Careful Plotting

This spring has been slow in coming.  Really.  Last year the rhodie in our front yard was in full bloom by mid-April.  This year it is slowly, hesitantly opening up its trusses, as if it knows it can’t put it off any longer but golly, does it gotta bloom?  To keep from crankiness I focus on the silver lining:  I had lots of time to pick out my 2011 veggie seeds.  No rush to draw up the garden plots and map out what was going to grow where.  And no problem at all waiting 3 weeks between sowings of lettuces.  And now?

Introducing the 2011 Seedling Army.

This year I carefully plotted the 3 separate sowings, and here’s a great tip.  I don’t take credit for making it up, but I don’t know where I read it:  when you have an area with multiple sowings, and you know the seeds will take a while to germinate, plant a quick-growing seed in among them so you know in the future where you’ve already planted.   Genius!  When I made my second sowing, I had rows of radishes showing me where I’d already planted.    While I made up a detailed map of the plot, and did follow it carefully, the radishes did alert me to one square that I goofed up on and planted but didn’t mark it on the map.  No harm done.  The radishes will be ready to harvest soon, and won’t impede the growth of the lettuces.  Very, very smart.

The hop vine is back, too.  This marks 2 years since I planted him and I expect great things this summer.  Last year he did well with 3 good shoots, and this year are many more.  His leaves are dark and I think he’ll cover up that ugly ol’ shed side in no time!

Last weekend I broke down and went to the Seattle Tilth Eastside plant sale at the Issaquah Farmer’s Market.  Given the long-range forecast of cooler-than-normal temps until July at least, I was debating about doing tomatoes at all.  But, my undying optimism, remembrance that at least Sungold did well last year, and the desire to continue supporting this fantastic organization drew me out.

 And I came home with 6 fellows, to put in the garden in June.  I have to defend my earnestness by saying that the sparrow’s husband picked out a tomato for himself.  Of course looking it up at home, it’s not on the Tilth plant list.  Mystery tomato.  I’m sure it will outperform all the carefully researched ones I’ve chosen.  Which will be a glorious thing.

Favas are blooming, seedlings are up, roses are growing, Japanese maples are leafing, and the ninebark is glowing.  Things are looking up.


About Ilana M Calvert

I have a Master's degree in Environmental Horticulture, but I spend my time pursuing fiber arts--weaving, knitting, and spinning. Occasionally I dabble in Scottish-style fiddle playing. Most importantly, I am a wife and a "mom" to a beautiful Great Dane.
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