Sunday, July 24, 2011

Watering, catbirds, raspberries, woodchucks, harvests, sowing

I watered my garden yesterday and today! I oppose watering with a hose on lawns (mine looks no worse than most now), but when I came home yesterday after five days in the North to see a celery plant turned brown, I decided it was time for artificial help for my plants. It's the second time in four years.

Someone asked for advice on catbirds. I too am interested, but empty-handed. Mine may have flown away while I was gone. If so, I'm grateful. The second crop of raspberries is looking more promising than the first ever did. Maybe I will have lots to share at the open garden 2-4 on Saturday, Sept. 17! I'm cautiously optimistic.

What is certain is that it is time to cut away the dead wood of the raspberries, a major job. As I finish, I put lots of dead leaves to nourish the young 'uns, the only fertilizer my raspberries get. This is a major reason that Fred brings me a ton of leaves each fall. Raspberry bushes live only slightly over a year, and then humans must remove the dead ones on residential properties to make room for the next crop.

When I came home yesterday, I discovered that someone had eaten almost all my plentiful lettuce. I wonder if my woodchuck has decided, as I have, that an occasional shock from the electric fence is acceptable. He also apparently nibbled on collards and zucchini leaves (what mammal would want THEM!), but it wasn't as devastating as the lettuce.

We'll have our first fresh eggplant parmesan tomorrow for dinner. We had our first 2011 fresh pepper last evening. Yum! The cucumbers also seemed to want water, but the Marketmores have bravely continued to bear. Basil is doing okay, but it too politely asked for water. The pak choi is falling over, so we had it this evening for dinner, and will eat it up before long. Zucchini remains delicious.

I had prepared soil before I left and last evening after I returned I sowed beats, arugula, small turnips and summer lettuce. These will need to be watered frequently with a watering can until they are established, which is why I didn't sow them last week.

Tomatoes these days are abundant and delicious. July is nice... although this one is a bit hotter than optimum.


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