Prepping for Summer

It was 87 degrees here today, and it’s as dry as the proverbial bone. I can’t recall an April like this one. I’ve never had to irrigate this early before, and this year we’ve been irrigating for a couple of weeks now. There is rain in the forecast for Friday and I’m hoping they’re right, as it’s desperately needed.

I’m trying to get our summer gardens prepped, but nature isn’t making it easy this year. It felt like I was rototilling a concrete parking lot, and what little of our rock-like clay that was pulverized by the tiller, lifted with the breeze and sailed off into the woods. So this was not the day for tilling.

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Right now we’re harvesting beautiful asparagus and we have lettuce, kale, collards and broccoli happily on the way.

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As for our Asian greens and spring root crops, we’ll just think of them as offerings to the cruel god of aridity, if anyone has ever invented such a notion. They’re always better in the fall anyway.

Notwithstanding our current conditions, which will surely pass and soon enough be replaced by some other situation about which I can complain, I’m looking forward to getting the summer gardens going.

We always dedicate a large garden to tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. We’ll do that again this year of course (after all, what’s summer without tomatoes, eggplant and peppers?), but we’re scaling back on varieties. This year the only tomatoes we’re going to grow are Romas and German Johnsons, our favorite heirloom. We’re not going to grow any hot peppers and we’ve scaled back the number of bell peppers we’re going to plant. But we aren’t making any eggplant changes–we’ll still grow one Italian and one Asian variety. Just typing this has me hungry for ratatouille.

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Roma plants, awaiting transplanting

Of course we’re also going to grow beans, okra, sweet corn, squash, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, watermelons and probably some other things I’m forgetting.

I just hope I don’t have to use a jackhammer to make that happen.

 

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