Posted in Progress

Garden Growth–9th May, 2019

Violas are starting to open flower which is a relief because I’ve been watching early pollinators hunting for food, the dandelions we’re allowing to grow aren’t far behind.  Broke just over 60°F again, and no more 30° range drops at night predicted for a while.

  • Watered the seedlings inside and out.
  • The quick and dirty cold frames seem to be functioning just fine.  I had put a thermometer inside one of them, and near to noon I noticed it was reading 80°F when the temperature outside hadn’t hit its peak yet.  I opened both of them so they wouldn’t overheat the plantings inside even if they hadn’t broken ground yet.  When I closed them near the end of daylight, the thermometer was reading just above 60°F.
  • I was seized by a bit of indecision, since all the remaining freebie windows we have are at least partly framed by unfinished wood.  I had thought to maybe use them anyway, but decided to wait.  There’s a bit of scrap paint I found in our cellar in a cabinet that was here when we bought it, and I might seal the wood with that to help prevent rot.  We’re also less than two weeks before our last frost date, so I’m not sure if it’s worth all the trouble for cold frames we might not be needing much longer this spring anyhoo.  I thought I can always paint them later if we want to use them in the fall.
  • Speaking of fall, we recently had a chat about the walipini, and given all the rocks we’ve been finding in what shallow digging we’ve been doing, and we made a firm decision that we’re holding off for at least another year.  This is still within the original 3-5 year hoped for timeline I’d imagined when we first talked about what funds our property would need overall, so it’s not a huge let down to come to this decision.  It’s likely we’ll have to hire someone to dig out the dirt because of how rocky the grounds are, and we suspect, given the rock wall border, that there will be much bigger rocks we won’t be easily able to haul out on our own which would slow the process  down.  Instead we’re thinking about building a small above ground greenhouse using the garage doors and the various windows instead, with the idea that a greenhouse will still help us extend our season somewhat for the shorter term until we can invest funds into the walipini.
  • I did some minor yard clean up as I could, and unfortunately noticed that not only do we seem to have many grey willows sprouting, but much more oriental bittersweet than we had realized.  We also have a lot of burdock showing up, though that and the willows are the easiest to remedy.  It’s the bittersweet and the one knotweed we found last year that are my larger concerns as to management.  I read recently that knotweed can send out underground roots as long as a football field.  So now I’m annoyed that whomever just was cutting it back before we bought the place didn’t dig it up back then, and kicking myself for not digging it up last year once it was ID’d.  That’ll be a priority this week, and my concern with that right now is how close it is to the new compost bin.  There’s a chance we may find roots running underneath it.  It’s also in the part of our yard where all the trees are, and I read even a root piece the size of a fingernail can be enough to start things all over again.  Still, hopefully this week we’ll at least get an idea of how bad it might be when we start to dig it up.  The bittersweet I imagine will be a long term culling because there is so much of it growing all over the place around here, including in forested and abandoned property areas.  Birds eat the berries and that’s how it will come back here again even if we get it all out of the ground now.  So I’m braced for the long haul with that.
  • I was hoping to do more berry creeper clearing yesterday, but didn’t get back outside for it.  Depending on how much rain we get tomorrow, hopefully more will get done then.  The areas with the iris and the one lily I cleared around seem to be doing better now that they’re not smothered, and there’s another lily area I couldn’t find at first that now I can see the leaves poking up.  I know there’s one more lily patch near the edge of the border for that bed, but no leaves presenting just yet to remember exactly where.


Care to share thoughts on this?