June 22, 2003

Gardening Notes

Reminder to self: When cutting the grass during the peak of the gnat swarming season, if possible, cut in continuous clockwise or counter-clockwise circles. The back and forth mowing method carries the certain risk when turning at the end of the row of putting one's face (mouth, eyes, nose, ears) directly into the path of the multitude of whining gnats that are always a half step behind you from June to September. If using the 'back and forth' method, at least keep your mouth closed.

Gardening trick (stolen from an anonymous garden between home and town, yesterday). Regarding tomato stakes: They should be approximately six feet long, so that when hammered into the garden soil, at least five feet remains for the plants. Ever tried hefting a sledge hammer to the top of a six foot stake, huh? Solution: take a three foot section of treated 1 x 3 that you can easily hammer in a foot or so. Then, attach the top three foot section (of 1 x 3 treated wood if you have it) to the bottom section (drill matching holes through both pieces, fix with screws, or wire, or both). All of this can be used over and over, for many years. And I suggest putting some notches into the sides of the 'stakes' too, to better hold your tie-ups (I use old nylon bailing cord I always find around the dumpsters... works fine, and the price is right).

Yesterday was the first time I've been able to work in the garden in weeks. I managed to get the tiller across the creek, and was busily turning under the parts of the garden that hadn't been worked since all this rain set in over a month ago. Ann comes along and says "I see you tilled up that section where you planted the beans. Why?" Well crap. I hadn't marked the rows and the cool weather had slowed their growth so much I didn't see them barely poking up out of the soil after two weeks. She made matters worse by asking "What were you going to plant there where you tilled?"


Posted by fred1st at June 22, 2003 05:14 AM | TrackBack

I'd not expect you to know this: the leg portions of old pantyhose (or the hose, themselves, in the "olden" days) make great tie-ups for tomatoes, trees, whatever gets staked. You probably don't have the ready supply that I have.

Posted by: Cop Car at June 22, 2003 08:49 AM

What mundane matters and small worries such as unmarked rows ease not when viewed from the landscape of a perfect June day and seen through fragmented eyes? Sunday blessings - yourself, Ann, and the garden.

Posted by: Anne at June 22, 2003 09:19 AM

S. was sitting precariously, doing some weeding in an especially steep area of her flower beds, when gravity started to take over. She had to grab onto *something*. I was mowing nearby and didn't see her near-tumble, but on my next pass saw her waving to me with one arm, and holding up a straggly sage plant of some sort and asking me,(over the noise of the mower), "You want this for the side yard?"
She had never liked that plant, so I think the whole thing was staged, even if subconsciously.
Maybe you just didn't want those beans, Fred.

Posted by: peggy at June 22, 2003 09:51 AM

you know, if you take a pipe and screw an end on it and then get your friendly neighborhood welder to affix two small handles on the other end of the pipe (so it sort of looks like an upside down T), you can use that to ram down on the tomato stake to easily drive it into the dirt and never have to mess with the sledge hammer again. you know, the end with the handles is hollow, the other end has the cap.

Posted by: bud at June 23, 2003 08:19 AM

Well, at least you're consistant on where you want your beans planted!

Posted by: bogie at June 23, 2003 08:45 AM

You may want to avoid using any pressure treated lumber in your vegetable garden as it contains either arsenic or copper as a preservative.

Posted by: Jeff at June 23, 2003 09:18 AM

This year has been a crazy year of gardening if you live east of the Mississippi. I just planted beans, squash, and okra yesterday - the end of June!!!

Cool weather fall crops never seem to get the attention they deserve around here but this year they will be the main crop as my pent up gardening energy needs a purpose.

Posted by: Jeff at June 23, 2003 09:29 AM

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