May Garden

I’ve finally got the garden in to my satisfaction. After a mild end to the winter the spring has been slow to warm up. April was a wet month and May has started pretty much the same. This year I guess it’s a bit of a salsa garden as it’s predominately tomatoes, peppers, jalapeno, garlic, and onions.  However I’ve also put in a bit of broccoli and have potatoes and peas as well.

This is my first attempt at growing potatoes. So I’m watching them carefully. I didn’t plant very much. I’d just like to see if I can grow them without ruining the crop. Initially you plant them quite shallow and them and then mound up soil around the leaf stem when the tubers begin to poke through the crust.

Front bell peppers, jalapenos; Center tomatoes; back garlic on one side, tomatoes on the other.

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Last year’s garden was quite productive. But it became an impossible chore to control the weeds and grass that invade the richer amended soil that is watered on a regular basis; especially as the maintenance pretty much coincides with my busy season with camps and seminars and so forth. So this year I’m going to get a bit of help from a supply of recycled black plastic. I will monitor this carefully to make sure the plastic isn’t turning water away from the plants that need it.

Front broccoli, jalapenos; Center potatoes; back peas.

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If I control the weeds adequately I can quickly get something else growing in the plot after I’ve harvested the first crop. I don’t think there’s many two-season vegetables in this part of the world, so I’ll probably give any reuse over to growing radishes or carrots.

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You know, I’ve been watching those commercials on TV for the hanging tomato planters. It struck me that $20 apiece makes for a pretty pricey tomato. So I decided to make my own hangers out of recycled milk jugs. Of course I used duct tape to narrow the hole at the neck. I’m using 15 LB test fishing line to suspend them. Marsha said that they’d get too heavy and break the lines. But she just doesn’t get it. It’s an extraordinarily stout little thread; and I could catch a fish near as big as me with such a line.

Anyhow, I made 7 of these. I split the tomatoes so that half are in the ground and half are in the ground. I’ll be very interested in seeing if they perform differently. Frankly a hanging plant has to be tended differently. I’ll have to water them on a regular basis, or they’ll die. Plants in the ground will more readily seek and find moisture. On the other hand, I don’t think weeding will be much of a problem. I can also move them around. Note that only after a day the stems turned around to face their leaves up into the sun. Amazing.

Mercy

Tomorrow our foster girl Mercy will be picked up by Ohio Collie Rescue who will find for her a forever home. It’s been remarkable watching this poor crippled girl adapt to three legs and watching her strength and confidence grow.

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Though most of her life here has been in an X-pen she’s had plenty of time doing doggie things, including playing with our dogs in the backyard. She has mastered the steep ramps up onto our decks and to some extent the steps as well. She has become quite attached to our girl Blue, who she follows around with a constant mission to bite and wrestle. This is fitting justice for Blue who constantly taunts and provokes the other dogs in our pack (who’ll tolerate it)… to have a dog who follows her around with taunt and provocation.

Road Trip!

This weekend I’m off to central Pennsylvania for a two-day handling seminar. I’ll return home in time to take off for West Virginia where I hope to bring home my new BC pup. By the end of next week I’m off to judge a USDAA trial in Tyler, Texas, and will return home for a private camp here at Country Dream. The season is heating up!

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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2 Responses to “May Garden”

  1. Erica Says:

    Bravo on creating the hanging tomato planters. I’ve been intrigued with the concept if only to prevent (hopefully) those nasty tomato hornworms, but prefer to spend my money on dog food and agility lessons.

    • budhouston Says:

      I really don’t think the hanging planter will prevent the hornworm at all. They will simply and magically appear when it is time for them. And frankly I’m pretty sure they don’t just climb up off the ground. The matriarch has wings, after all. The trick to the hornworm is to catch them when they are tiny little things and pluck them off. Plan “B” is to wait for the completely stripped plant… and pick the big fat succulent hornworm off, after he’s done his damage.

      Bud

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