Summer Saturday

At least that’s what it felt like. 80F in the shade. Sunny. Cooled off later–I think the breeze drifted in off the lake.

A gardening day. I put out a couple of lawn ornaments–flower spinnies, no big–and stuck some red and orange begonias in the planter. Finished up the raised bed, and planted the overflow tomatoes in deck containers–I know I swore I wouldn’t try containers again, but I couldn’t bear to toss the seedlings. All the varieties I’m trying this year are new. There’s Arkansas Traveler, Black Cherry, and three Italian types: Red Pear Sel. Franchi (a beefsteak-type), San Marzano (sauce) and St. Pierre (a salad/fresh). The Italian plants have grown more quickly, especially the St. Pierre, but they were starting to yellow a bit. I suspect over-watering and too-rich soil. So now they’re out in the heat and sun, protected by the red mulch that’s supposed to boost production by 20%. We’ll see.

Not crazy about how the red mulch looks, but if it helps....?

A couple of surprises carried over from last year’s mesclun crop. The plants that I thought might be radicchio turned out to be plain old lettuce. The curly lettuce has grown into a decent-size head, and the thing with the kale-like leaves and orange stems turned out to be chard. In addition, a sprouted red onion that I stuck in the ground has put forth a couple of flowers. I’ve looked up how to harvest seeds, so assuming they aren’t sterile hybrid, I will give them a shot next year.

I also planted some mesclun seeds leftover from last year. The seeds wintered in the unheated garage, so I don’t know if they’re still viable. Again, we’ll see.

That’s it for the vegetables. As far as other things go, the miniatures roses have exploded, and an old rootstock plant leftover from Mom’s rose-tending days has put forth buds. The crabapple that produces the hardball-size fruit that I used to make chutney a couple of years ago blossomed this year, so I should see apples in the fall. Found a strawberry plant in one of the containers I cleaned out to use for the tomatoes. Not sure where it came from. I moved it to another pot, but I’m not sure if it survived transplant. It looks a little wilty.

Dinner tomorrow: salmon with sauteed chard. I’m not sure how much chard constitutes “a bunch,” but I think I’ll have enough.