This weekend, in my gardening dreams, is always the weekend that I hope to begin planting dahlias down in the big garden. Due to the fact that we have received almost 3" of rain since Tuesday, it certainly didn't happen this year. Instead, I finished potting up the last of my 200+ tubers into 1 gallon pots. Here they can begin growing while I wait for conditions in the garden to improve. I was rewarded for my work by finding green shoots pushing through the soil in about 10 of the pots I planted two weekends ago. The plant pictured above is "Lismoore Peggy", a pink Pom. It is amazing that that little shoot will grow into a plant 5 feet tall that can produce over 100 blooms in a season. Such potential! Below, the "garden" of dahlia pots, over 200 strong!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
The last few years I have had good success starting my squash in peat pots. When it comes time to transplant, I gently pull away what's left of the pot and plop the seedling right into the hill. They haven't missed a beat with that method. Pictured above, I have all the pots ready to plant.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Today I awoke to the sound of rain..yet again! The day was another cycle of black clouds followed by downpours, with occasional quick sun breaks. Alas, I wasn't able to get any gardening done again today. It's getting very frustrating. Maybe Tom-Cat has the right idea. When life gives nasty weather, do a little grooming and take a 5 hour nap.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Another big rain storm hit today, making gardening all but impossible. The joys of Spring in Oregon - potting up more dahlia tubers will have to wait! During one of the calm moments between downpours I did managed to sneak in a short walkabout.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
After 6 weeks of sunny weekends followed by wet, cold weekdays, we have finally experienced enough dry days in a row that it was possible to till the big garden. Dad make quick work of it on his trusty tractor. As always, I had him till under about 6 inches of grass on each side to reclaim garden space. Without doing that the garden would shrink in size every year.
Monday, May 10, 2010
This last Saturday I had the pleasure of working at and shopping at the Oregon Plant Fair 2010. This annual specialty plant sale was held once again at Alton Baker Park and was put on by the Avid Gardeners group. Between shifts at the Lane County Dahlia Society booth, I got to do a little browsing. My browsing turned into shopping when I hit the Log House Plants booth. For those of you not familiar with Log House Plants, they are a gem of a company located down in Cottage Grove, Oregon. They are primarily a wholesale operation, but owners Alice & Greg are very generous to local plant society groups. Throughout the Spring, you can buy their starts directly from them at various benefit plant sales. Their plants are always first quality and often interesting and unique varieties that you will not find anywhere else. Locally, you can buy their plants at Down to Earth, Grays & their retail "site" The Bookmine in downtown Cottage Grove.
Anyway, back to my shopping. First off, I had promised myself that I would NOT buy any tomatoes because it is still way to early to plant them out. But then Alice has to tempt me with amazing varieties, 10 for $8! How can you say no to that! I also justified it because they are only one inch pot starts, so by the time they really start to grow it will be time to get them in the ground. Then I stumbled upon the "Vines & Climbers". Last year, I really started to get into morning glories. And Log House had for sale at least 10 varieties of morning glories. What was I to do? Then, in the vegetable section I discovered Log House has grown and introduced to us Northwest growers 6 or more Sweet Potatoes that we can successfully grow and harvest in our region. They had beautiful slips growing in 4 inch pots, ready to be planted in a trench. Into my basket they went. So, by the end of the day, I had one very full flat of plants to take home. The complete listing:
"Beauregard" - Sweet Potato Slips (3)
"Sunrise Serenade" - Morning Glory (1) fully double corolla, ruby red
"Feringa" - Morning Glory (1) Violet & Rose Pink
"Kellogg's Breakfast" - Tomato (2)
"Seattle's Best" - Tomato (1)
"Rose" - Tomato (1)
"Momotaro" - Tomato (1)
"Orange Blossom" - Tomato (1)
"Persimmon" - Tomato (1)
"Black Pear" - Tomato (1)
"Black Cherry" - Tomato (1)
"Sweet Million" - Tomato (1)
"San Francisco Fog" - Tomato (1)
"Hidcote" - Lavender
Monday, May 3, 2010
Last Mother's Day, I gave my Mom a flowering Crab Apple that I got at Down to Earth. It lost most of its flowers on the ride home in the back of the pickup truck, so she really didn't get to see it in full bloom that first year. Dad and I planted it up on the bank where it could be viewed out of most of the front windows. It seemed to have settled in well over the Summer & Fall. Its leaves turned a gorgeous shade of red in the Fall and it produced quite a few small red crab apples which hung on until late Winter. It promised to be hardy to very low temperatures, but I was nervous as we had a full week of 15 degree nights in December. But, as promised it survived just fine and started to break dormancy in early March. It is now in full glorious bloom this week. At full maturity, it is suppose to reach a size of 15 feet in height with a spread of 15 feet. It's still small now, but I can imagine what it will look like in future Springs. And someday, we can take that ugly fence down around it, when it finally gets taller than the deer!