I received my first diary for Christmas when I was eight. Writing was never a bother, but I never took to the practice of recording the happenings of each day despite my good intentions.
Now I’m trying to change my ways by keeping a diary for the sake of my garden, to have an annual record of planting dates, vegetable yields, chores, and other such minutiae. Since I can visit my little allotment only once a week and I’m just writing brief notes, the pressure of daily entries and Hemingway-esque prose is removed.
With gardening season now in full swing, I thought I’d share a bit of life on the farm, taking the garden journal’s notes and actually writing full sentences, though not sounding much like Hemingway…
Construction can be a big part of gardening. Mitch has been mending part of our fence — sounds so rural, doesn’t it?! — that began sagging in the autumn. Summertime project will be setting up a little tool shed.
We tilled the red clover cover crop about a month ago, while mixing in some rather fragrant manure. Planted in the fall to reduce erosion and enrich the soil, I was amazed at the clover sprouts’ density and how difficult it was to till. Decided to leave some clover handfuls and have been enjoying their recent blooms.
Our compost bin was full up and emptied this week into one bed that now has fingerling potatoes (my first try at these!). I really like worms but must admit the sheer number of the little wigglies was somewhat overwhelming. Perhaps not a sight for the squeamish.
Ah seeds… Coming in all shapes, sizes and colors, these little powerhouses contain everything a plant needs to get a start in life: food in the cotyledons, plus a diminutive root and leaf (or leaves) forming the embryo. All this is wrapped up in a protective covering called a seed coat.
Once the seed coat is broken by water and/or scarification (when the coat is scratched), the seed can germinate with suitable environmental conditions like light, water, and oxygen, developing into a seedling or “baby” plant .
This year most my seeds are organic and from Abundant Life Seeds and Territorial Seeds. Planted just last week, I already have a few tiny arugula seedlings — or did I plant the heirloom lettuce there?
In the spirit of record keeping, in addition to the aforementioned lettuce and arugula, I sowed sugar snap peas, dill, beets, carrots, and wild arugula.
I longed to add beans — both pole and bush — to the list of plants this weekend, but the forecasted cool temperatures and the advice of a gardening friend forced me to delay.
No matter, as I was busy planting my veg that arrived in the mail. Besides the potatoes already mentioned, I found a nice home for two tiny rosemary plants, and filled two small containers with young onion plants, no thicker than a pencil.
Despite the lack of water (until yesterday), my garlic and leek-like Egyptian walking onions planted in the fall have been looking quite handsome. I’ve propagated the latter from an original set of four offered by a garden neighbor nearly six years ago. Sorry no EWO pix, but here’s the garlic:
Of course, the key to any productive organization, which I aspire to be, is the watchful eye of a good supervisor, ready to intervene with a gentle word when something looks amiss: