Sunday, April 5, 2009

Today was a very fine day for working in the garden! Nice and (almost) warm, not too windy, the sun was out... it was great. I went ahead and planted out all my lettuce and arugula. Then the wind picked up, and I got all worried that maybe I hadn't hardened them off enough. So, I put a row cover over them. I got the hoops from Fedco, they're so cool! They're just 6 foot springy steel that you can bend and insert at any angle. I put the agribon row cover over it, and used "earth staples" to hold it down. It held up fine in today's wind. I hope my lettuces do okay!!!

I also tried my hand at grafting my apple trees - that is, splicing two different kinds together to make a frankentree! I've never done that before. Now's the time for it - the apple trees haven't *quite* woken up yet. I ordered scionwood (again, from Fedco) and used a "whip or tongue graft" from "Grafting Fruit Trees - A Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin". Useful little book. Basically you cut the dormant twigs at an angle, then notch both of them so they fit together tongue-and-groove style. I tied them together, so they have a snug fit. Then you have to wax them over so they don't dry out. That's what that nasty-looking yellow blob is. It really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be! I did 3 grafts today - "Chestnut", "Keepsake", and "Macoun", from Fedco. I put them on my made-to-order Frankentree that I got from Raintree last year. I hope I get apples this year!!!

The onions are next to be planted out, along with the rest of the leeks and the scallions. So far the broccoli is growing well. One of the baby kales died, but I kind of mangled it before I planted it out, so I think that's mostly due to my clumsyness!

The mason bees haven't emerged yet. I guess it's still not quite warm enough. There was a spider hanging out by their box, though, it made me a little worried! I'm sure they'll be fine.

So many buds and baby leaves today! Gooseberry, serviceberry, even my roses are starting to show leaves. I just can't wait!!!


Daphne said...

In the spring I always plant my seedlings out under row covers. I don't trust our weather or our birds at this time of year.

Pam said...

Daphne - yeah, I'm beginning to think that's the smart way to go! This is my first test with this type of set up - previously I've used cold frames. I'll have to let you know how it goes!

Sally said...

That's a smart way to go with the lettuce and arugula, especially if you have planted them indoors. I've been assured that my lettuce and spinach that I've sown directly into the ground are still small enough to withstand this weather, but with all of this rain I hope they don't wash away!