Friday, May 27, 2016

Transplants, Hailstones, and Other Garden Happenings

Last week Matt and I talked about transplanting the warm weather plants ( i.e. tomatoes, peppers, fennel, tomatillos, eggplants, etc.) out of their little pots on the patio and into the garden proper.  It was all talk though as we were too busy or it was too rainy and it kept getting put off for another day.
Well, thank heavens for that because we experienced the craziest hail I've ever seen last weekend.  We were sure thankful those little seedlings, which Matt has been nurturing for months already, were safely tucked under the eves of the house when the storm hit.
We finally transplanted them out two nights ago and they seem to have taken it quite well.  Yesterday was overcast and a bit rainy which is ideal, if you ask us, for the day after transplanting.  It gives the new garden plants a chance to absorb the shock without adding additional stress in the form of excess heat, sun, or wind.
Somehow Matt only had two cayenne plants for me.  He can't explain it.  He was sure he started more.  I was giving him grief about it being a subconscious ploy because he thinks I have a cayenne problem and has been telling me--for months--that there is no way I'm going to use up all the dried peppers I still have from last year.  (Just this morning we discovered that he did indeed start more, but much later so they're itty-bitty still at this point.  They're still under lights in the basement, in fact.)
We've got potatoes, onions, garlic, raspberries, strawberries, greens, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage going great guns in the garden already.  The peas are lagging behind this year, for some reason.  We didn't have great germination rates and Matt actually replanted some of the spotty areas, attempting to fill out the rows.  Getting splattered with hail and the accompanying leaves and branches didn't help, I am sure.
The hail did some damage to windows and cars at our place, as well as denting up the picnic table, deck, gutters, and, well, lots of stuff.  But, really, given the fast furor of that hailstorm its not too bad and its all just stuff, in the end.  Ginger was outside the whole time and I was worried about her.  She's a smart kitty though and found a place to hunker down.  Matt got whopped with a couple good size stones trying to get the car into the garage.  It happened too fast and he didn't make it in time to save the car from dents and cracks, but he got a couple good bruises for his efforts.
The garden fared better than I'd expected as I watched those ping-pong sized balls drilling down from the sky.   Afterwards, as we initially started inspecting things, it looked worse than it really was because the whole yard was littered with leaves and branches.  Once we cleared all that away it wasn't so bad.  Some raspberry canes, garlic scapes, and onion greens snapped off, a few heads of boy choy poked with holes.  
All the greens, except the bok choy, were under row covers to protect them from insects that tend to ravage our greens otherwise.  For the second time since we started using it the row cover also served to soften the blows of hail.  The fabric was thoroughly ripped up and had to be discarded, but the plants inside looked essentially unfazed.  We replaced in the next day as we raked and cleaned up.  Matt had just thinned the greens before the storm and we've sure been enjoying all the green smoothies and such.  Greens have to be one of my favorite crops.  They're so versatile and buying them by the bunch at the store is considerably more expensive.
I guess, in an odd bit of good fortune, the hailstones were big enough that when they got a direct hit it was a doozy, but most of them missed.  It was as if the sky was more firing cannons than releasing the spray of a shotgun, if you will.
Ginger is glad we're getting seedlings placed out in the garden because she really prefers having the picnic table as her personal observation platform--not as a surface for seedlings.  Matt frequently eludes to the scene from The Lion King ("Everything the light touches is our kingdom...") when we observe her taking in the yard from her elevated perch.  She is quite happy that her friends (i.e. Matt and me) are spending so much more time in the garden again.  She likes it out there by herself, but she really likes following us around, rolling in the earth at our feet and, in general, distracting us from the work to be done.

6 comments:

  1. Those golf ball hail stones look lethal! No wonder the car suffered with dints and bangs and thank goodness neither yourselves not Ginger were seriously hurt. Whacky weather for sure! Your sustainable garden is set for another very productive year :-) San x

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    1. Harvested my first strawberries this morning. Yum.

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  2. Wow - the size of those golf balls! We had a hailstorm like that a number of years ago, and it dented cars and houses with aluminum siding. The racket it made on our metal awnings was scary. I'm glad Ginger made it through. It looks like she's talking to you in that first photo!

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    1. She talks to me all the time. She's quite a chatterbox,actually. And yes, we've got a metal roof and you're right! It as scary loud!

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  3. I love seeing pictures of Ginger! She is so animated...and has such a gorgeous coat!

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    1. I've always been partial to redheads.... :)

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