on the south side of the potager.  No soil prep, no great expectations.  I just wanted to get them in the ground before winter, and crossed my fingers that they would survive.  “Next spring, I’ll properly amend the soil, etc., etc., etc.,” I promised them.  Well, needless to say, that didn’t happen, but amazingly all but one came through the winter, and they grew well over the summer.  But, I was still not convinced they would survive, so I wasn’t about to invest in stone yet.  (It’s 4 times more costly than mulch but of course lavender can’t tolerate wood chip mulch.)  However, this winter was ghastly.  Wet, wet, and more wet (need I mention lavender likes it dry?) and in that heavy clay their roots probably rarely dried out.  And, when it turned bitter, bitter cold there was no snow cover for protection, and the west wind sweeps across the slope with icy breath.  If they had all died, I wouldn’t have been surprised, but only 6 succumbed, and upon inspection, it was mostly due to rainfall eroding the soil away from their surface roots.  So, I am rewarding their courage and endurance with a lovely layer of stone.   Here’s the before (it’s embarrassingly ugly and I had tidied the landscape cloth and weeded!)  You can count the 6 dead lavenders.  Well, actually, you can only count five, because I pulled one out already.  I’d show you the after, but it’s not quite finished because I ran out of stone.

Lavender slope pre-stone but you can see a bit of it in this photo:  Lavender slope stoning compressed  It’s a lovely shade of warm brown that looks good with the potager fence.  It will absorb heat and improve air circulation around the lavender plants, and hold that silly landscape cloth in place.  Once it’s all stoned you won’t know that there are three different bits of landscape cloth underneath.  I bet you noticed that right away, but at the time I had a little of this and a little of that, so that’s what was used.  And, of course it will have a lovely clean, crisp top edge, the dead bits will be trimmed out, and the path between the slope and the potager will have a new layer of mulch.  That won’t be happening until it dries out enough to get the truck back there again, and with rain in the forecast for today and again on the weekend it’s not likely.  So, my shovel and I can both have a rest….or not.  One makes hay, or shovels mulch and stone while the sun shines, but after a rain and while it’s overcast, a wise gardener weeds and plants.

Posted in gardening, kitchen gardens, lavender, mulching, Potager, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

If you go away…..

things happen!  D and I decided to go to the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.  Normally, I would hate to leave the gardens, but things were pretty well caught up (at least until I can start hauling mulch) and the forecast was for one day of beautiful sunshine and three days of intermittent or solid rain.  Not good for gardening or golf, but I thought a break would be good.  And it was….the golfing was terrific and the weather was perfect for it….mid-80’s and barely a breeze.  It was fun to just walk around that beautifully manicured course and enjoy the well-planned vistas.  Not to mention inspecting the landscaping at some multi-million dollar homes. (No cameras allowed.)

The car had barely stopped in our driveway before I hopped out to begin inspecting the gardens.  The weathermen had totally blown it.  All four days while I was gone were sunny, mid-to-upper 80’s with drying winds.  Fortunately, my good neighbors had watered the greenhouse and plants still in flats (although not as often as I would have, but beggars can’t be choosy.)  I quickly dragged hoses to water the things most recently planted.  A few may not recover, but most were okay and very appreciative of a drink.  The planters on the deck were very thirsty.  Overall, it could have been a lot worse.

Stella d'oro June 4 '17 compressed  On the plus side, sunshine and warmth causes lots of good things to happen.  In the Front Island, the very first daylilies of the season (Stella d’oro, of course) came into bloom.  So did the first yarrow, which was supposed to be Terra Cotta, but appears to be too pink for my taste.

Yarrow compressed  It will have to come out 😦       Happily, the Asiatic lilies that opened are correct colors:  Asiatic lilies compressed And the first tritoma bloom is lovely.  Tritoma 17 compressed  In the potager, the first tree roses flowered:  Tree rose 6-4-17  I’ve never tried growing a tree rose before, but so far so good.  In fact, during my absence several things flowered!  The first tomato (Orange Chef) has multiple flowers.Tomato bloom compressed  And 2 summer squash plants not only have flowers, but miniature squash!  Look about 3:00 and see two babies!Zucchini compressed 6-4-17  The cilantro also bolted, but the flowers are so fairy-like and delicate, that I love them, and they promise another crop of leaves later on.  Cilantro bloom compressed  Same goes for arugula. Arugula flowers compressed  Being away, I totally missed the first flowers on the Parisian cucumbers, because the first babies are already there!

Parisian cuke babies compressed Can you see them?  And those pole beans that were just beginning to climb the trellis shown in the May Review post grew another 18″! Pole beans 6-4-17 compressed  Some of the pepper plants are beginning to flower, and as I knelt to photograph this bloom

Pepper bloom 6-4-17 compressed  I saw this weird pepper already formed!

Pepper weird compressed  It’s supposed to be a New Ace, but it looks weird to me.  We’ll see what happens as it grows.  Speaking of growing, suddenly while my back was turned Cabbage 6-4-17 compressed and there are mini-minature cauliflower and broccoli as well.  I would have taken photos for you, but the camera battery died.  Maybe next time.  And, maybe I should go away more often.  Things happen!

 

 

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Is May over already?!?

How can that be?  By the end of May, the gardens are planted and mulched, and it’s time to make elderflower syrup and enjoy the June roses with feet propped up, or leisurely strolling the gardens, admiring all the work done during that brief week or two that is lovely and nearly weed free.

This year, nary a garden is mulched, although most of the planting of the main gardens is finished until spring crops come out, or I decide tackle that new Cutting Garden plan.  Although the weather hasn’t cooperated in terms of my job list, the plants that are in the gardens are proceeding on their own timely fashion, and behaving quite well.  So here’s how they look as May ends.  Let’s begin in the potager:  The East half is filling in nicely.  East half pot May 31 compressed  See those peas on the left?  They have LOTS of pods  (Little Marvel)Pea pods compressed  that will soon be filling with luscious sweet peas for shelling.  Second bed up on left looks a bit bare in the middle.  That’s because yesterday the last of the radishes were harvested, and baby pepper plants went in.  They will fill all the space before long.  The beets are changing fast and the onion sets are ready to use.Beets May 31 compressed  There are blocks of spinach, arugula, and rows of beans. In fact, the third bed up on the left is Royal Burgundy beans and if you look closely below you’ll see the first purple bud!  I’ll soon be picking beans 🙂  Bean bud compressed Here’s the west half of the potager.  The garlic looks great (9 varieties) and the broccoli is really growing fast. Potager w May 31 compressed  On the trellis, the Parisian cucumbers are just beginning to climb. Cukes climb compressed  And we’ve already been harvesting lots of lettuces, especially tasty is this Red Romaine.  We’re eating the thinnings.  Red Romaine compressed  And happily, the frozen, blackened potatoes have totally recovered.  Potatoes May 31 The interior borders are all planted with a mixture of herbs, edible flowers and veggies.  Here’s a lovely new allium nigraAllium nigra compressed that is filling in nicely after the tulips faded.  The potager exterior borders are beginning to show color again after the last of the spring bulbs departed.  N pot compressed May 31  My favorite new plant this season is the Montego Orange Bi-color snapdragon, a sweet little dwarf.  Montego snaps compressed  And the clematis on the entrance arbor Clematis compressed is really showing off.  The “Lorraine” heliopsis will soon be in bloom: Heliopsis compressed  It’s nearly white leaves always make people stop and stare.  The deck planters have been planted:  Deck containers compressed and also the rail planters Rail planters compressed  And here’s a bit of the Deck Garden:  Deck garden May 31 compressed  The May Queen Shastas still look great, and the eremurus are nearly ready to open.  In the Front Island, the Polka Dot Polly Foxgloves are just beginning to open in front of a clumpFront Island foxgloves compressed  of milkweed.  And that, gentle readers, is a bit of the progress since last month.  The season is pushing forward despite all the rain.  Our forecasters say June could be cooler than normal.  Glad I haven’t yet set the basils into the garden.  They are still snug in the greenhouse.  I suspect the first pesto of the season will be a bit late this year 😦  Good thing I have an ample supply in the freezer!

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Why Does it take me so long to plant?

Well, the obvious reason would be that I raise a lot of plants for a lot of garden space.  While I love perennials,  annuals provide the continual color that I love during summer.  So, as long as I am able, I’m seeding and planting lots of annuals.

The second reason that “planting” takes so long is that it is actually a process that includes a number of steps. With existing gardens, first of all I edit.  That means I remove volunteer seedlings and plants that have expanded too much.

Addition before compressed For example, here in the Addition Garden (yes, I need to think of a better name, but it’s based on location, adjacent to the master bedroom suite that we added) that means removing a number of black-eyed susans (on the right and much too close to the front edge) and sections of the fast-spreading Sheffield Hills “mum.”  The black-eyed susans weren’t even initially planted in this garden, but migrated from the Deck Garden by bird transport, I assume.  There are also too many Verbana-on-a-stick, that wonderful tall, purple verbena that butterflies and I love, especially late in the season.  Last year it was cleome.  The most rampant self-seeder this spring appears to be this rue. Rue volunteers compressed Having to edit out all these seedlings is a strong argument for good deadheading throughout the season.   Editing varies from year to year, depending upon winter conditions and how well I deadheaded and if I did the final garden clean-up in autumn.

The second step is weeding, although this doesn’t usually take long, because I’ve usually done a thorough weeding one or two times before, while the weather was still too cool to plant most annuals.

Step 3 is actually planting, working compost and organic fertilizers into each planting hole.

Trenching 1 compressed  Step 4 is establishing a good edge.  I use my trusty, invaluable Cobrahead weeder in an upright position to make a 3-4″ deep trench.  This will establish an air barrier that will keep grass from spreading into the bed.  Trenching 2 compressed  You can see white grass roots exposed in the above photo, illustrating Step 5, which is to make a “V” shaped trench by pulling the Cobrahead along at an angle.  The soil that is loosened is thrown into low spots in the bed, being sure to first remove any encroaching grass roots that may have sneaked into the bed, usually in “growing space” created over the winter as mulch washed into the trench.

Grubs compressed  During Steps 3-5, an additional step is often required.  Within this digging of planting holes, edging and trenching, often these ugly white grubs are uncovered.  They are usually only in the first 1-3″ of soil, because this time of year they are moving into shallow areas.  Soon they will surface as large beetles, which we call June Bugs.   If I am feeling no time crunch, I toss the grubs into a small plastic container and give them to the neighbors’ chickens, or put them in the feeder for the birds.  Generally, I’m in too much rush so I simply smash them with my Cobrahead.  Moles love them, too, but I’m not about to leave them for tunneling moles to find.  If you find one, look carefully because clusters of eggs are laid together, so several grubs hatch in the same general locale.

Scissors compressed  Step 6 is to use my garden shears to trim the grass neatly along the edge and to clip it short as the lawn nears the edge.  Yes, I use scissors for this initial trim.  Once it is done correctly, I can use my battery-powered weedeater to maintain it, but I can’t create that clean edge I desire with a machine at first.  It takes scissors.  Edge compressed  This is the look I want!

Usually the next step is to water all the newly planted material, but with rain in the forecast nearly every night, this hasn’t been necessary often.

Step 7 is to mulch, but I haven’t been able to do that because we’ve had too much rain, and I can’t get the truck even close to any bed.  So, that step is delayed, and I’m just hoping it isn’t delayed so long that a new crop of weeds emerges and I have to repeat Step 2!

Step 8 is to sprinkle critter repellent along the perimeter of the bed.  Last year, I skipped that occasionally, and ended up having to replant zinnias again thanks to troublesome rabbits who just bit them off and dropped them, without even eating a leaf!  Plant after plant…it was very annoying.  I didn’t grow a lot of excess plants this year for replanting, so I’m relying on the repellent…which has to be sprinkled often because of the continual rain.

Last step is clean-up.  Removing all the weeds and grass clippings to the compost pile, stacking all the empty flats and pots and returning them to the greenhouse to be filled again, or stored in the barn until spring.  Then I record the plantings in my garden journal.  By this time, it is usually evening (or raining) and I’m ready for a glass of wine.  Addition after compressed Sometimes I even remember to take a photo of the completed project.  Here’s that part of the Addition Garden, all ready for mulch.  You can see all the plants leaning strongly toward the top of the photo, as well as my hat, which I couldn’t keep on my head because just as I finished, the wind began to blow strongly….Yep, rain incoming….again.

When all the gardens (there are 9) have been weeded, edged, planted and mulched it’s time for a party!  This is essential, and usually happens in a timely manner before the crunch of pea-picking, elderflower syrup making, and deadheading start claiming my time.  With the rain delays, it may be later this year…so maybe I’ll just serve elderflower “champagne” and pea hummus, and flower shortbread cookies.  Oh!  But you’ll have to wait.  That’s another post!

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The Thymes they are a-changing

Caraway thyme bed compressed    Thyme is one of the best-loved of all herbs.  A versatile and durable perennial, its creeping branches can soften the harshest of rock walls, turn a stone into a comfortable tuffet or make a sunny bank into a fragrant wall of color!  There are few other plants whose scent can rival the sweet aroma of thyme.  To walk or lie on a carpet of aromatic thymes is a delight.  Many old poems and stories relate the romance of strolling over stone walkways interspersed with fragrant thymes or sitting on medieval benches with thyme-covered seats.  Many old garden paths were planted in thymes where each step of a passing lord or lady would release clouds of fragrance.  Thyme was associated with courage, and many a knight had the symbol of a sprig of thyme embroidered on a banner, or etched on his armor.

That thymes were among the first-appreciated herbs is not debated.  Descriptions of its merit are found in the early writings of Dioscorides and Virgil.   Pliny noted, “when burnt, it put to flight all venomous creatures.”

The early Egyptians recognized the powerful antiseptic and preservative properties of thyme, and used it for embalming.

Gerard’s herbal, originally published in 1597, describes thyme thus:  “Both Dioscorides and Pliny make two kinds of serpillum, that is, of creeping or wilde Time; whereof the first is our common creeping Time, which is so well known, that it needeth no description; that it beareth floures of a purple colour, as every body knoweth.”

Thymes were among the plants grown by monks and wisewomen, keepers of the medicinal plants throughout the Dark Ages.

Thymes grow wild in many countries, especially Britain and Greece.  In parts of England, wild thyme is called “Shepherd’s Thyme”.  Imagine how fragrant a hillside of thyme would be, when bruised by the hooves of grazing sheep.  The accompanying shepherds no doubt appreciated the plant, and often brewed it for a refreshing tea, or as a lotion to heal injured sheep.

Many of us are familiar with the phrase “Time heals all wounds”, but many gardeners are not aware that an old-time favorite herb, thyme can also heal wounds!  In fact, thyme is one of the oldest healing herbs known to mankind.  It has been commonly used as an expectorant for coughs and bronchitis, as a cold remedy, and externally for skin inflammations.  For centuries, its antibacterial effects have been appreciated, even before bacteria were known to exist!  In World War I, thyme was used with rosemary and lavender, to fumigate sick rooms and clean wounds.  Thyme is a disinfectant ingredient in mouthwash, and in many other over-the-counter remedies.  Check the labels of Listerine, or Vicks Vapo-rub, and you will see thymol, often as the first ingredient!

Thyme is also good for digestive problems, where it helps relax the gastrointestinal tract and aids in digestion.  A weak tea of thyme was often prescribed for a baby’s colic.  Strong teas were used for headaches and hang-overs, and as an external wash for ring worm and athlete’s foot.  It can also be used as a hair rinse for head lice and scabies.

In olden days, thyme was often carried to prevent plague.  In European folk tradition, it has been used for toothaches, stomach aches, cramps, flu, nightmares, nervous disorders, lowering blood pressure, and as a blood “purifier”.  The thymes most often listed for use medicinally are Thymus vulgaris, or common garden thyme, and Thymus pulegioides, often called Mother-of-Thyme, or wild thyme.

Because thymes are extremely aromatic, and high in oil content, they have often been used as insect repellents, or burned as offerings to gods on Midsummer Eve.  The fragrance of thyme was thought to relieve melancholy, shyness, and epilepsy!

Thymes in bloom are a delight for bees of all kinds, but especially honeybees.  Thyme honey is a delicacy here, but a staple in Greece.  Thyme honey spread on a piece of toast turns a mundane food into food for the gods!  The flavor of thyme enhances many foods, and is beloved by chefs around the world.

With so many uses, it is easy to understand why thyme has continued to be one of the most cherished and valued herbs throughout the passing centuries.  Although I grew nearly 50 varieties of thyme at the herb farm, I knew I would not grow that many in my new potager.  In fact, when it came down to choosing, only FOUR thymes now grow in my garden, the four that I actually use and enjoy most.  Here are the four in my garden:

Lemon Mist thyme compressed  THYME, LEMON MIST (Thymus x citriodorus cv.) Hardy Perennial.  Long, narrow leaves have delicious lemon scent and flavor.  The color is gray-green, softer than standard lemon thymes.  Mounding form, lavender-pink blooms.  8”  This is my absolute favorite.  Because the leaves are narrow, there is no need to attempt to chop them before adding them to any recipe.  It’s my go-to lemon thyme, fresh or dried.

Thyme compressed THYME, FRENCH (Thymus vulgaris cv.) Technically a perennial, but not reliably hardy Zone 6 or north.  Sometimes called French Summer Thyme or Narrowleaf Thyme.   Tiny, very narrow, gray-green leaves.  Excellent flavor, one that chefs insist upon!  A pot winters  indoors on a sunny windowsill, just in case we have a severe winter.  However, the past two years it has survived outdoors nicely.  Very upright, 10″.  This thyme is essential for my cassoulet, stuffed mushrooms or any mushroom dish, pork or lamb recipes, soups, stews and many teas.  I also use it as a hand-soak when my arthritis flares from too much gardening.

Lemon thyme compressed  THYME, LEMON (Thymus v. citriodorus)  Hardy Perennial.  Lovely flavor and scent, used in teas, cooking,  potpourri, etc.  Vigorous plants with large, deep green leaves.  8″  Because the leaves are larger, it is very productive, so essential if I need a quantity at one time. As you can see, it blooms a bit later than the others.

Caraway thyme compressed THYME, CARAWAY (Thymus herba barona) Hardy quickly-spreading perennial.  Long, narrow dark green leaves with excellent scent and flavor of caraway.  Pretty pink blooms.  Spreads widely with long stems in every direction, quickly carpeting a large area.  2″  I use this one to sprinkle over saurkraut in a Reuben sandwich, and in the cheese spread below.

And here are some of the recipes that make these four varieties of thyme necessities in my potager:

Thyme & Thyme Again:  This appetizer is so good, guests will visit it “thyme & thyme” again!  Mix 8 oz. cream cheese, softened; 4 oz. sour cream, 2 T. chopped English or French thyme, 1 T. chopped Lemon (or caraway) thyme and 1 T. finely chopped parsley.  Blend all ingredients and chill overnight.  Serve with crackers or vegetable sticks.

Lemon Thyme Cake:  We made this delicious dessert often for guests at the farm, and everyone always asked for the recipe! Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour a tube cake pan.

Cream together:  3 stick butter, 3 c. sugar till light and fluffy. Add 1 at a time:  5 eggs, beating well after each. Add:  1 tsp. lemon juice, 2 tsp. vanilla, 3 T. chopped lemon thyme. Add alternately, about 1/3 of each at a time, beginning and ending with flour, folding gently just until blended:  3 c. flour, 7 oz. lemon-lime soda

Pour into prepared tube pan.  Bake 1 hr. and 15 min.  Test center.  Cool in pan 15 min, then remove to serving plate.  Serve as is, or sprinkle with powdered sugar, or make a glaze of lemon juice, powdered sugar and chopped lemon thyme.  Garnish with sprigs of thyme and yellow violas!

Lemon Thyme Tea:  Mix 1 part thyme (English, French, or Penn. Dutch), 1 part lemon thyme, 1 part peppermint, 1/4 part crushed coriander seeds.  If using fresh herbs, use 1 T. per cup of boiling water.  Steep 10-15 minutes, strain and serve with slender strips of lemon peel and honey.  If  using dried herbs, use 1 tsp. mixture per cup of water.  Store remaining dried tea in an airtight container.  This is especially wonderful after a long day of shoveling snow!

“Bug” Therapy Tea:  Combine 1 T. thyme, 1 T. sage, 1 slice ginger root per 2 cups of boiling water.  Steep 5-10 min.  Be it cold or tummy flu, this tea soothes.

And wonderful day, the sun is actually shining, so it’s thyme to garden!  Blessings on this holiday weekend, and if you travel, be safe.

Posted in gardening, herbs, kitchen gardens, Potager, Recipes, thyme, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Rain again…and again

Three glorious days of sunshine, so I frantically planted veggies in the potager for long hours on the first two.  Almost all of the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, climbing melons and beans, many lettuces, edible flowers, more cippolini and Italian red scallions are in the beds.  Several flats of marigolds, Profusion zinnias, and Montego snapdragons went into the Front Garden and Front Island.  By the third day, my back was aching and unfortunately (or fortunately?) gardening was interrupted by a full day in the city (no, not our little town, or the big town, but the real city, Indianapolis!)  I got home in time to water the greenhouse and flats, and to get one more flat of portulaca into the Deck Garden before dark.

This morning, more Double Profusion zinnias, portulaca, and some perennial orange dianthus made it into the border before the RAINS began again, but I’m falling behind.  There are so many plants to go into the ground….some are on the north greenhouse shelves Pots in gh compressed  There’s 640 there, in case you’re counting.  And on the left bench there’s lots more than this photo shows,Pots gh west bench compressed  you can’t even see them all, but there’s 340.  And underneath it are a few more on the red wagon and on the ground Pots on wagon compressed in front of it.  I’m not counting those, because most of them haven’t even been transplanted into their own pots yet.  And more on the floor  Pots on gh floor compressed  some of which have been transplanted, and some have not.  (See, I’m really behind.)  And, I didn’t even take a photo of all those on the potting bench on the right.  But, let’s take a glance outside.  Here’s the bench that sits on the east side of the greenhouse, holding 540 plants

Pots east bench compressed  The little table has 96, and there’s another 244 on the ground.  And then there’s the double benches in front of the greenhouse  Pots on bench compressed holding 956. And because I’m out of bench space, I’ve put flats on the raised beds in spots where bush melons, winter squash, etc. will go in later:  Pots on beds compressed  There’s 544 minus 8 in that batch.  Oh, if you look carefully in the top left, you’ll see a couple of overturned mesh flats.  They are shading some newly transplanted beet thinnings.  Yes, I’m so frugal (tender-hearted?) that I hate to discard thinnings, so I transplant nearly all of them.  Unfortunately, I didn’t calculate those in my planting plans, so I’m going to run out of space before I run out of plants.  Hmmm.  And, while we’re looking, notice those happy shallots in the center of the front bed?  Nearly all of them have divided into 8 new shallots!  And, you can also see (ugh!) bare landscape cloth on the path because (a) we’ve had so much RAIN that is has washed a lot of the mulch down the paths and out the back gate! (b) we’ve had so much RAIN that I can’t get a load of mulch anywhere near the potager.  There are more plants tucked next to the triangle beds…(which are now planted 🙂Pots on soil compressed  and a few flats under the double benching, on the bench under the shed overhang, and on the green table.  And, the back of my golf cart is filled with the next plants to go into the ground..when it stops RAINING!  Meantime, I’m headed to my chiropractor, so I’ll be ready and able, just in case it does stop RAINING!!!!

 

 

Posted in gardening, hobby greenhouses, kitchen gardens, planting, Potager, shallots, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments