Thursday, July 4, 2013

VietCong Grass, Miniature Roses, and PBA Backsliding

 Wow! There is Oregano in there! It took almost two hours to pull the Vietcong grass out of this 12 SqFt patch of Oregano. I found several dozens of Dutch Iris Bulb we had planted 5 years ago that had never been thinned. They are being moved to another area in the garden tonight. The VC grass was quite the challenge. I call it Vietcong grass because its roots burrow deep into the earth and criss cross in a network of interconnecting tunnels. And just when you think you have won, you look back and ask why did I spend so much time and energy reclaiming such a tiny patch of real estate. And then you realize that you didn't win - it's more like a tie. Eventually it will be back and you'll have to do it all over again.
 These are miniature roses that Martha Stewart says aren't worth the trouble to transplant. These are the kinds of roses you give to  someone else as gifts. You'll see them in grocery stores from time to time. Ostensibly, there purpose is to die shortly after the holiday for which you bought them is over, becoming root bound, if they are not root bound already when you bought them. To transplant these we used a technique described by Michael Pollan in his book Second Nature a Gardener's Education. Digging the hole twice as large as you think it needs to be, filling it with water, removing the plant, not so gently from the pot it was in, and then tossing it, again not so gently into the hole, covering with rich loose soil, and then watering again. Here Patt has mulched with leaves after removing VC grass. Through out the spring they have bloomed at least twice. Patt has dead-headed them in the hopes of more flowers in a couple of weeks.

 The gargantuan plan behind and to the left of the sunflower speaks to the fertility of our soil in the cross garden. A whole lotta plant but not a whole lot of tomatoes just yet. This variety is the Carbon tomato which will be a deep purplish, almost black color when they are ripe. The cross garden used to be part of the back yard, tree stumps, VC grass, and rocks. Now, after years of amending the soil with organic matter, digging, and planting, it has become the most fertile patch of land on the farm.

The sunflowers, as a side note, were planted by the many species of birds that feed from a nearby bird feeder.

After a week of mowing with a push mower and weed-eating the  thigh high grass and weeds that are goats are incapable of keeping up with we now have a clear path from the house to the barn. There's Disle, my truck off to the right. I told Patt that we are now officially Arkansas Rednecks in that we have 4 vehicles, only one of the running the way it should, and I just mowed around my farm truck, because, Disle won't start.

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