Dear Friends and Gardeners, Week 10

Dear Dee and Carol, Friends and Gardeners,

Whew, thought May might not EVER get here, tho I know better. Things are lookin’ up and comin’ up all around me. Just a few patches of snow on Shafer Butte so I am going for broke this week in the garden.

Here’s the “to do” list from the kitchen counter:

Plant out all the accumulated tomato starts. Sadly, this does not include my pathetic one inch high seedlings. (They are outside right this minute, soaking up the sun. Maybe I should join them with my pillow and a book.)

Pop the seeds for the Chinese Noodle Beans in the ground, next to a fence. I have a packet from Nan Ondra (love those pass-a-longs) and one from Baker Creek.

Time to create a hill for the Prescott Fond Blanc Melon, cantaloupe type, plus one for the Big Red Warty Thing, a winter squash.

Find a home spot for the Malabar spinach. I saw it growing at Rodale’s organic farm a couple years ago, trained up a trellis. It was mid-September and tender, tart and tasty.

I have lots of arugula seeds, so this time I’ll start a batch of Italian Rustic. We love arugula and can eat it every day in one recipe or another.

I sautéed up a mess of the baby bok choi this week. MAN! I LOVE cooking what I grew! We had another salad of those micro greens, too.

My raspberries are covered with flower blossoms and full of promise. The established canes have made their way from the border bed into the back lawn, and Flyboy is giving them a wide berth. Now ya know, when it comes to his lawn, not much gets in the way. I was surprised he didn’t whack them off with the mower. The newly planted canes are showing nice leaf growth. Neighbors will probably hate me next year when those jump the fence line…or, they may thank me.

The little alpine strawberries are coming on in the strawberry pot but I have to say, I am seriously disappointed with the spendy trendy Mara des Boise strawberries. Not a one of them lived. I am going to write to WFF this week and ask for a refund or a replacement.

Imagine whirled peas. Yup, my peas are up. Just a teensy bit. But they are up. And the garlic is about to ‘scape. Not “E-SCAPE” but scape = the flower buds at the ends of the stalks. Whimsical looking but so good when stir fried or turned into a slightly garlicky pesto for pasta. Here’s an idea, pasta w/garlic scape pesto, fresh garden peas and a bit of a bite from some added arugula or microgreens.

I have a crazy busy gardening week ahead – gardening for clients and getting my stuff all squared away at the same time. I have flats of annuals sitting in the driveway and in the front seat of the truck. Last year’s perennial bargains are in hiding around the back corner of the house where I don’t have to look at them and feel all guilty they aren’t in the ground….yet. A ½ flat of thyme, a penstemon, big desert sage, a beat up clematis…you get the idea. Eyes and imagination are always bigger than the number of hours I have to get the stuff planted. Oh, and then there is the pine tree on the front porch. THE front porch! It was used as a Christmas decoration. I have every intention of taking it to the cabin and planting it. Yes, I do. I promise.

Dee, if you write and tell me you are eating your first tomato, I may just throw myself on the ground and cry. And Carol, I am thinking instead of white plastic forks to keep the rabbits at bay, maybe you should try clear plastic forks so it doesn’t look like……well, white plastic forks upside down in the garden.

It’s so nice out there, I may just go have a nap by my tomatoes after all, it IS Sunday.