Sunday, May 16, 2010

Plants in the Ground

It's iris season right now, at least at our house. I seem to have early, middle and late season iris planted all over the place. The dwarfs are earliest, then the odd mixture I got at the farmer's market, and now some tall ones we moved from behind the house out to the cottage garden area have come into bloom. They're butter yellow and light blue, a nice combination. The variegated iris came into bloom this weekend as well. They don't last long so I try to appreciate them while I can.

The weather may still not be reliably warm, but at least it's started to feel more like Spring. The days have gotten a lot longer, but cool temperatures lasting longer into May than usual have slowed down growth. Even local farmers are noticing it. The main weather change we've noticed here is pattern change. Winters aren't as cold, there's less snow, Spring and Fall are more erratic, and overall Idaho is getting less water than historical normal.

My raspberries are just starting to have flower buds and they're about 4' tall. So today I put up the half-hoop net supports and put the net over them. The net works much better with the supports - keeps the tops of the raspberry canes from getting totally entangled in the net. I should cut back the canes once they reach a certain height, but I never seem to remember.

Otherwise, I have not had good luck with seeds this year, at least with tomato seeds. Of my six tomato peat-pods, only two have come up. And it's coming up on the third week of May, for pete's sake! So I bought three tomato plants - two Legend and one other kind, all of them early. I won't be finding Virginia Sweets and Paul Robeson as plants anywhere soon, since they're heritage varieties. So I'll just have to keep hoping for those seeds to come up, or try again. They're both 80 day varieties. Many years I'm picking tomatoes well into September, so I'll have to hope they take off in hot summer.

Anyway, I planted out all three of the tomato plants today, as well as the sweet Italian pepper plants. None of those seeds have come up yet either. So if they do, that's fine, they'll just ripen later. And meanwhile I'll have other peppers that hopefully ripen sooner.

The bean seeds have come up fairly well. I need to get them potted on into bigger pots before I put them out. Those little peat pods don't leave much room for growth. I'm a bit disappointed with the three-color bean seeds. Only two of the six came up, both purple-podded ones. Would have been nice if some green and yellow had come up too! I may try again, as beans are a pretty short-season thing.

The chicks are much taller and getting more and more of their grown-up feathers. This picture is 20 days old. We'll be moving them out into a bigger run soon, sometime this week. I'll want to make sure we put things around it to prevent animals from digging under. Don't want to lose these like we did the ducks!

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