Today we went to Walmart to buy some tomato plants. I already had some in frozen animation, not doing much for the last two months. I now see a few green tomatoes forming. The new plants will probably outshine the ones blessed by an abundance of rain but little warmth or sunshine. A headstart in the cold does not help warm weather plants. Some corn germinated but not enough for a crop. I could start over and replant, but I am going to just use that patch for pumpkins.
As I wrote before, all the gardening centers love people who buy tomato plants early, because they will be back to replant later. I put five pots down in the back and soaked them with rainwater. DV, I will plant them tomorrow.
|These flower flies will decimate the aphid population.|
I wrote to Sharon Lovejoy on Facebook. She introduced me to flower flies, and I wondered about how to spot them. Soon I realized they were hovering over some roses - very effective against aphids.
We had a good crop of roses for the altar today, and I took some of the best one over to Mrs. Gardener. The three best ones from the garden were two Mr. Lincolns and one Tropicana. We talked about growing roses, and I mentioned again that they were no trouble. Plant, mulch, water, prune, and give them red wigglers.
|Mr. Lincoln bud - fragrant, opening up slowly with a beautiful bloom,|
fast blooming and long lasting in a vase.
She expressed an interest in earthworms for composting, so I am going to get her started with mine - I have a few million to spare. The landscaper wants some and our helper wants to raise them for fishing and gardening.
Meanwhile, I ran out of newspapers and some grassy areas are erupting in the wrong places. I asked our neighbor with four daughters if she had some. Out she came with a 50 pound bag. I was slowly carrying the bag across her yard when her little daughter offered to help. I said, "This bag weighs more than you do." She grinned.
Father's Day came up at a good time, since Gurney's repeated their offer - $5 bare root roses, about 20% of the going rate. The last ones I bought are prodigal bloomers and very attractive. We worked out a good place to put a row of 10 roses, and they were ordered. I get a chance to explain that roses grow like the grapevine of John 15. The dead wood is pruned away and the productive canes are pruned to make them flower even more.
Some of the bargain roses are floribundas, grown more for color than cutting. The advantage is a stem with five or more roses on it. Sometimes they the buds are ready to open, so the blooming cycle continues in the vase.
Bird Food Question
One reader asked about skipping a feeding for the birds. They do not depend on us for food, but food is a major help during times of great freezing and sleet, If the ice covers the trees and bushes, the natural repository of food is gone.
Skipping their food is not a problem.
Their greatest need is for water, so having many shallow birdbaths available will increase the entertainment and make the yard a destination for birds Shallow pans will probably attract toads, who hydrate by sitting in water, not by drinking it.
Bird watches also provide -
- Logs on the ground to host food for birds. Toads like them too.
- Mulch - bugs and worms are always underneath, moving around and promoting their mission from soil enhancement to baby bird food.
- A pile of sticks and branches. This is a convenient perch, a good place to wipe beaks off, and a food source.
- A diversity of flowering plants that provide seeds for various species.