Friday, June 29, 2007

the latest from the weed patch

This morning while i was in the garden checking on the tomatoes, the vacationing neighbor was shooting a high-powered rifle repeatedly. Now, i'm certain that he was merely working on his new sight, or perfecting his trigger, and certainly was not after the many trespassers on Deer Highway, but it really disturbed me that he was firing near the Pine Forest where the boys had recently been playing. I know we are allowed to shoot, but what are the guidelines for shooting near occupied land? Mo sent along a link to local ordinances in Virginia, and Craig is notably not on it. So i suppose a good old fashioned drop-by-to-say-hi is in our futures this evening. The tomato news is that while we don't have any ripening as yet (congrats, Mo), we have several on the vine that look quite lovely. And to think it only took 32 plants to get a few! The beans have a poor showing; after Graeme and I finished weeding the bed there are only a half-dozen plants at best. The peas aren't doing well either, and I'm wondering what we can do: do we weed and wait, do we tear it up and plant something else, do we make it the world's best cat box? I put the questions to Morris, who was most helpful and full of advice. So now it seems that we will be replanting beans and scrapping the peas, which is fine with me. The beans we planted were from last year's seed purchase, so we might need to get some more of those. I like the burgandy ones best, and some pole beans are always nice. I'd also like to get some delicata squash seeds in the ground -- they are my favorite -- but i have No Clue where to buy them (if i could find a squash, i'd buy it, eat it, and plant the seeds). Perhaps Agnew will have some. I also would like to get the pumpkin seeds in the ground for Halloween, even if we don't harvest them for actual eating. The beets from last year's seeds seems to be doing quite well, and if early shoots are any indication, we'll have beets by the bucketload. The spinach (curent season seed purchase) is duking it out with the weeds, and i'm not going to sweat that crop so much. It's a shame, since i'm big on spinach and was really looking forward to making some spinach-artichoke dip, so it looks like a trip to the market is in order. Mo says it, like the peas, are an early or late crop and that i should try again in the fall. I'm a fan of weed barrier fabric, but even so weeds would still happen. I'm not certain what the horses got into, but it has been coming up in droves in all our beds. The cow manure will be a godsend next year. We set out three new beds that we plan to plant with potatoes, so i'm betting we'll be in Agnew soon. Will pick up some seeds then, tear out the peas and keep in mind that cool crops doesn't mean "july." I have some onion seeds for planting in the fall. We also have some serious garlic going on, Russian Red and elephant varieties. We didn't get it in soon enough to harvest or anything, but will leave it in the beds over the winter for harvesting next year. With the deer being what they are (read: p.i.t.a.), i'm thinking of building a low garden wall. it's not fool proof or anything, but it can be pretty, and i'm seriously invested in the garden. It's silly in a way, but there is a lot of me in the beds. The boys and I go out every morning, and I've come to really look forward to the roses and flowers and vegetables. Since the roses and lilies were a deer buffet, the vegetables have been getting most of my attention (that, and all the weeds that seem to spring up in the beds overnight). I checked on the roses this morning, and it seems they will recover, but i doubt there will be much in the way of blooms for several weeks, if then.