Category Archives: Growing stuff

Garden & gardening topics

May Ushers In Change – May 2, 2023

It’s interesting how quickly the program can change.

For most of April, my activities revolved around hiking, as the weather was unusually good for that unpredictable month. Four new mountains were hiked, all using traction gear, which I hadn’t used for over forty years. These hikes, combined with everything else  during the month resulted in the pedometer recording 380 thousand steps. That’s roughly 160 miles. April was my most active month since I started tracking this stuff a few years ago.

The last week of the month ushered in a new weather pattern. While the temperatures were normal for the time, in the 40s and 50s, there was far more precipitation. 

With May approaching, my focus shifted towards Spring activities. In addition to the normal post-Winter clean-up, the garden beds have to be prepped, lilac trees pruned and the garage cleaned out- the list goes on for a bit. All of a sudden hiking didn’t fit in like it did only days before.

I’m not complaining; merely observing. Each year I really look forward to getting everything ready in anticipation of another wonderful summer in the North Country. The woods and mountains aren’t going anywhere, and I’ll return to them soon enough. Right now, there are other things to be done.

Later today I have to scout around and see if I can get 3 or 4 yards of topsoil delivered at a reasonable price. My neighbor helped me out and has already found a source of equine end-product, which I’ve always found to be a great fertilizer. Combined, that’ll take care of the three beds that are being reclaimed, and also fill the new bed for squashes on the south side of the house.

Last weekend I finally dealt with a couple of root bound houseplants. Over a year ago we acquired these, and after repotting they took up residence in the house.  The Peace Lily and the Bamboo Fern outgrew their planters, so I decided to break them up.

After removing each of the plants from their pot, I carefully separated the stalks and roots, then replanted them with new potting soil. After this process, there were three additional Bamboo Ferns and two more Peace Lilies. 

Some of these have already found new homes. There is one of each still awaiting adoption, if anyone is interested. 

The kitchen is looking more like a greenhouse, as is normal for this time of year. The flowers started back in March are all doing very well. The Morning Glories have become quite large, and coaxing the vines to stay on the stakes is becoming a challenge. Next year I will plant them later; I didn’t realize that they would grow so quickly.

The hanging baskets started slowly, but have filled in nicely and I’m now confident that the front porch will be well-decorated for another summer.

The two planters of pansies are filling in, and one of them is growing something that’s not like the others.

The PlantNet app on my phone is 21% sure this growth is spinach. I have no idea where a spinach seed would have come from- I don’t grow it. Maybe something that got into the potting soil? While I’m letting it grow to see if it turns into something recognizable, I do not plan to eat it.

As for the rest of the seedlings, all is well. The squashes were started yesterday, and that’s the last of the seedlings. Everything else is growing well, and everything I was obsessing about earlier- peppers, parsley and cabbage- I now have too many of. This is normal, as each year I get wound up about something not growing as anticipated. Here’s what they look like at the moment:

That’s it for today. Next up is a planned hike up Mt. Monadnock ‘way down on the New Hampshire/ Massachusetts border this weekend with Youngest Son. Made the online reservations this morning. I’ve climbed that hill before. In 1979, a $16 reservation was not required. 

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