Here is a brief tour of this week's gardening highlights.
I came home today to find that Tim had added another garden tool to the Poop Deck Arsenal. Pretty clever fabricating!
My ornamental plantings are really taking off. We have two of these vintage galvanised wash tubs. I had stopped setting them out, firstly because I didn't really have a suitable liner to plant in without ruining the tubs, and secondly because I was afraid of ruining their feet by setting them in the damp mulch. The brick patio is a perfect location for this charming antique. This Spring I found some oblong plastic Trugs at WalMart that fill each basin almost perfectly and are just the right height. They even have handles making them easy to remove and tote around. Tim drilled drainage holes in them for me. They are planted with Tunbergia (Black Eyed Susan Vine) and trailing Nasturtium. In another week or so you won't even be able to see the tops of the trug liners peeking out the top.
My other WalMart find was a brilliant idea. I am using quite a bit of diatomaceous earth to ward off the slugs (which ate almost all of my cuke transplants last year) but all the containers it comes in are less than convenient dispensers. You end up wasting a lot of it blopping it about.
When I was shopping for Copper Powder, at the nursery recently, I noticed they had a special powder puffer available for $6 and change. A quick stop at WalMart scored Ketchup and Mustard squeeze bottles for $1.97. I put the Copper in the Ketchup bottle. If I had been patinet enough, I could have recycled some actual Ketchup and Mustard bottles. Never forget to label your garden products when you remove them from their original containers.
I can now apply an accurate line around each of my squash and cucumber plants to defend against trespassers.
And puff some on the flea beetles to keep them from turning my eggplants into Swiss cheese.
Diatomaceous earth is simply crumbled sedimentary rock. If you magnify it, you would find it has a lot of very sharp edges. It is extremely fine, and gets into all the cracks and crevices and soft spots of slugs and other insects and does gross bodily harm. Be careful not to inhale it though, or it will do the same to your lungs. But still, it is a brilliant, non-chemical, organic pest solution.
My lettuce is still in the thinning stage. We have more lettuce than we know what to do with. The individual plants I am leaving behind are growing large and robust. Depending on the weather, there is still another month or before the lettuce begins to bolt. I have a second crop started which ought to fill in at just the right time. It's amazing how much lettuce you can raise with a couple of dollars worth of seed instead of wasting the same amount on one bag of salad.
The first planting of peas are bearing a heavy crop and the pods are just beginning to plump up. We should be eating peas in another week. We can also begin thinning the garlic soon and using herbs and onions sparingly.
I even have tiny tomatoes.
Despite having a pile of compost and manure in it, the Poop Deck remains the coolest, shadiest spot from which to observe the garden.