Saturday, May 24, 2014

Everything’s Coming Up Daisies

Although we’ve only received about a smidgen of rain in the past week at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden, the wonderful rain we received earlier in the month has caused all of our daisies and irises to pop quite spectacularly.     We’ve also started to plant in earnest our summer crops, like beans, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.  Cathy stopped by on Thursday and remarked that this is her favorite time of the gardening season – when everything is still in nice neat rows.

A new gardener joined us this week.  She dived right in, completed her work equity (by cleaning out the raised beds next door), weeding her plot into submission and then fully planting it yesterday.  I was at the Garden with her on Thursday evening and Friday morning.

Everyone has pretty much caught up with their chores.  The paths look spectacular, as though we had just spread the chips yesterday.

Neal has built some impressive trellises for his beans and cucumbers.  I've been using recycled fencing and construction wire fence.  Our strawberries are starting to ripen, which means that I will have to update my strawberry picking report next week.

Rayna and I worked hard this morning planting tomatoes and peppers and helping the girls do the same (as well as creating trellises for their peas).  I’ll be back on Monday morning to finish my planting and start on the summer crops and transplanting/thinning for the food pantry plots.   I’ve actually had time this year to dig deep holes for my tomatoes so that I could bury them up to the first level of leaves with compost (from my home bin) and then use the soil from the hole to form a volcano rim (to focus the water around the plant).

We had a very pleasant surprise last week.  Charlie showed up to find a brand new Black & Decker shovel, rake and hoe laying next to the shed -- delivered by an anonymous benefactor.  For the rest of us, they mysteriously showed up in the shed and have been put to good use almost every day since (although the shovels a little taller than me).
Of course, not everything is perfect.  I haven't seen a single honey bee.  My purple salvia is a reliable bee magnet, but not this year.  Today I had a couple of bumble bees, but not a honey bee in sight.  In addition, half of our rose bushes suffered significant damage from the polar vortex and our peach trees did not bud.  Also, our forth WEP volunteer failed to show up today.  I keep my fingers crossed that we will eventually have someone to help mow, weed and water.

With any luck (and with the Memorial Tournament about to start), we’ll get some rain this week.  My home rain barrels are running low.

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