Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Vagaries of Spring

We have had some pretty hilarious weather here. Already there has been a week in which the high temperature most days was around 90 degrees F, and that was followed by a week in which the high temperature most days was around 60 degrees F. We should be heading back into more usual territory this weekend, but the extremes have been hard on some plants.

I would blame the weather for my tiny pepper plants, but their size is my own fault. If I had started them sooner, they would be more visible in this arc of garden near the front steps. Can you see them? There are fifteen, representing several varieties, though not all are visible in this particular photo.

The big plant to the right, on the outside of the curve, is a red-flowered bee balm that seems fairly resistant to the mildew that attacks most of these plants. I think the variety is Jacob Kline.

In my own yard, the weird weather has mostly served just to slow things down. In the garden of a friend, though, the weather has been a little harder on the plants. The leaves of his earliest-planted tomato plants have a purplish cast. We finally figured out that this is probably due to the reduced uptake of phosphorus that resulted from having been planted in cold soil. In addition, his peppers are looking a little pale, and we think that is cold-related, too.

However, all the plants of my friend who gardens in containers look great! Her tomato plants have little green fruits on them, and all is proceeding as it should.

Elsewhere around my yard, blueberries are looking abundant (though still green), the other berries are flowering and making little green fruits, and my persimmon trees, both the Ichi Ki Ke Jiro and the unknown variety that a friend grafted for me are also making little fruits.

The neighborhood kids (aka "Little Rascals") have figured out where the fruit is, so I expect to have some competition for the berries from these canes. The good news is that there seem to be more canes and more flowers than last year, and if we are lucky there will be plenty to share.


This is the first year of fruiting for the grafted persimmon tree, and I do not know whether any of those fruits will mature (or, if they do, if I can beat the squirrels to them). I'm looking forward to finding out!

4 comments:

  1. I have a few wild blackberries in my front island which I mostly use to monitor when to go visit the larger patch atbthe end of the neighborhood. Last summer several people saw me walking home with a bucket of blackberries, but none seemed inclined to go pick for themselves. Silly people, but all the more for me (and my mom - we've both picked for years).

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  2. Hi Owlfan! We go for the wild blackberries, too, but I've been searching for new patch. A couple of years ago when Joe and I were out picking berries at the nearby park, we realized that the only other person picking the berries was the homeless guy who lived down by the railroad tracks. We figured he needed the berries a lot more than we did, so we didn't pick any more that year.

    Last summer, we picked some when we were out canoeing, and we did go back to the park a couple of times, but we haven't found another nearer patch, and I haven't checked the railroad tracks yet to figure out whether anyone is living down there now. The world is a complicated place . . .

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  3. Hi Amy - thanks for leaving me interesting comments on my blog - I finally got some time to come and read about your garden, your writing is very compelling and you talk about things that I am very interested in (like weather and plants and how they are wonderful, magical and weird!)-
    a lot of my garden is still in trays because it has been too cold - but will have to be planted today or tomorrow (raining cats and dogs today) I am also preparing for a jewellery sale, I need 6000 units, as I am only at 4000 so I rarely turn my computer on anymore. So, so happy to see you still blogging and giving me something worth spending my time to read - peace

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  4. Ruralrose, I'm glad you finally have had a minute to make a change of pace. I think your life is very busy! I hope the jewelry sale preparations are going well, and that your garden gets planted in a more timely manner than mine.

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