Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Late Spring Planting

Weather report:  77ºF high today. The ground temperature is 58ºF in my vegetable garden.  Very windy in the open prairie, and partially sunny. It was, in fact, windy enough that a county-wide ban on prairie burning was instituted last night continuing through today.   My first daffodil of the year, blooming just today however, reacted to the wind with cheerful defiance.

 I took advantage of the warm weather to finally get a little planting underway.  Forget about St. Patrick's day as the optimum starting day for a Midwest vegetable garden;  this year I thought it is still too cold to get a quick start on anything in the garden, so I've procrastinated a full 10 days. I left work a little early today on the excuse of a trip to the optometrist for new glasses, which also "accidentally" morphed into a visit to the nearby market for onion plants and seed potatoes.  Then, after supper, I dashed into the garden to plant the onions ('Candy' and 'Super Red Candy') and peas, anticipating a moderate chance for thunderstorms here over the next two days.  For eatin' peas, I planted Burpee's 'Burpeanna Early Organic' shelling peas, and I also put out a row of old-fashioned flowering sweet peas.  The latter, from south to north, were Heavenly Goddess Mix, Summer Love Mix, and Sweet Dreams Mix.

It was then up to the house to cut the seed potatoes ('All Blue') and set them out to dry and callus over the cut surfaces.  If it rains tomorrow or Friday, I'll wait until Sunday to plant them, the latter being the next decent day in the forecast.  Saturday, for those who are wondering, is supposed to be a high of 46ºF and a low of 26ºF.  Too cold for me to garden.  Too cold also for the worms that were disturbed during the planting tonight.  These guys weren't in any hurry to move so I covered them back up and wished them well.

In other puttering, I planted a 'Caspian' Feather Grass (Calamagrostis arundinacea var. brachytricha) into my ornamental grass bed.  The Calamagrostis sp. grasses are dependable performers  here on the prairie and I'm expanding their territory in my garden beds a little at a time.  'Caspian' is supposed to have pink-brushed flower spikes and "interesting yellow foliage" in the fall.  We'll see.

Finally, I repaired and bolstered my vegetable garden perimeter defenses, meaning that I repaired the bottom two wires of the 7-strand electric fence that I had left undone this winter.  I didn't need these two low wires, respectively 3" and 6" off the ground, to keep the deer out of the strawberry bed this winter so I had disconnected them when I replaced an end post last fall, frantically connecting the top 5 strands to keep the deer away.  Since the lower strands will be needed to keep the rabbits away as soon as the peas sprout, I fixed it all up and then demonstrated a nice brisk spark coursing through the lowest wire at the end of the line.  Let's see you hop through that, Mr. Rabbit.  Try it, I dare  you.

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