Saturday, June 17, 2017

In the Garden: Chives and Tools

stir up hoe
baby pumpkins
sour cherry tree loaded with cherries this year
the beauty of flowering chives
kale that I transplanted under a cherry tree to make more room in the main garden and give it some shade

lupines finally blooming

St. John's Wort: pretty yellow flowers are still to come.

Peony which has since opened up
My gardening notebook
black cherry tomato plant... tape on ground was an attempt to catch flea beetles (didn't work very well)

 In the garden, things are changing faster than I can document. I've gotten almost everything planted, with the exception of a few transplants and wildflower seeds I want to throw on our hill. Of course, there's always Fall plantings, etc., but it feels good to have the toughest part done.

 I've added a few tools to my gardening game this year. One, that has proven to be very helpful with weed control, is called a stir up hoe. A gardener friend recommended it to me because it allows you to weed standing up. It works best on dried out soil. It feels a bit like vacuuming because you push it back and forth. It doesn't actually suck up weeds, but cuts them and helps loosen the soil before planting. I'm pretty much a minimalist when it comes to gardening tools, but this one is definitely a time saver. Another new "tool" is my gardening notebook. I've been meaning to start one for ages, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I also have a tiny notebook that I keep in the pocket for making daily notes about gardening: what I've planted, fertilized, harvested, etc. so I can use this info. in the future. In my bigger notebook, I have a page for each type of plant to take notes. I also have some pages in the front devoted to various organic gardening mixtures for fertilizing and pest control. It's very exciting for me to be this organized, and I'll be able to add more information to it in the winter months when I look back over it and see what when wrong.

If you're me, there's always something that goes wrong. This year, flea beetles have sounded their battle cry. I pick them off when I find them, but it's hard to catch them all. I've also tried using tape, sticky side up looped around and under the plants, but this hasn't done much to stop them. Even row cover on the ones I've managed to get it on hasn't helped much. I do use companion planting methods, but perhaps I need to figure out some different combinations. I made a rubbing alcohol and dish soap spray that I will try soon, if the problem persists. I hope there's no wars waging in your garden. Schools out soon, and I think I'll be stopping in here a bit more regularly.

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