garden transition

It’s transition time in the garden – transitioning from cool weather to warm weather crops. I’ve got starts going for several kinds of peppers and tomatoes, some cucumbers, along with crooked neck and zucchini squash. If the weather holds thru the 20th of this month, I’ll plant those along with a couple rows of green beans. The issue now is finishing up on the winter stuff to give me the space for the replacements. Picked the last of the snow peas today, a big section of broccoli, and loads of lettuce which we are now giving away is ever increasing bundles. I’d say there’s only about 10% of the area now available for planting but anticipate that will be more like 50% by the end of March and 100% by mid April. If all the plans work, we’ll be picking the first of the summer crop and the last of the winter crop at the same time. All in all, I’d give the winter crop a solid C+. I learned quite a bit and am confident that next cool season will be primo.

When the space opens, I’ll pop in watermelons, cantaloupes, and the hard shell squashes. I’m going to try summer greens this year including swiss chard and a climbing variety of spinach called Malabar. Both of these are supposed to handle heat and humidity. We’ll see. Just to show you how over the top I’ve become, I built a spread sheet program that projects exactly when to plant seeds to meet a specific harvest date. Even I have to admit that’s on the fringe of weird or a sign of having too much time on my hands.

In fact we’ll see about the whole thing. Last year’s start had problems because the soil was so bad and I was totally unprepared for the voraciousness of the critters. Certainly we got plenty to eat but had some wholesale failures which I don’t intend to repeat. Grade D+. Aside from the quality of the soil at this point, my seed buying strategy this year was heavily focused on seeds that were extra disease resistant. I’ve also vastly increased my arsenal of chemical weapons and have mapped out a cradle to grave attack plan on critter control. The other tactical change is to plant in smaller batches, scattered around rather than all of one type in one spot. Hell, I may even get a camo suit so that I blend in when launching raids.

The plan now is to expand the size of the garden by maybe 300 SF and to plant that in corn. That’s more work than I care to take on myself so we’ll tackle that when George finishes up his hyperbaric treatments and before he has some old, dead chest bone removed. I could probably do it myself if I could get the rickety old tiller he has running – which I can’t. George is the only one who can get it started and keep it running so he gets that job by default. Corn takes up lots of space for the yield but it tastes so good and maybe we’ll have the only corn around that’s not being converted to ethanol!!!

Can’t resist a political comment. Way to go Billary! I was losing faith in backroom politicking and getting nervous that the big machine was losing steam. I couldn’t believe my man Carville was holding back so long. There’s still this delegate math to overcome but I’m sure the powers that be have much more control over that than they do plain folk voting. I knew they’d have to eventually break out dirt on Barry and couldn’t understand why they were waiting so long to bang the National Security Drum. That is the big trump card in the sky and she finally played the queen. Too bad the Ace is on the other side. Squirm, Teddy, squirm – sheeee’s coming!

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