Friday, August 1, 2008


The picture is my veg garden on July 24. Quite a difference from the picture I posted back in May. The next picture shows my gladiolus. I'm thrilled with the bi-color one. It just opened this morning. I'm eagerly anticipating seeing the others open. Who knows what fun colors I ended up with.

Happy Lughnasadh/Lammas day. I was going to mark the beginning of harvest by steaming the first green beans for dinner. But I had a late work interview, so I didn't get to eat a hot meal. I had a tuna fish sandwich before I left for the interview.

It's been one of those weeks. I was working at the local Air Force base this week doing interviews. That's a 160 mile round trip. On Tuesday as I was walking back to my car from one of the on-base restaurants I tripped over a section of sidewalk that sticks up about 2 inches from the rest. I *know* that sidewalk. I've stumbled over that uneven bit before. This time I hit a toe against it and fell down, hard, onto both knees and one hand. Wore a hole in my good work trousers and really bruised up both knees. It really hurt, but at least the scrapes didn't bleed. I felt shaky and somewhat nauseated for the rest of the day. That was lunchtime, so I still had to get through the afternoon before I went home.

Seems dumb now that I felt sick, but there ya' go. I'd been planning to go to Aikido that evening, but my knees were all puffy and sore. No way I could kneel or fall on them. So I stayed home. Today they started turning purple and green. Very pretty showing under shorts (not).

At least the work week is over now. I can sleep in and do some gardening tomorrow. I'm worried about my tomatoes. The leaves on two or three plants have gone all curly. I've been reading up on it, and I think it's our clay soil. Evidently curly leaves can be from too much or not enough watering. It could also be the leaf curl virus, but the plants don't show the other symptoms, so I don't think it's that. It's most likely too much water. The plants are close enough together that the soil doesn't dry out underneath them very quickly. So I'm cutting back on water to see if that helps. I also bought some Dr. Earth vegetable feed. You mix it with water. It's really more of a soil builder than a fertilizer, which is good.

This is all good lessons for next year. I thought I'd left plenty of space between my tomato plants, but now I see I haven't. So, one more thing to improve on next time. In this picture you can see the green nicotiana in bloom, the beans and peppers, and the tomatoes surrounded by marigolds.

The raspberries are doing great. I've been getting handfuls and double handfuls nearly every day, and there are lots more coming along. Even the Autumn Gold is starting to produce. The only bad thing about my raspberry patch is the black raspberry. I do not recommend those. It requires special pruning because the berries only come on year-old wood. Took me a while to figure that out. I finally pruned it correctly last fall and this year I actually got flowers. But for whatever reason, the berries are really puny and dry. And not many of them! Hardly worth the effort of pruning and watering the dumb thing all season. Plus it sends out an explosion of long, super-thorny new shoots everywhere that I keep having to prune off. I'm digging it out at the end of the season so I can plant another red one instead. I don't have enough space to leave something that isn't producing.

We're hoping to get out to Payette Lake with the canoe one of these weekends coming up. We haven't done that for a while. It'll be nice to get away, even if it's just a day trip.

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