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Words to guide, inspire and entertain
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
My brother-in-sin gardener said to me the other day, "I found out the frost date. It’s April 7th."
(click the link above and enter your own zipcode to see your local average last frost dates)
His eyes took on a positively feral gleam when he said this, although nobody would know he was a green vampire unless you trapped him about plants and planting. He’s the fellow with the 7’ okra…
For those of you who are not possessed by Old Split foot when it comes to gardening, frost date is sort of the bellwether for when one might start planting if one were nonchalant. In fact, why not just plant? We could buy hardy things that resist cold and damp, right?
Anyway, Gary already has seeds that he’s started, from Lambreth's seed company. Apparently some of these are rarities; we are sharing some odd kale varieties to be sown in with some lettuces for early spring eating.
I, a lazy impatient gardener, am one for plants that I can put in all ready to produce. I think of all seed planting as being carrots. You put the seeds in a shallow trench, cover them over and water them, wait till they appear, thin the tops so you can get sizeable carrots…. Etc., etc., etc.
This seems like way too much work. Tapping my foot, I am.
But he explained to me about ‘broadcasting’. This, by the way, is where they got the TV term. One takes one’s talented hand and, artfully flinging seeds into soil, rakes lightly, and walks off. Apparently you can also do this close-cropped in a pot (my ears prick like Spock); it will turn out as a mass of mixed stuff that you can pluck for salads and stir fry’s…
Well I never thought of this before, but that’s how plants grow in the wild. Nobody is thinning them as far as I know. Why am I making this like algebra instead of like soup? Soup is way better than a quadrilateral equation. Oh god, I hate math.
Well I’m going to try it. I want to see something growing out of my beds so bad that it’s starting to imbalance me.
I took a walk in a nice local park, and I got pictures of things that are already growing, budding and blooming. There was a lovely wild cherry just starting; little snowdrops; plain old daffodils alongside a very strange gnome; something shrubby that was budding out leaves (I don’t know what this plant is) the familiar pile of mulch on a tarp like the one that graces my driveway for entirely too long, sometimes into July ... and a beaver’s recent chewings.
I looked over the whole park and saw not one place that seemed good for a beaver, but that’s neither here nor there, since a beaver obviously ate part of that tree and then gave it up as a bad job. It did my heart good to see the little blossoms and leaves… and I saw a great grey heron, a woodchuck, a black sort of duck with a brown toupee, (if anybody knows what this duck is please tell me) mallards, the ubiquitous Canada goose, and a lot of folks walking dogs.
Do you know what a Shiba Inu looks like? My orange cat looks weirdly like one.
photos: Amanda Bennett, www.bennettmassage.com