Rain, Rain Go Away

Hello from the arctic tundra. Okay, that is exaggerating slightly….but it feels like it. The forecast for the past week and the forecast for the next week say rain and snow. Rain and Snow. It has rained for forty days and forty nights….almost. How am I supposed to get anything done? Like getting out of bed?!?

Let’s see where shall I begin to bring you up to speed? Being as this has turned into a monthly maybe soon to go to quarterly blog. Ug! I think about blogging all the time. It just never seems to get done. You would think that I would have more time to sit at the computer being in the Arctic Circle.

 I ordered most of my seeds this year from Territorial Seeds and Bountiful Gardens. The latter being a company that I have not ordered from before. They are located in Willits, which if memory serves me correctly is in the northern Bay area. Though I did not look it up and please correct me if I am wrong. The produce heirloom, untreated and open pollinated seeds. I really liked their catalog and ethics.

Instead I decided that I would get some of my little inside projects done. Like sewing. Then I broke my sewing machine. *sad face* That shot a lot of projects right in the ass. So for the past couple of days I have been working on a needlepoint thing that I started probably 15 years ago.

 

I also started some seeds indoors. Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant,Brussels sprouts, etc. FYI – I suck at starting seeds indoors. I have never been successful at raising them up and having them make it into the garden. I am a direct sow type of girl and for everything else I usually buy them at the nursery. I think that I just don’t give them enough pampering. But we have all these seeds so I thought I would give it another go. And some of the seeds are so old, I thought this way I can see if they are even viable. If not, no harm no foul. I they do come up then I can watch them wither on my table and say, “Yep, they still sprouted!”

 

 

This is what they look like. Exciting I know.

They are next to Jay’s dwarf Blood Orange Tree, which has one, one orange about to ripen.

 

 

 

I have made several trips out to the garden the past couple of weeks with the intention of planting peas. Then when I got out there I spent all my time doing other things. Pulling weeds. General clean up. Etcetera. The peas still have yet to be planted.

 

The seed potatoes are sitting on the window sill sprouting eyes. I bought four kinds of potatoes this time around. Two red (so we can do a comparison as to which we like better and then know for next year), Blue (that were excellent last year), and a Blue fingerlings. I have never grown fingerlings before.

 

I have plans, the key word there being plans, to plant several things that I have not ever grown before this year. fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, two specialty melons and several types of specialty greens.

 

I have grown your average assortment of melons over the years with varying results. Melons really depend on the growing season. Some years are just good for melons and some years are not. Both of these that I picked this year are similar to cantaloupe or honey-dew in flavor. One of these called Early Silverline. It is an Asian melon that is yellow-golden and oblong in shape with white flesh. The other is named Haogen. It has green and salmon colored swirled flesh. It is an adaptation of an ancient Southwest Indian melon. Both are prolific plants bearing heavy crops – thus why I chose them. I don’t even like to eat melons but the kids do. SOOO, there you have it.

 

I picked several new greens to plant this year because I LOVE spinach. But spinach does not like our sudden morph from winter to summer in this part of the world. We go from snow (spinach says good) to heat wave (spinach says reproduce and I am out of here folks!). So I am in search of a summer friendly spinach replacement. I found a cool thing called Strawberry Spinach. A plant that is more heat tolerant with spinach or lambs quarters like leaves that also produces a fruit at each leaf axil that is like a strawberry or mulberry. Intriguing, no?! AND purslane. Purslane loves hot weather!

 

Then I am going to experiment with a few things that I have grown before just not in the mountains. Like okra. I love okra and okra is super easy to grow if you live in Texas or Arizona or Missouri. But not the mountains with cool nights and a short growing season. It is just that I dearly miss not having okra in the summer. Going out to the garden and snipping a few pods everyday. Everyday. Till it is like having a bomb in your garden. You have to reset the timer everyday or else it will go off. Then you skip that one day and the next you exclaim, “Holy Mother! I was only gone for one day! And now there are mutant sized okra pods in my garden! Help!” ………….moving on.

 

I am now the proud care taker of orchids. I always wanted an orchid. My Valentine gave me two this year. Now I have to learn how to take care of them. I did just learn that an acquaintance of ours has many and she gave me some pointers. In the month that they have been in my care, they have put on more buds and are blooming beautifully. I was told that is a good sign that they are blooming, otherwise they would be dead by now.

 

 

 

This is a blurry picture of both together. You can see how tall the one is. I now refer to this small section of counter top real estate as My Zen Area. Orchids, Candles, Wine. What else do you need?

 

 

I hope to post some more pics in the near future. I have had a hard time getting pics recently for some reason. It is like a camera dry spell.

 

My husband does not especially approve of my cardboard gardening technique but the dirt underneath is beautifully grass free. I just read an article about perennial edibles and I would like to get some of those in the ground. So prep for that will be this year. We will see if it actually materializes. This particular article recommended to prep your site the year before with, you guessed it, cardboard! I would like to get in some rhubarb and a new asparagus bed for starters.

 

Signing off on the gardening front. Peace out!

 

 

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