Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spring Garden Diary

This is where things are currently.

The new little Desert King is either quite happy in this location, or it just gets to an earlier start compared to the other fig trees. It looks quite happy.

The garlic is knee high. These are on the south side of the house. The garlic in the front yard (north of house but still in sun) is not as large, but is also not from the 'prime' garlic bulbs (Inchelium red)

Grapes are starting to bloom. This is Venus, but other varietes are not far behind.

The recently planted beans have started to show. These were the Romano Bush Beans planted April 26th. About half are showing now. None of the corn or squash planted that day are up. Yesterday I planted some yellow string bush beans, and more romanos, after an overnight soak. Also replantged the corn after an overnight soak. I suspect the issue is soil temperature, but the soaking probably wont hurt anything and might speed germination. Also today I planted old seeds. I mixed together old packets of lettuce, mesclun, basil, spinach, and vegetable chrysanthemum, then planted thickly. These seeds are anywhere from 1 to 5 years old, and most probably wont grow. I didn't want to waste space for individual trials, so they are all planted together. Of note, this WSU publication gives life expectations for common vegetable seeds. They show lettuce, cucumber, and spinach seeds may be viable for 5-6 years; carrots beans and peas for 3-4 years. Maybe they WILL grow, after all. Oregon State say's don't presoak corn or beans at all - that this method damages seeds! Of note, I did presoak beans last year and they sprouted well, so who knows?

Here are some comments about presoaking seeds: This author - goes further and and discusses presprouting (chitting) his seeds. Hmmm... I'll have to try that. This author says DON'T soak bean seeds! Apparently they become more fragile when soaked. This author says DON'T soak them, due to concern for rotting! This author says DO presoak them! This author recommends presoaking certain seeds but doesn't address beans. Well, the consensus appears to be that I shouldn't have soaked them. We'll see if they grow! If no growth in 2 weeks, there is time to try again.

The chickens laid one egg each today. Must be the lengthening days, although I would like to think it is all of the weeds that I have been feeding them!

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