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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Planting Time

There is a storm on the way. Clouds and winds from the North are delaying my gardening activities, extending my blogging time.

Yesterday's run to Coos was very productive. We bought bags of mushroom compost at Wallmart; blackberries and raspberries starts, zucchini, beans, onions and artichoke starts. For more exotic plants we went to our berry lady, who is known for unusual starts, up in the hills of Charleston. She had a hundred plus varieties of blueberry plants. Imagine! She had sold us a few in the past, and I wanted to expand my varieties. She had one that produces gigantic fruit, as big as cherries. We got a few of those, and cherries, both Bing and Rainier.

After we plant all these things, weeks from now, we need to worry about fertilizing, weeding, and later in the summer months, irrigating. This part of Oregon has two seasons, approximately six months each, wet and dry. Once a tree is established it can survive the drought. But not sooner. In addition, we have a marine layer, cool winds that dry up in one sweep, and wet in another. We provide wind barriers to most plantings. And we provide weed barriers, mulching or cloth covering to prevent unwanted vegetation strangling the young upstarts we paid a dear penny for. I haven't even mentioned the animals.

Nothing is deer-proof. They need to roam and taste and be satiated somehow. We must outsmart them with herbs, tall fences, or delicious tender shoots planted just in their reach to stop further decimation. Sometimes this last act is totally unplanned. I left a pot of ranunculus by the front door whose blooms remained happy for weeks before they became a tasty appetizer for a doe.

This year, I'm expanding my vegetable patch and my fruit production. What we don't eat I can freeze. I have half a freezer full of sliced apples from last year's crop. If I crave apples, or I have nothing to put on my yogurt, I grab a few frozen slices, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon, plop in the microwave, and voila.

Those of you who like gardening know how satisfying planting season can be.

34 comments:

C. Michael Cox said...

My wife was just out last night putting buckets over her flowers because of the storms.

Linds said...

My veg seeds are all started and growing well now. Most are still under cover, because May is a better month for planting out, once the frosts are over. I just love watching everything surge into life! At home, the squirrels are the biggest problem, but on the allotment, it is the rabbits which do the most damage. I always reckon we need to plant enough for all of us - squirrels, rabbits and humans!

Matawheeze said...

I'm NOT a gardener but I make a decent gardener-watcher. My tub of strawberries, kept for the grandchildren to graze upon, were lush one afternoon and bare stalks the next morning. Some dear deer had a wonderful salad!

Frankofile said...

Here the most damaging are slugs that eat the little plants, and then the black labrador that eats anything beginning to ripen.

Woman in a Window said...

Storms...we just got rain. I'd rather have had some whooping, some rumbling, something fierce but not scary. Be careful what you ask for, I think.

Yes, gardening soon. Love the reaping more than the planting.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I think I would enjoy having a garden, but I always back out because of the terrible heat here. Last summer we had about 3 months of hot, dry weather. Temperatures were around 100 every day for months... too hot for plants to do well and the heat arrived in May. Perhaps I should think of a fall garden rather than a summer one.

Paul Costopoulos said...

In my backyard we have some tulips and chinese lilies sprouting. They have somehow also migrated to the front lawn and all around the house. Squirrels I guess.
We also watch the bird feeder becoming busy again after a slow winter crowd.
City living on the St-laurent flat plain is not as colorful as Oregon but has its nice moments nonetheless.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I found you on the google map & it had some nice photos of your town & Coos. Pretty covered bridge near Coos.

An English Shepherd said...

Its spring here as well and everything is growing, including me...

Wizz :-)

Mary said...

Ok, so you have inspired me. I am off to get some pots and soil and seeds. Heaven help us all ;)

The Things We Carried said...

Yesterday sun, plans for the park on the weekend...today rain and soup. Are you sure there is a dry season ;)?

Sarah Lulu said...

Planting season sounds wonderful.

Everything feels so alive.

It's so windy here too, unusual for Autumn ...sometimes it gets a bit windy for a few days in Spring.

Great washing weather as there is not a single cloud in the sky

Enjoy your day. xx

Helen said...

Hello Rosaria .... Just over the mountains not far from you, our weather patterns are so different. After four years in Bend (arriving from Central Florida) I really enjoy the changing seasons. We have all four, but they vary in length from year to year - and in intensity as well. Never could the winters here rival the 24 winters I experienced in Minneapolis.

Glad you found everything you needed for summer in the garden.

Ribbon said...

Oh yes I love to garden, but unfortunately it is not very rewarding where I am living at the moment. The soil isn't soil, it's just sand that repels water. We compost, but still have a lot of trouble getting any food to grow as still no rain.
I dream of the day that I own my own home and can just garden 'til I drop.
My Mother always grew most of our food. It was wonderful.

Happy gardening and you can send some of that storm our way :-)

best wishes Ribbon

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

In answer to your question on how I found you... Pearls when strung make a necklace of beauty ... and so from John Hayes onto you... Thank you for all you do. It is indeed a pleasure to follow and be followed!

Natalie said...

Wow! That certainly keeps you busy, Rosaria. I just can't imagine Bambi's being a nuisance.

Thanks for your support.xx♥

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

I would love to garden but my hands aren't up to it. Your selection of goodies sound delightful.

jinksy said...

I miss the large garden of my previous house, especially the raspberries that always appeared during Wimbledon Tennis Tornaments in the summer. I had to time my picking to fit around exciting matches on TV!

Delwyn said...

So how will you keep the deer away from your new plantings? Is your vege patch fenced.
I grow herbs in pots but the summer is too hot for much else, although we get wonderful produce coming to the markets from the hinterland. I had fresh raspberries for dessert tonight, after a salad and fresh asparagus- all found at the market this morning at 6am!
Happy planting Days

pink dogwood said...

yes- we are preparing our beds too and waiting for mother's day after which it is less likely to get frost.

we also get deer visitors. I planted some lavendar around my vegetable garden and that seems to keep them away.

Lori ann said...

Oh that sounds really wonderful, maybe you can take a photo come summer, i would love to see all your efforts come to bloom. I don't have much space here so for now my garden is limited to pots on the lanai. We do have a place about a half an hour away where you can pick your own blueberries in the summer!
I hope your shoulder isn't giving you any trouble.
♥ lori

Kikit said...

I'm not into gardening. Not yet. I mean someday I wish to have one (actually a small farm) where I can grow and harvest my own vegetables and fruits. Some bloggers (like you) do posts about it and you seem to enjoy it.

Gardening is a simple contribution to keeping the world a greener and better place to live in. :)

Renee said...

Rosaria you will have to show us pictures while you are hard at your work.

I don't garden at all. My husband use to.

Love Renee xoxo

valeria said...

How nice! I can see your "orto" through your words... It must be really rewarding to eat vegs that you've grown... And I like to imagine the storm coming over...
A photo would be really appreciated!!

PS I never thought about freezing apples...

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Your gardening problems sound not dissimilar to mine! I'm hoping to get some autumn planting done this week, so the plants can get a good watering over winter.
And I would so love to grow veggies and fruit but with guinea fowl, squirrels, snails etc, it's an uneven task.
Here's wishing you bumper summer crops of everything!

willow said...

We just put up a gate on the doorway of our patio, hoping it will keep the deer at bay. I just potted some lovely plants and I'm not too keen on the idea of them being nibbled to nubs!

Dave King said...

I'm not a gardener, I am a gardener's labourer, though. My wife does the clever bits.

Willow said...

So Coos Bay has a casino now, huh? My dad is native to Norway/Myrtle Point and I spent part of 1st grade in Coos, many years ago. Still related to half the county.

I now garden, much less extensively than you in Sunset's zone 23. But we still have deer...

I popped over from David's blog...

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Thank you for your comment today on APOGEE Poet. Since I posed the question, I have received much inner guidance and find that the answers lie in the Eternal Self. I appreciate all you do for so many...

Debbie said...

Good luck with the deer. They are hard to outsmart.

Mervat said...

Oh the berries sound divine. My husband has the green thumb in our household. He will plant anything, time permitting. Last year he was very proud of the one loquot, 3 fig, 3 stone fruit, 5 citrus, 2 apple, and 2 olive trees he planted. I cetainly can't wait to reap the rewards!

And you cannot surpass apples, sugar and cinnamon. Happy planting / growing season to you!

Tessa said...

I found there to be more hazards to veggie growing here in England than ever there were in Africa! Here the deer, rabbits, slugs and snails have daily feasts in the garden....and when I kept bantams, Mistress Fox came and stole them one by one.

Your tactics to deter the deer sound to be the perfect answer - thanks for sharing that, Lakeviewer!

Pyzahn said...

Last year was the first time I had enough apples on my tree to feed the squirrels, the birds, me and a few neighbors.

The early spring rains produced an amazing crop and several stayed on the tree long enough to get just a perfect kiss of red on the green skin.

I share your enthusiasm for all things growing.

Valerie said...

Oh how I would love to see deer round my garden. Oh how I would love the same scenery. Thank you, I enjoyed reading about your gardening habits.