Back Forty

Back Forty update

Divided and replanted about three dozen garlic youngsters sprouted from some forgotten garlic from 2 years ago. I think that they are a kind of hardneck, so I’ll have scapes in May if that’s the case! If not, they are silverskin, which I like just fine.

Found some parsley I’d forgotten about too. It was hidden by a wicked infestation of English ivy that is going to be my major nemesis this year, I’m afraid. However, that parsley survived the cold much better than the other parsley did, so there you go. Nothing is totally good or evil in the garden. Except poison oak and ivy. Haven’t found a virtue for them yet.

I ordered a few seeds and some Reemay from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange today. I realized that I will really need to do the tunnels this year to protect my seedlings from critters. I ordered a lettuce mix of sixty varieties (whee! I just love those mystery mixes), Nankeen cotton, which is a coppery brown, and Cossack pineapple ground cherries. Anne-Marie gave me a few seeds – she had loads of different pepper, eggplant, and tomato seeds but I am not starting seeds indoors this year. I took a few pumpkin, cucumber, and lime and Genovese basil seeds.

I laid down cardboard on the paths where weeds tend to come up and Sandy put down new pine needles. We switched to pine needles last year when a flood ran through the Back Forty and washed all the wood chips that I’d just busted my ass to put down to the side of the house. Later we had another flood and the pine needles stayed put, and it makes Sandy happier about the back yard, so unless I see a real decline in the soil we’ll keep using the pine needles. I’m trying to decide whether to use wheat straw or compost as mulch for the vegetable beds. I’d have to buy the compost since I don’t have enough. Maybe I’ll do both to see which is better.

Transplanted some feverfew volunteers to the strip between the sidewalk and the street. I send my toughest invaders up there, as long as they are pretty.

I am achy and sore, but this weekend’s work made me happy. Ask me that around 7 a.m. and see if you get the same answer.

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