This has been the first completely dry weekend of the Spring, although it did briefly snow on Friday between a couple rounds of light rain. As the first such weekend, the opportunity beckoned to get some “outdoorsy” things done, or at least started, and out of doors is where I tried to stay. With some success, I’ll add.
Besides cleaning the winter out of my wife’s car, the biggest job was the (now) annual task of clearing the hill down to the pond of last year’s growth. All manner of crap grows on that slope, and by September its infiltration of the Pondside view is significant. So, off the garage wall came the two-stroke Troybuilt weed whacker. I swapped the string trimmer for the steel blade, and it started on the first pull. The hillside was cleared within a couple of hours, and I did not fall down the hill, which has happened before. But I did become well-attached to a large quantity of burdocks.
The central garden task I wanted to take care of this weekend was to begin assembly of the hanging planters. We hang four baskets off the front of the house; two each of impatiens and petunias. I’ve found that the sooner the seedlings are transplanted to their final destination, the planters, the better they do over the long summer.Seeing as the petunias were ready for transplant, I figured to build those two.
The hanging baskets we have use coco coir liners (THESE). They wash out pretty well after each season, and I would have sworn that I stowed them in the garage after last season, but despite much searching, they were nowhere to be found. I guess they were tossed out, though I don’t remember doing that. I ordered four new ones, and will delay the petunia planting until they arrive. The best price I could find for 12” liners was about $4.50 each. Like everything else, they’ve become much more expensive.
The nasturtiums and marigolds are also ready for pots. I reserve roughly half of each seedling batch to add to the raised beds, but also put together several outdoor planters that we deploy around the patio and deck. I’ll be working on those after work this week, once I make the crucial decision: Do I mix the nasturtiums and marigolds in the planters, or keep them separate?
Later in the season I’ll assemble the impatiens baskets, once they’re more established. Rounding out the flower potting will be one or two planters of pansies, and hopefully a large planter of petunias for the patio. I think we have enough.
The rest of the seedlings are doing quite well as they pass the four week mark. The Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are very large, and the broccoli is coming along nicely. The onions are typically going out of control, but that’s ok as they’ll be the first into the dirt. That could happen as soon as two weeks from now, weather permitting.
The nightshade tray is doing well, with the tomatoes outperforming last year’s so far. Had some problems last April with he tomatoes and had to toss them and restart, which resulted in getting into the garden around the middle of June, as opposed to the first week of that month. Interestingly enough, the tomato crop was fine in 2021, and I’m thinking their late start didn’t really matter.
The last thing to cover in this update is news from the raspberry patch. New canes are already breaking through, and I’m reliably informed that these canes will be the fruit bearers next year, as the new growth from last year will be bearing fruit this season. Can’t wait!
It’s crazy how the simplest things have become noticeably more expensive all of a sudden – to the tune of at least 25% it seems.
I almost fell over when I went to replenish my stock of leader material a little while ago. Over $10 per spool! Absurd.