It's that time again. Days of running from one part of the garden to another, coming inside for more seeds, wondering how all those weeds got so big in just a few days, scavenging newspapers for lasagna mulching, dragging the hose around to water the newly sown beds and the seedlings still in pots, squeezing in just one more plant, cold drinks, the need for a short haircut, and trying to fob off my extra tomato seedlings on other gardeners. Tomato seedlings in late May are like zucchinis in mid-July. No one needs or wants any. I may resort to setting them out on the curb with a "free" sign. Evenings bring a second round of work in the cool of twilight after quick dinners. The calluses are building up on my hands. We've spotted the first fireflies of the year and gotten our first mosquito bites. The piles of mulch and compost on the driveway have been growing and shrinking over the last two months as we replenish them on the weekend and use them up during the week. We got to the bottom of the compost pile last night.
Yesterday I was feeling so incredibly optimistic about the growing season, and happy with the garden plan for this year. In the afternoon I planted out starts of winter squash, bush zucchini, melons, lavender, eggplant, parsley, sunflowers, basil, mint, onion starts, and sowed more carrot and turnip seeds. Then I got the news about incidences of late blight already cropping up, and one of them in my state. Talk about a downer. I spoke with our serious gardening friends last night, and they said they're going with the copper fungicidal spray for their tomato plants (approved for use in organic farming). I may follow suit. I just don't think I could handle another year of total loss in the tomato department.
In better news I'm also going with serious gardening friend later this week to a U-pick organic strawberry farm. If I pick more than 10 pounds of strawberries, the price is a mere $2.50 per pound! I think we could do with some strawberry jam this year, plus some frozen for winter time fruit crisp indulgence. I have to check on my supply of small canning jars. I probably don't have enough. We plan to go to a community-wide yard sale in my area the weekend after next. Specifically I wanted to look for canning jars, plus a few other items. I may break down and buy a few new ones sooner than that if my supply is very low. The alternative would be to freeze the strawberries until after the big yard sale, in hopes that I can pick up the jars for a song. But we're in for some cool-ish weather in the latter part of this week, so it would be nice to get the canning done right away. Which means that if I want her expert help at making jam, I also need to find time to clean my kitchen some time very soon. Sigh.
Still to plant are leeks, more chard, more onions, more lettuce, pepper starts, celery and celeriac, a rhubarb transplant, and more seeds of spinach, beets, carrots, arugula, and beans. It's a good time of year, but man, am I tired.
Homemade Root Beer Syrup
14 hours ago