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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Planted yesterday, Mar 27, 2010

It may be too early to plant in SW WA state, but we shall see. A couple years ago I waited and waited to put my geraniums out on the porch; finally put them out near Mothers' Day, and guess what!? It froze and they died. Kaput! End of the geraniums I'd kept inside, tripping over them, all winter. S*%t! I may have just as well let them freeze in November!! Of course, I COULD have listened to the weather report and brought them in for that night. It pays to pay attention!

Anyway, yesterday I added spinach to my crops that might freeze. I planted them on top of my second year hay bale. I tried hay bale gardening last year and wasn't really very impressed. Some things did OK on them--peas and kale seemed to do OK. Other stuff, not so much. One hay bale is flat, out of the four that would fit in our little pickup. It's about four inches high now. When I plant on it, I will have to construct one of my ingenius (!?) little fences to keep the dogs off it. Now they just run wherever. In fact, Poki was on TOP of the bale I planted yesterday WHILE I was trying to plant it. You wouldn't know she had two badly broken back legs in November!!

I also planted a lot of lavender seeds yesterday in those little peat pellets that swell up in the water. I am hoping to get enough (and permission from the gallery's landlord) to plant a row of them on each side of the sidewalk leading into the gallery. It's already grass-free along the side walk, and I think a row of lavender on each side would look really nice--and lavender's perennial, (here) so it would be a one-time planting. I had lavender in a couple pots that did fine all winter in my backyard. They are both in the ground now. I'm lucky they did OK. Things in pots freeze quicker than things in the ground. I am a lazy gardener.

DH trimmed an evergreen tree and a deciduous bush Friday, and so I am having him cut the evergreen boughs to put on my blueberries, and the bush branches into little chunks to put on the walkways in my garden. It keeps the weeds down and they eventually biodegrade. Hopefully that won't add too much acid to the soil--I never test it (too lazy) so I won't know til something refuses to grow. I have compost to add, too, though, so hopefully everything will work out. I like everything that comes out of my garden to go back in, as much as possible, and am trying to get to the point where I don't have to buy bags of potting soil, manure, etc.

A friend gave me horse manure last year and another is going to give me some this year, so I get that free. I want to build a three part compost bin this year. The Master Gardeners had one at the fair last year; it was made of 98 cement blocks. Let me tell you, if you are a gardener in a wet climate like ours, cement blocks are your best friends! The wood raised beds we built not all that many years ago are completely falling apart; now I use cement blocks to make my raised beds. You can move them to enlarge your bed if you want, and ten years later, they look as good as the day you purchased them. I put them with the holes in the blocks vertical and then I can fill the holes with soil and plant flowers in them. Looks very nice and some flowers thwart the ever present slugs. Marigolds, I think. I've started some of them, too.

I moved a dark green container into the greenhouse; will fill it with water and hope it will radiate enough heat at night to keep the greenhouse from freezing. It's not heated and is made from that wavy fiberglass, which doesn't have insulating properties. I hope to eventually replace that with some of the more modern material that has air spaces for insulation. I am grateful for my greenhouse, though; one of my son's friends that owed us some money, built it for me. This is just my second spring to use it. I tried growing tomatoes in it, to see if they'd winter over, but it wasn't very successful. My tomatoes just don't seem very happy in containers. I think perhaps they needed more fertilizer. I tried the upside down ones, and wasn't very impressed with my results from those either. This year, my tomatoes will just grow in the ground. I COULD just dig a hole for one or two in my greenhouse's floor--it's dirt with crushed gravel on top. Wild blackberries sometimes show up there. I might try that this year and see what happens. Gardening for me is just one big experiment. Stay tuned. I hope I have successes to report, as well as failures!!