Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hardcore Gardening

Got in the yard yesterday to plant 60 gladiola bulbs, 5 tomatoes, basil, parsley as well as seeds for bush beans, swiss chard, and two varieties of radish. While planting, my daughter and I got soaked to the skin in a sudden downpour, at least the rain made the digging easier and now our hair is soft and curly...

We've had a week of temps in the 80-90 (26-32C) range, up from last week's temps of 50-60degrees (10-15C), so suddenly it is summer! My strawberry plants got fried, even with lots of extra water and  mulching them heavily with straw. My son and I finally had to make a shade screen from some weed paper, clothes pins and a bit of fencing. I think they will survive but I probably won't get any strawberries this season. I have as backup a couple of containers of strawberries on the back patio; these escaped the extreme heat damage, so there will be some fruit for the cereal bowl. Apparently Missouri got it's couple weeks of Spring, so now we're onto our hot & humid summer conditions.

The irises, roses, peony and rhododendron have burst into bloom. I got one application of Neem Oil on the roses before the buds opened to curb the aphid appetites. The Queen Elizabeth (pink) and Goldglow (yellow) climbers on the house are outstanding this year, attributable to several applications of fish emulsion last year. My poor wilty transplanted rose has two green un-shriveled leaves so I am more hopeful for its survival during this heat wave.

So while we are sweltering in 91 degree heat with 67% humidity most of the garden plants are thriving with an extra drink of water in the evening. The two 6 inch goldfish I winter over in an inside aquarium are now swimming in their outdoor pond, noshing on mosquito larvae and algae. The backyard raised beds are delayed due to the deleterious effects of heat on the human builders. The weather is supposed to be cooler by the end of the week so we can complete the project. Amazing how quickly we get behind in the garden...

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