Finally, Rain!

We’ve had a drought here. Soil that I have not watered is dry four inches down. The lawn I seeded last year has been watered once and looks healthy although there are bare spots where the seed was not properly watered last year. We’ve had some windy days that ripped the leaves off some pumpkin and tomato seedlings. Today we expect showers and tomorrow a good deal of rain, so I made sure to get most of my small seeds in the ground.

So, things are not ideal but we are making progress and if the weather for the rest of May goes as expected the garden should take off in June. I already have a nice row of onions up. This year’s seedlings are needing to grow some before planting out but they are alive. The radishes are a disappointment. There should be a lot up already but I only see a few. Bad seed? Not enough water? Maybe they’re just shy. It’s all good.

The king of this year is the rhubarb. I stole some plants from a relative last year and planted some seed. Both are looking good. I planted some in raised beds and some others in pots. Several of the potted rhubarbs rooted themselves into the soil beneath through the drainage holes. I had to brutally shear off roots to get them out of the pots. I’ll move the potted rhubarbs to some well-prepared spot when I have the time. With planting new grass, patching old grass and weeding and watering, there’s not much time. Thank goodness I don’t waste time editing comments here any longer…

Trees that look promising so far are caragana which seem to have survived the winter and are putting out lots of leaves, apple and maple. One nice apple was nearly cut down by hares but is regrowing from offshoots. All the other apples seems to have survived although they did lose some top growth. I have only a few apricots left. I’d better protect them next winter. The plums have all survived the winter and the one on the masthead is going great. It’s in a nice sheltered spot with the best soil in the yard and morning sun. I lost a couple of maples apparently but I expected that and planted them too closely to allow for infant mortatlity. Two that surprised me are sugar or red maple. I forgot which it which. I think it’s one of each. Last fall one had brilliant red foliage TLW admired from the deck. She doesn’t love deciduous trees and plants “evergreens”. With the drought, those evergreens are looking pretty shabby with several losing top growth and many with desiccated needles. The cedars (Thuja occidentalis) that TLW and I planted last year have survived mostly but are showing great stress for lack of water. I’ve watered them twice but this rainy period is welcome. I have seed that’s yielding lots of cedar seedlings this year so we should not have to buy any more potted cedars. Those cedars are at the edge of their natural range and suffer from our exposure in winter. It takes a few years to get them established.

So, the yard is looking a bit better each year and will soon be very productive. I’m disappointed with my inability to propagate Saskatoon berries but I guess that’s why Nature has them produce so many seeds. After planting hundreds of seeds I have one bush in flower and a few more in leaf. Let’s hope the waiting will be worth it. Perhaps this fall I will plant thousands of seeds to get the desired production… 😉 I guess they need to be started in pots and protected by a greenhouse to increase yield. Fortunately, there are suppliers who will sell me seed for about 1₵ apiece. I can afford that price.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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