May 11, 2021 by Jeanette Rueb (Peachy00Keen)
April 2021 Garden Journal — Peachy00Keen
- Location: Mountain West, USA; Southwest/Central Idaho
- Zone: 7a
- Lot Type: Dense Suburban; Back of house faces due east
- Soil Type: Clay/Sand, Amended
Yesterday, I worked the soil a little more. I have about ¼ of the remaining gardens left to amend. I was going to do more of that today, but I was too tired from my run in the morning. I hope to do more tomorrow. I did sow more bell peppers, oregano, and rosemary. Most of my peppers didn’t germinate, so I’m giving it another go, even if it is possibly a bit late. My oregano also just never really took off, so we’re going again. The rosemary, I accidentally double-bought, so into the soil it goes. We have a bunch of greens germinating today. The cress looks crazy! It comes up with like six leaves on it, which is way more exciting than it has any right to be. Other than watering all the plants outside, I didn’t make any changes to the garden today. I may have to replant a couple of the pineberries. Most of them appear to have taken to the soil pretty well, but two or three of them look a little dead. I won’t pull them out in case they do take off, but I’ll plant pretty much on top of them.
Finished amending the soil in the backyard in like 80-degree heat. I’m glad the hard work is finally done. The last section of the yard is a super-compact mix of tree roots and rocks, so hopefully, I’ve fluffed up the soil enough for plants to put down roots. I’m not sure how I’m going to get my last batch of compost to top off. I don’t think I can borrow the truck again because it’s getting traded in, and I don’t know how much longer it’ll be before I have my own. At least I got the important bit done in time to do my direct sows here in the coming weeks. I can start laying my borders, too. I have heaps and buckets of massive rocks I pulled up while gardening that I can use to make my garden border. I’m not sure if it’s enough to go all the way around, but it’s enough to get me at least part of the way there. After that, it’s a matter of waiting until I can get my gravel and putting the plants in as they become ready.
I cut up a honeydew and was curious if I could grow the seeds, so I threw them in some dirt. We’ll see what happens.
Sowed sunflowers (‘Firecracker,’ red, ‘Mammoth’) and pulled sole dandelions out front that were approximately the same size as my juvenile forsythia bushes. I really need to get out there and weed, and frankly, I have no real excuse other than “I don’t wanna.” Maybe tomorrow. Maybe. We’re due for some frosts lever the next few days, but I’m really hoping the forecast gets a little warmer, even just by a couple of degrees. I also took some photos of my seedlings. Seedy.
I added cantaloupe, pumpkins, cayenne, more passionflower, zucchini, and spaghetti squash to the indoor menagerie. Outside, I threw in my first direct sows — red onions, yellow onions, parsnips, sugar snap peas, and pole beans. I was going to sow radishes, too, but I got pulled away. I marked everything with painted rocks. For the passionflower seeds, unlike the first set, which I threw straight in the dirt, these ones, I abraded the surface with a nail file and then soaked for about 48 hours. With any luck, I’ll get slightly faster germination. The cayenne seeds came from last year’s cayenne plant, which survived the winter indoors only to succumb to a light frost because I put it out too soon.
I gave the new plants some water, gave everyone else some water, stared at the dirt for a while, decided that peppers would go along the patio, tomatoes beside them, melons on the retaining wall, gourds and climbers up the fence, greens in the shade, and smaller plants and flowers in the backyard entry (as opposed to the retaining wall), and then I’m probably going to buy a jasmine plant for up at the back fence. I also decided to extract some seeds from the on-the-vine tomatoes in the fridge, and I bought some jalapenos to try again fresh from the store (I pick them up tomorrow). Fingers crossed!
Finally convinced myself to go out and weed the front garden, which desperately needed it. I filled an entire bucket with plant matter, cleared the grass from underneath my project rosebush, which is actually starting to look like a bush and not a tumbleweed, and I found a handful of strawberry plants in the process. I brought them inside and put them in propagation bottles. They all have roots, I have no idea where they came from, and I figure I’ll see if they survive being uprooted, and if so, I’ll throw them in a container to see what I get.
Irrigation came on this morning around 11 am and installed a brand new water feature in the backyard. After an hour or two of panicked scrambling, I found a company to come do an emergency repair because I couldn’t get the valve shut off. Turns out I punched a series of holes in the barely-buried PVC piping along the last stretch of gardens I turned where the soil was really dense and rooty. The one place I didn’t/couldn’t scout before digging, I turned into swiss cheese. Several leaks and one obliterated bean patch later, the holes were all mended and everything ran smoothly. I paid the guys, thanked them for their prompt service, and then spent the next couple of hours weeding in wet dirt, readjusting heads, and reprogramming the system to water as much as I thought the back gardens needed. An eventful and stressful day even though not a whole lot really happened. Just a big, singular something.
Potted up the first tray of seeds, mostly tomatoes and peppers. Next year, I need to repot them as soon as true leaves appear if I’m going to start in egg cartons again. They were all rootbound. I have other planting I need to do but I don’t know when I’ll get to it. I’ve got a massive second degree burn that takes up a quarter of my right hand. Repotting these was pushing it, and it left me with a really sore and swollen hand, so we’ll see how it goes…
Now that my burn blister has drained and flattened to a completely sensationless callus (yippee…), I feel safe putting gardening gloves over the bandage and doing some light digging in the dirt. I moved my sunflowers outside today, spread some old potting soil over the gardens, and said hi to our quiet neighbors who keep to themselves. I had a few extra ‘Firecracker’ sunflowers, so I offered them to the people next door. Hopefully they find a good place to plant them and the flowers are nice and showy. I think in total, I put in just shy of six dozen plants? It doesn’t feel like that, but I’m pretty sure I did about 24 plants per container, had nearly 100% germination, and only broke one from each planter with my clumsy glove hands. I’m hoping they all take. I tried to make sure I transplanted after the first true leaves formed and before the taproots got too big. Fingers crossed.
I’ve also got some pansies from my husband’s grandmother that I’m thinking of putting out while it’s still damp. What I really need to do is cut the damn lawn. Once it’s dried up a bit, I’ll do that. I might run the edger today if I go back out.
Electric Boogaloo — I decided to do the pansies after all. Pulled some weeds and edged the front yard while I was at it. There was a rogue strawberry plant (??why??) in one of the pansy pots, so I also potted up the other rogue berry plants I found earlier this month under the rosebush. I guess it’s a good thing we like strawberries in this house. My last pansy planter, which I forgot I had, ended up on my potting station, which is looking hella cute, if I do say so myself. I’m considering installing a pair of hooks on the side for the watering can and trowel.
Bonus gladiolus pic because I’m excited for hopefully more flowers this year.
I potted up the cucurbits and cayenne peppers. Ready, set, grow!
Cut the lawn, finished dethatching out back, and sowed a second bag of clover in the dead zones. I noticed sprouts, presumably from bag #1, coming up in several places. Yay! I layed the thatching back over the new seed to hopefully keep it from drifting away and to hide it from hungry birds. Their feeder has been refilled (just in case). I resowed the remainder of my beans, and I confirmed sprouts in the pea patch and both of the onion patches. Everyone who got transplanted in the rain yesterday looks pretty good so far. Fingers crossed they stay perky while I’m out of town. I put my nasturtiums in the little pots by my swing. I’m still not sure what I want to put in my last planter box on the wall. I might do lettuce or herbs. I’m not certain. I’ve got a vinegar-based weed killer coming for the backyard. I’ll put that down as soon as it gets here. I have a bit more potting to do inside, but I’m running low on space. I went a little crazy with the cucurbits as a precaution, not knowing what the germ rate would be. It was about 100%, and as a result, I have entirely too many gourds and friends. I’ve convinced my neighbor to take a pumpkin and some cukes, but I’m going to have to hope people want to buy or take the rest of them. I might do a pay-what-you-want just to make them go away quickly. I’ll post them online when I get home.
My jasmine arrived! It has been planted. 🥰
Laid out markers for the pepper plants, made room for a path off that side of the deck, planted radishes, bought and placed tomato cages, planted some yarrow and arrowleaf balsamroot that I stealded from the foothills on this morning’s walk, transplanted my greens and the herbs that were in that tray, transplanted my okra, butterfly flowers, and cucumbers, re-turned the dirt that got screwed up during the Great Sprinkler Explosion of 2021, planted corn, moved some bird-planted sunflowers out front, planted zinnias out front, and dug up some more rocks out of the back garden and laid them at the downhill side of the potting station to prevent erosion. I also picked up some tomato and pepper fertilizer. I am now very muddy, very tired, a little lightheaded, and suitably hungry.
Spray for weeds out back, pawn off excess cucurbits, lay top layer of compost everywhere, get gravel for the swing area, rockhunt for the border.