Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Days of Mulch and Sunflowers

Gardening has slowed a little this year. Days are warm (after being hot for a week or so), but the nights are still cool, so cool that we had frost warnings night before last.

So the tomato seedlings (Better Boy, Mr. Stripey, Sweet 100, Red Oxheart and a new one: Viva Italia) are still inside the greenhouse, along with the green, sweet red and cayenne peppers,the Sweet Italian basil, the thyme, the chives, the parsley, and the sweet marjoram.

I may continue to coddle them until next weekend, just in case.

Meanwhile, this afternoon was spent spreading a trailerload of mulch on the former hollyhock flowerbed. It use to be impossible to kill hollyhocks, but somehow the thick bed I've had for years has thinned out. A few hollyhocks come up along the edges, but none in the middle, so today I tossed in a lot of sunflower seeds -the big 12 foot mammoth ones - and then covered them with mulch.

After that, two 5 gallon buckets of strawberry plants were installed in between the blueberry bushes, covered with pine straw and watered with the drip hose. Blueberries and strawberries both love acidity in their soil. The pine straw mulch not only keeps the pH of the soil acidic, but it also keeps the water from evaporating and keeps the weeding to a minimum.

Also planted today: 1/2 each of a set of red onions and a set of white onions (these went in with the roses - roses LOVE onions), a flat of basil seed, and another flat of oregano seed.

I also broke down and thinned the peas. I hate thinning plants. It seems so cruel to plant the seed, water it, nurture it and then pull it up for no other reason except it has too many siblings.

This weekend plans include *finally* connecting the remaining water barrels, putting up trellis for the peas, adding fertilizer to the straw bales, and planting beans.

Unless it snows, freezes, or we have another frost.


  1. I've got a small space on my deck and think I might give tomatoes a go this year...not sure what will happen, but it's worth a try (:

  2. It's a piece of cake - all your need is a pot and a plant (easier than seeds this late in the year). Maybe look for a Patio Tomato, or a Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato. If you move it indoors, just inside the deck, you could keep it going probably until December. Or buy a packet of seeds now, set them aside, and plant them in a second pot around Sept. Those would get you through the winter with fresh tomatos. Enjoy!

  3. Such a great idea! I'll pick up some tomato plants and give it a go! I had no idea about trying to grow them indoors. My grandfather would be turning over in his grave...his gardens were known far and wide...and now his granddaughter isn't sure about tomatoes (:

  4. I'm wondering what the frogs will think when they show up to swim and find -- strawberries?

    Sunflowers. wonderful idea. haven't had them in years. Happy flowers. Very William Morris.