Friday, May 09, 2008
Nature Handles the Watering Today
It was already raining lightly when I awoke this morning, so I lingered over coffee a little before heading out to do some planting. The forecast showed a big storm bearing down on us, with serious rain and high winds coming for us into Saturday morning.
With that in mind, I didn't dally too long before heading out.
The first to be planted were the new single-flowered marigolds. Aren't they lovely? You just don't see this simple variety often enough and I just love them.
Here's my tip about buying marigold sixpacks. Marigolds tend to seed easily, it seems, and I find the individual cells of a sixpack often have more than a single seedling, their roots all tangled and grown together by the time I purchase them. The trick is to take the time to tease them apart...so you ended up getting more plants for your plant dollar.
This really works best with the shorter marigolds, as they have sturdy little stems that aren't likely to bend or break while you are tugging on them. The trick is to grasp them carefully but firmly as close to the base of the stem as you can, first loosening the roots wound around the bottom of the soil cell, and then steadily, but not sharply, pull them apart.
Or you can just slide them into the ground as is and let them take their own chances, I suppose. I like getting a few extra plants by giving each one the room to thrive...plus it makes the garden look a little fuller for less money.
I also got the snapdragon seedlings planted, trying to give some thought to what colors they were and what colors would be present on the perennials they were being planted near. Of course, one packet of snaps is to be assorted colors, so it's still something of a crap-shoot.
Once the plants were in the ground, I planted some seeds...more sunflowers in assorted locations, some misc wildflower seeds on the side of Mount Dump-it out back and some seashell cosmos at the far end of the garden out front.
The rain got heavier as the afternoon wore on and I moved on to other things, like the trip to Eastham for banking. Today, I also combined that with lunch at Wendy's and a visit to Cape Cod Bay, where I collected some old salt hay and seedweed to spread over the future vegetable bed. When I'm ready to plant, I'll turn it under.
The rain's continued to intensify and the flooding out front, despite my efforts to raise the level of the garden, is nearly as bad as ever...but we have had a LOT of rain, so I guess it's to be expected. The rain's supposed to subside by morning, so hopefully it won't sit there in the garden for too long.
I'd been wondering if the winter flooding had killed the lilies, as I'd sort of expected them to be up and out of the ground by now. The first nub of one appeared just a day or two ago, though, so faith is still a worthwhile endeavor just now.
The wind is picking up now and you can hear the occasional spatter of rain against the side of the house and the windows. They say we may have gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. Wee...