2017 Garden Update I

I’m already dreading the weeds.
Y’all last year the weeds were such an obnoxious issue. And with mostly blank, black soil, those little bastards are poking through every day.

The nettles are awful. I’ve been killing them with Dawn dish soap and vinegar before pulling them to avoid being stung by their…well their…stinging nettles…whatever part it is that actually stings. But the wee little besties have still managed to get at me through garden gloves and dead leaves. 

Fortunately, I have an angry, hateful side that can be directed in full force at pulling up and killing off weeds.

The past week has been rain and rain and rain and then some snow and then more rain. Which really threw off my pea planting.

I had planted ten pea plants inside and planned to sow the rest straight into the soil, planting at intervals to allow greatest harvest. Best laid plans….

One delightful part of the garden this year (besides being present everyday so I can actually try to keep it looking nice) is that Tyler built me a pea trellis.

He used beautiful-smelling cedar scrap wood and chicken wire (I hear the chicken wire helps the peas hold on better than the string I used last year, due to it being less slippery).

I placed the trellis in an upside down and slanted “V” to allow the peas to grow up and over, should they climb as high as I would like them too. The positioning of the trellis was more complicated than I wanted, as the side poles (meant to be hammered into the ground to keep the trellis sturdy) kept getting stuck on rocks below the ground. I had to move them over and over again to find a spot of dirt that would allow me to place the poles deep enough in the dirt to not make the trellis fall over. So very many rocks, discarded bricks and cement chunks are buried throughout our property.

The red potatoes are growing nicely in their back corner. However, the Yukon gold haven’t come up yet. Tyler did mention he accidentally dug some of them up while re-tilling the garden (obviously not understanding my use of cardboard paths and the trench planting method I used). So I worry that their eyes have been stirred and perhaps they are trying to grow to the center of the earth right now.

Of course, it’s possible they have just moved during the deluge of rain and have to settle themselves once more.

The rest of the seedlings are still indoors, as are the seeds that will be directly sown into the garden. Which is precarious. The squash are ever more looking like cousins of the Audrey II…and the broccoli are very sad with me, wanting desperately to get outdoors.

However, the onions and peppers are coming slow and steady and could definitely use a few more weeks before being transplanted outdoors.

I hope I can hold off the weeds until I get everything planted and sprouted. Then I can newspaper mulch and Preen the garden. (A recommendation from a master organic gardener I recently met.) Preen is corn gluten (which isn’t actually gluten at all…so there’s that misleading sentiment to a Celiac’s ears) that inhibits new growth of anything. While, at the same time, not stopping plants already in bloom from keeping on keeping on. It’s also non-toxic and lasts for thirty days per application. Gosh I hope it works. It does mean I have to keep up with the weeds by hand until my produce is tall enough to not be affected by the corn gluten. Which, I am hoping, is no more than three weeks past initial planting.

Regardless of the work involved and ever-present possible failure due to the temperament of Mother Nature…it sure is lovely to have something to work on and something to focus on. The days and evenings can be lonely when you have a husband who works tirelessly at several different jobs. But Gus is here, my little plants are here and there is work to be done.

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