Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Let's do some gardening  
The weather finally gave me a break in the rain.  In the last post I received and planted 27 rose bushes.  Because of the issues with the ordering last year, my confidence level to receive them this year was not very high so I ordered 22 more bushes from another company.  What was I thinking.  So now I have a total of 49 bushes that surround the garden on two sides.  It looks like they are all going to grow.  Imagine that.
This picture shows the south garden area.  The tires have my neighbor's potatoes growing in them.  You can see the difference in weeds in the area that had the foot of mulch spread on it and the area that didn't.  I haven't really had too many weeds to control at all.  Just a few stray weeds here and there.  The fore ground is the parking area and I just keep it mowed.  There's still allot of cleanup still to do around the garden.  I'm  still pulling vines out of the ground and piling up small piles of  bricks, rocks, car parts, cans, bottles, etc.  I expect this will continue for a couple more years  before all the junk is mined out of the ground.
This is the mother of all dandelions.  I found this baby while cleaning up the raised beds in the fenced area.  The stake behind the dandelion is a two foot stake.  I've never seen a dandelion that big.  It's now residing comfortably in the compost pile.

I found some wild onions while planting the sweet corn.  My master gardener friend in Michigan  tells me that they are edible so I'm going to give it a try.  It smells like it's going to have a very strong flavor.
My plan with the wire mesh on the ground seems to be working.  The turkeys haven't been able to scratch the corn seeds out of the ground but as you can see I didn't get them covered with the bird net and they have been picking at the plants.  The next 4X25 patch of sweet  corn will have a cheap bird net over the patch right after planting.  Once the plants get to be about two feet high the turkeys quit picking at the plants.
The bronchitis is better.  Another doctor's visit and more antibiotics were prescribed.  This round was a high tech dose.  The manufacturer of this medicine claims that the molecules of the antibiotics attach themselves to the white blood cells and travel piggy back to the infected site then are released when the white blood cell attacks the infection.  So the medicine is only released where the infection is and continues to travel through the blood stream five days after the last pill is taken.  It must work cause it really made a big different in just a week.  It's really nice not to be coughing so hard that my sides hurt.
Some have heard this story before but I just have to recount the journey of this rose bush.  It started life way back in the 1960s when the house was built.  It resided right to the left of the front door  in front of a big foundation bush.  The foundation bush was removed and the rose bush was dug out.  A few months later a sprout popped up right behind the green panel which was then a some what grass area that seemed to always be scarce on grass and other wise muddy.  This area was dug out; the rose bush was again cut down;  sand covered the area; and two inch thick plain patio blocks laid in the sand.  The next year the rose bush once again popped up right in front of the green panel which at that time was the edge of the patio.  For two years the little rose bush that wouldn't die was cut off; mowed down; and dowsed in stump killer.  It would get pretty sick but just wouldn't die.  The old very cheap patio was dug out and the poor man's patio was built which once again covered up the rose bush after chopping it out.  This time a retaining wall that had cement blocks buried a foot below the soil line was built.  One year went by with no sign of the rose bush but the second year up popped a sprout outside the retaining wall which you see in the above picture.  Another year of mowing off and spraying with brush killer came to no avail so I threw up my hands and said, "OK, I give up.  If you want to live that bad, I'll let you live."
This is three years down the road from that day.  Each year the little rose bush that wouldn't die kept getting stronger and stronger until this year it burst forth in bloom.  It's been a tough journey for this rose bush but I expect it will be here long after I'm gone.
Get out there and get to planting while the sun is shining and I'll catch up with you later.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Will someone stop the rain for awhile  
 The conversations of the season always seems to start with weather.  It's no different here at Urban Ranch (where I live).  The weather's just been screwy this year.  Never have I seen a year where heating is needed in the morning and then air conditioning is needed in the afternoon.  The month of May brought 17 days of rain to my area.  It's real difficult to find a dry soil day to do any gardening.  I have gotten a few things planted but still have much to plant.  This week rain is predicted four out the five week days.  It's not flash flood type rains but just enough to keep the ground muddy.  I haven't been able to get out to Terra Nova Gardens much at all this year.
Here you see the artist (pun intended) at work.  I've found that the best way to keep the lettering consistent on my fence panels is to make stencil patterns.  This is the last letter (N) of the word Garden.  Now all that needs to be done is to lay out the letters and trace them on the panel.  This will be the last panel with lettering.  The next panel will only have flowers along the bottom of the panel and a sun up in the corner.  One of my penpals suggested that I put a couple butter flies on this last panel.  I thought that was a great idea and so I'm trying to figure out how to do that.
Here are the much anticipated Rugosa Rose bushes that are now planted at Terra Nova Gardens and hopefully will grow into a rose covered hedge by the road.  I say much anticipated because it took a couple years to get them.  I ordered a bit late last year and it was beyond the delivery date.  This year I ordered in February and sent a reminder note every month as to when they would be delivered.
When the package arrived, Bradley was very excited because his Granny sends him packages from time to time so he thought it was for him.  I explained that it was rose bushes and we commenced to open the box.  When I removed the bushes from the box, a look of bewilderment came across his face and he responded, "Grandpa, you bought a bunch of sticks?"  I could just see his mind thinking that he could have found me a bunch of sticks right there in the yard.  So much to teach.  So much to learn.
This determined guy was on Tough GRIT TV.  It was a contest between two fellas driving fence posts into the ground and stringing up fence.  If you really want to view the video you can go to ToughGrit.com .  The double arrows under the video screen will allow you to see more episodes.  If there's only a little "x" and no picture in the box, click on the box any way.  It will bring up the episode for that box.  Information on the right side of the video will tell you about the episode.  Look for episode 24 "Suits you to a T".  It's about the third one back from the current episode. We had some great fun that day even though it was cold and windy.
I picked up this croupy cough this spring and just can't seen to shake it.  The doctor says it's bronchitis and gave me some antibiotics and they helped a little but it's still not gone.  Between that and the rain it's been difficult to work on my long list of projects for this summer.
That's about it for this time.  Things are starting to ramp up so next time maybe I'll have more news about gardening and less news about the weather.  See ya then.