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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Weedy Wednesday: In the Garden Today

My approach to gardening is a lot like my approach to writing: I start out with a fairly detailed plan, knowing full well that it is likely to be derailed somewhere along the way...

Oy. This year's garden is definitely living up to that theory, mostly because we have had a lot of rain, followed by some rain, alternating with a few storms. And then some more rain. Mind you, compared to the scorching heat and wildfires that some of my friends are dealing with, I really can't complain (there is some serious flooding here, but not near me this time--yet). I just wish I could sent some of this rain to the folks who really need it.

I'm a lazy gardener, without a lot of extra time, so one of the things I do is mulch most of my garden beds by laying down a layer of straw or hay in between the plants. This prevents most of the weeds from forming, and makes a lot less work for me later on. The problem is, I didn't get out to do the mulching in most of the beds at the time I normally would. So now I am playing catch-up, and the weeds are growing like crazy because of all the rain.

Mostly it has been dry (or drier) in the mornings and then raining in the afternoons. So I'm at work when it is dry, and as soon as I get home...rain. (And we're not talking a light rain here. I've been known to garden in a light rain. This is torrential downpour rain.) But Wednesdays are my day off, so I ignored the 80 degree temps and 90% humidity to go try and rescue my corn bed from the weeds.

 The top picture is what it looked like when I started. (And yes, those are weeds growing next to the raised bed too. Don't get me started on the seed-filled straw disaster.) The bottom picture is what it is supposed to look like, with space between the rows.

It took me about an hour to finish weeding the whole bed (you have to be careful with corn because it has shallow roots) and then mulch it so it looked all pretty and wouldn't just go back to looking like that top picture in a week. On the bright side, while I was out there, I might have met my new boyfriend :-)
I went to pull up some weeds at one point and they wiggled. Not sure who was more startled, him or me. But clearly he wasn't all THAT alarmed, because when I was done, I had a bed that looked like this:
 And look who was still hanging around...
I think I'll call him Herman...

Most of the rest of the time in the garden was spent clipping garlic scapes. If you've never grown garlic, you may not realize that it has a flower that grows on a tall stalk. You want to clip that off before it blooms, so that all the energy of the plant goes into making large bulbs under the ground, instead of pretty flowers. It's an easy task, but I grow a LOT of garlic. (Half of it is replanted in the fall, to make next year's crop.) You can see the curly bits on the top. Those are the scapes.

Here are the harvested scapes. You can see the one in the front that I haven't clipped the flowery bit off of. You don't eat that, but you can eat most of the stalk. It has a garlic-y flavor and is kind of tough, so most people use it in things like stir-fries. I'm pondering trying to pickle some of it...

Anyone have any good recipes for using garlic scapes, by chance?

And is this all WAY more information than you wanted? I could just post a few pictures on Weedy Wednesdays, with a lot less commentary. You know, something like this:
Lettuce.

Okay, back to writing like a good little author. Work is progressing quite well on the 2nd Baba Yaga novel; I'm about a third of the way done. Sadly, the rest won't just write itself.


4 comments:

  1. I like Herman, he's cute! And he obviously wants to hang around. Has he asked you to kiss him yet? ;)

    I like your pics and commentary. I don't have my own garden; all I can really do is water the berry plants in my housemates' garden (because they don't like to water).

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    1. No need to water here :-)

      And no, he didn't seem at all interested in kissing me. Shocking, eh?

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  2. Herman looks very alert. If ever a frog could be a prince...

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  3. Aw, Herman is lovely :)
    I took over my parents' neglected garden 5 years ago, all couch grass and brambles on what used to be a productive veg plot (parents now in their 90s, gardening days over), and designed a wildlife flower garden. I've had frogs of all different shapes and colours, and to my delight last week, when I installed a new garden seat next to one of the rockeries, and sat in the rare sun late one evening, I found I have a wild bee colony. So pleased :)

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