Saturday, October 04, 2008

pssst -- gardening has gone viral

I'm beginning to think of myself as a sort of fiber-and-fava Typhoid Mary. First it was the knitting -- was I content to just knit in my little corner and be quiet about it? Are you kidding? I started out teaching the Banshees. And then a friend of the Banshees. And then the friend's mother, who figured that he'd need a fellow knitter a little closer to home to help him figure out why that sock is looking the way that it is instead of the way that it should. We won't even enumerate the, beginning knitters....that I've been teaching long-tail cast-ons at park day.

And now this. My beloved step-father-in-law (not to be confused with the step-MOTHER-in-law, who is a hound of hell disguised as a Martha Stewart wannabe) wants to start a garden. I volunteered to help him dig it once he got it laid out. Blink, blink...blink, blink, I believe was the response. He muttered about getting it in when growing season started again, and I said with maddening brightness that we could get started next weekend. Or this week. Maybe yesterday, if I could get the time-turner to working again. After all, now is the time to plant radishes and carrots and peas and radiccio and chard and cabbage and some varieties of beans (yes, Bobbi, I blame this entirely on you.) I'd say that the 2x4-upside-the-head expression meant that he hadn't thought about cold weather crops. Oh yes, and I haven't even mentioned wheat or rye or oats or barley; he may not eat the grains but I've heard they make great compost crops.

And I'm so behind on the grains that I might not be able to squeeze them into the plot in time for this season. October sort of snuck up on me again. I've got beans and peas and cabbage seed, carrots, radish, a bit of onion and if I'm extraordinarily lucky, some garlic to plop into the ground as soon as I get it conditioned (read, loose enough to put something, anything in). I had meant to get a few pounds each of the rye, oats, wheat, and barley, not to mention some triticale; no, it's not likely that I'm going to eat this stuff myself and I'm not going to attempt malting the barley unless WWIII actually breezes through here and I have no other choices. But I do have ducks and they seem to like that sort of thing. I figure if they're willing to eat my chinese elm, they'll be willing to eat oats, which have got to be tastier. Unfortunately I left it so late that I might not be able to get what I want, as everybody else got around to buying it first and they were thoughtless enough to deplete my usual seed sources. Bah.

Oh well. If I can get a successful crop of radishes this year, boy, I'm going to think of myself as a howling success. Or maybe I'll just consider howling. I've been told it's considered therapeutic in some circles.


Bobbisox said...

Get those winter red kales started today; they should germinate within 5 days, in a greenhouse in the pots. Then when they are about 4 inches transplant them to the step FIL garden to give them growth away from the ducks; start the cabbages too at the same time; my cilantros are growing where the seeds dropped so you might have luck up there; I don't know how much freezing the baby plants can take. How are the citruses, and what are your plans for wintering them with no viable greenhouse?

Stephanie said...

The citruses are heading south with the SFIL -- around here the ducks don't migrate, the trees do :). They got a little spindly because most of my attention got side-tracked with the quackers, but other than they're doing okay. No fruit but a few blooms.

Kales and cabbages. 10-4.