Sunday, May 13, 2012

Movin' Right Along...

Now that I have the Muppet's song stuck in my head...

You know, or maybe not... "Movin' Right Along" from the real Muppet Movie.  Real, as in 1979, with Jim Henson himself as Kermit, featuring a cameo with Charlie McCarthy (oh, please don't tell me you don't know Charlie?).   If you want to see some great Henson stuff, besides Muppets, try The Storyteller.  There are Greek myths and European folktales.  The folktales are not those familiar to Americans.  Yes, a puppet figures into it, but not as a character in the stories themselves, but as the pet of the Storyteller himself.  Fantastic stuff.

Anyway, back to my Garden Adventure, two months and two days in.

I am removing my recommendation on using recycled plastic buckets.  Unless you know for sure, to an absolute certainty, that the buckets were not used for chemicals or toxic cleaning products, do not use them.  My buckets were from dish washer soaps and the like, and I rinsed them well. But, as the plants in them are now either dead, dying, or doing poorly, I have to consider the possibility that the soil has been contaminated by chemicals that soaked into the plastic.  I have had to re-purchase and plant new Lemon Cucumbers (or are they just picky?) and may have to do the same with the Summer Dance cukes.  The new Lemon Cucumbers came from a FFA (Future Farmers of America) plant sale at a nearby high school yesterday.  I planted them in a large pot of potting soil, the only soil I have left.  Hard to fathom I am out of soil, as that pile of four yards looked as though I would never be able to get through it.  I added an upside down tomato cage for them to climb, and threw in a marigold for color.

Lemon Cucumber - dying - is it the bucket?
Lemon Cucumbers -  new trio

I also got some snapdragons (my son likes to make them bite, but I think he broke one of their "jaws" already!), African marigolds in yellow and white (called Crush Pineapple and Crush Pumpkin), which I planted in all the raised beds to discourage bugs.   Some portulaca, a gazania (what will I do with ONE gazania?), lobelia, and a zinnia.  I absolutely love Crystal Palace lobelia!  My favorite color.  My front door is nearly that color.

Even though the Cinderella Pumpkins, Cantaloupes, and Watermelon transplants look fine (not much bigger, but not less healthy) I went ahead and directed seeded too.  I can always remove some if it gets crowded in the beds.  I planted the zinnia in the pumpkin/cantaloupe bed.

Cinderella Pumpkins, Zinnia, Marigold and in back of bed, Cantaloupes
The asparagus continues to produce, but I am leaving some skinny spears to mature so the bed looks messy and abandoned.  I discovered something funny about asparagus by accident.  I wanted to keep it fresh, so placed some newly cut spears in a glass of water on my kitchen counter.  The next morning they had noticeably grown!  My kids didn't believe it, so I repeated the process and marked the original height.  Sure enough, they grew!  I think they do it in the refrigerator in plastic bags too.  They tend to get all bend over when I break them to fit.  Weird, huh?

I had to buy some bug spray for the blackberry leaf-eater problem,  and the apple tree aphids.  I can't tell yet if it worked.  I also got some organic (?) snail bait since I have seen slime trails on several early mornings on my strawberries.  OH!  You should see how many blossoms and teeny tiny fruit the strawberries have!  I am so excited!

As I said, "Movin' Right Along!"


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