Saturday, May 15, 2010

Garden is in!

Thai pepper and Early Girl tomato
Such a great feeling when the garden is in!  In a burst of climatological optimism, Maty and I completed our spring planting today.  On our back deck, we put in 2 habañero peppers, which we had good success with last year, as well as a Thai pepper, 2 varieties of basil, and a variety of tomato called "Early Girl" which is said to mature in 60 days.  (We'll see about that.)

¡Habañero llameante!
Habañeros are a must for us, because we love food that is hot, hot, HOT!  I always used to think that I could eat anything spicy, but once I married this African woman, I quickly learned that we Americans are pretty lightweight when it comes to spicy food.  Maty doesn't even bother with jalapeños; they don't have enough kick.

We added a cucumber to our plot out front.  I put a tomato cage over it to see if I can get it to trellis upward rather than spreading all over.  We have a zebra tomato going in the main bed.  It should give us some fruit around mid-August.  Also we've got beets and garlic growing nearby. 

We've had red leaf lettuce, cabbage, and spinach in the ground for a few weeks now,  I plucked enough lettuce and spinach today to make a very big salad.  There will be more to come.  The cabbage hasn't fared as well.  We had some rather promising looking plants, but the bed has been invaded by slugs, which demolished four of our cabbages.  I killed perhaps a half-dozen long olive-brown slugs over the last day or two, but I'm sure there are more.

Death awaits thee, Master Slug!
Fortunately, slugs (like tea-baggers) are prone to drinking themselves to death with cheap beer.  I bought a single can of Hamm's beer at Fred Meyer and poured it into two paper cups.  Then I put each cup into the soil, so that its lip is flush with the ground.  I've used this trick before and it works like a charm.  The slugs are drawn to the yeast smell, crawl into the cup to investigate, and then, repeating a tragedy known to humans from all walks of life, succumb to demon drink.  I expect in the next day or so, both cups will be full of stale beer and thoroughly pickled slugs.  More's the pity.  But maybe I can save the last of my cabbage!

I think this year just might be the year when my blueberries start producing.  I've had two of them for a good five years, but they haven't done much.  Well, this year, I moved them both to a sunnier spot in the yard and added a third shrub to enhance pollination.  Things are looking good this year.

Oh, baby!
Strawberries and raspberries are both going strong.  So I'll have plenty of fresh berries to put on my granola this summer.

This gardening thing is a lot of fun.  I'm very, very far from being a green thumb, but in this fertile valley in the Pacific Northwest, with this mild, wet climate, you almost have to try to fail for things not to work out.

Gotta love it!

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