Saturday, May 14, 2011

Green grow the babies, oh!

This is exciting—it's the first year I have so many baby plants growing in the spring. Usually it's only weeds that I get to watch getting bigger every day. This year I've got these little lettuces. After weeks being just bigger than specks, they're finally starting to get visible.

The big clump on the left side is where the bag broke open while I was making the two rows. The front row is supposed to be French lettuces and the back are supposed to be Italians, and on close inspection they do look slightly different. Pretty soon I'll be thinning them out and see how they taste! Mmmm! This is my first ever home-grown lettuce!

My strawberry pots are looking good, leaves are getting bigger and I can see baby flower buds on both my Quinaults from last year, and the TriStars I bought this year. They're both everbearing. This pot is the Quinaults.

The two spinach plants in the center are getting almost covered right now, they're getting more leaves but the leaves aren't getting very big. I'm hoping they'll show a little more vigor soon, but either way I'll be tasting them soon, too. It could be there's only enough room for one plant in there. Live and learn.

I was going to put both sets of strawberries in the bed behind my back door, but I had a traumatic event when I bought a big box of fresh California strawberries a few weeks ago that convinced me to keep them in elevated pots. I was cleaning them and cutting the tops off in my kitchen sink, and after I put the last one on the bowlful, I noticed a piece of leaf I'd left on it. I reached over to pull it off and it turned around and crawled back into the berry! It wasn't a piece of leaf, it was a big old earwig! Bleccchhhh! So I took that one and the tops out and trashed them, and then carefully sliced all the others up without finding any more bugs. I've had ants and pillbugs get berries on the ground, but I have a full complement of earwigs in my garden, and I don't even want to give them a chance at my berries. Anyway, now they're up at elbow height, away from bunny rabbits and ground bugs, and I can just walk out in the morning and do comparison nibbling. Last year I got about 3 berries a week from my Quinaults and they bore ripe ones all the way into October, and I didn't get them planted till late. Two pots means twice as many, I hope!

So with all these dry days—let's see, I think there have been 6 or so, so far this spring—what have I been doing? Just this—

Weeding—weeds, weeds, weeds. This is the second dump load, another 30 pounds (20 gallons) of weeds, mostly little bitter cress, grasses, chickweed, and pigweed. I'm almost caught up, I've pretty much cleared the orchard, there are just a few patches I still really need to get. I do need to get into the veggie garden soon and check on everything in there. We should have a couple dry days next week, so I'll be getting down there then and get some new pictures. I can see things growing!

So exciting!

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