Thursday, September 30, 2010

A sunny day

I remember a delightfully sunny day. Ah, yesterday! Predicted were two days of steady storms, so I spent it all outdoors. I'm glad the prediction wasn't completely accurate.

I did the expected things for a sunny day in the middle of lots of rain. I picked raspberries and small tomatoes for two days' consumption, at least. I mowed the lawn. So did Green Harmony Now, and they delivered wonderful, organic, fresh grass clippings. I love running my fingers through them! I did lots of mulching with them while it was so much fun. That involved a certain amount of weeding in non-garden, non-lawn places in the hope that it will remain weed-free for a significant time.

Much more emotional, I took out the unsatisfactory tomato plant. I needed counseling and a hug from Fred first. I don't think I have ever killed a mature, live tomato plant before -- but its tomatoes go directly from green to rotten, so I gulped and did it. My daughter assures me that the role of a gardener is selection, bless her.

I thought that the nearby eggplant and pepper plants thanked me. Fred doubts this, but they seemed so grateful not to have the embracing arms of a sprawling plant over them! It took FIVE little black pails to take all of that one plant to the compost heap.

My mourning is odd because I counted I have over 30 tomato plants this year,
including the volunteers in the front yard (of our north-facing house) and the compost heap (under the trees in the back). Why feel worried about removing one? It isn't like that poor little rabbit last seen diving under the neighbor's fence where the owner chasing the dog who had just broken his leash couldn't follow. I miss "my" rabbit, but that's understandable.

I must count carefully the number of eggplant and basil plants I have this year and raise that many from seed next year. The plants from the garden centers are not as satisfactory, although they aren't failures like that volunteer tomato plant. We ate our first dinner of yellow eggplant this week, and couldn't distinguish the taste or texture from that of purple eggplant. But if not picked, the eggplants rot when they are only 3" in diameter, so those I grew from seed are far more food-providing.

The garden center basil has MUCH smaller leaves than those I raised from seed. I think it is called "mammoth" basil. I picked one leaf yesterday that was at least 3" long and almost as wide, and this is much easier to prepare for pesto than the basil from bought seedlings. Furthemore, the latter go to seed lots, and I must be continually picking off the tops. I have the time now, but raising mammoth from seed is well worth the time of busy gardeners.

I was glad to get out and distribute some more grass clippings in a pause today, but I'm glad that sun is predicted to return this weekend. Not that we can trust that -- or ever could. But we all know climate change has changed all the rules about weather.

Enjoy indoor activities, maybe slipping out between the drops!


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