Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Growing Season is Starting Up

It's very exciting around the garden these days, for Things are happening.

Just as the apples and crabapples were budding, we were hit with another snow storm (well, sort of a storm - mostly just cold weather and snow in the air, although we netted about 0.1" of snow on the ground). Just about every growing thing now has blackened leaves. But, nature perseveres, and now the trees are blooming.

Here is as bough from my white-flowered crabapple. Last year was the first time it had blossoms - about a half dozen. This year it is loaded.

The other crabapples are full of buds, too. The wildlife crab was hit hard, so it is not the solid plume of flowers it was last year. In fact, the Royalty crab isn't either. It was loaded with buds, but now they don't seem to be opening, or at least not with any sort of vigor.
The regular apples, however, are doing well. Here are the flowers on the Haralson:
The Jonagold is also loaded, and this year, for the first time, I have a few flowers (very few) on the Milden. The Milden isn't looking too well, though. The middle trunks are defunct. I cut off one earlier this spring - it was well and goodly dead. The other is nearly dead - no leaves, no flowers. The Northern Spy is a late bloomer, in many ways. It's leaves are only just starting to emerge, and I think it will have a few flowers, but they will be later in the season.
I also noticed this year I have a wild apple that has volunteered in my yard! It's about as bit as some of the whips I planted last year, but IT is loaded with blossoms. The wild varieties are so much hardier and grow up so much more quickly than their domesticated cousins.
Meanwhile, this last Sunday was a PERFECT day. It was in the low-70s, with a cloudless blue sky and a nice breeze. I spent part of the morning chasing red admirals around the yard trying to get their photos. There were many of them, all feasting on the dandelion buffet that is my lawn, but none would sit still long enough to shoot! I finally tracked this one down in the veg garden.

And then I spent the rest of the day re-digging the remaining veg beds. The weeds had taken over the final six beds and they were a chore to clean out. It was like starting from scratch and digging up the lawn! By Monday afternoon all six were finished and are now almost ready for planting.
I am still going to hold off another week or so before I really get stuff planted - more cold weather is possible. Still, I may get the spuds in this week.
Meanwhile, the garlic is doing great:

I took the row covers off the peas yesterday and they are looking great, too! Put in the poles and posts that will hold their trellises (when I get around to making them).

Wish I could be as optimistic about the onions. They are just not looking too great. Gave them a good drink yesterday, but only time will tell if they survive and produce.
I'm "on vacation" again this week, so I hope to get a fair bit of stuff done in the garden, in between going on flower hikes with my pal Jackie. I've got a couple days off next week, too, during which I really hope to get stuff into the garden.

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