The last 4 or 5 days have been cold and drizzly. We got a total of .02″ of rain. That’s a couple of drops in the bottom of the gauge! Here at our place, we have had less than .75″ of precipitation since October 1, 2010. Grass and wheat are really suffering. The rainy-looking days were encouraging, but today the sun is out and we’re expected to have 80 degree weather for the next few days. Beautiful, but dry. Where’s those water hoses?
There’s nothing better to fill up a flower bed during drought than Lamb’s Ear. Here’s some of mine loving the slight moisture we received. Other “dry-country” plants that I love are ornamental sage, Russian sage, and Sedum. I’ll gather some pics and share them in another post.
Have you ever planted something, got seedlings, and then wondered, “What are weeds and what are desirable plants?” Here are a few of my seedlings. . .
This is spinach. Here are three seedlings close together. I’ll probably pinch off one or two of them. I’ll have to be careful not to damage the others. If it pull them, I just might uproot them all. You can see here how dry it is. These were watered when planted, and I also watered them shortly after this picture. See how the seedlings popped through the cracks? It’s so dry here, I’m having to keep the soil watered to get a “stand.”
In a tiny backyard garden, I would suggest that you “work up” (loosen) the soil where seeds have been planted, but in a garden the size of mine, I would be doing that 27/7 and still not be through. Mulch would also help that problem. After watering, adding a thin layer of fine mulch would solve the problem. Just don’t get it too thick or it will choke-out the seedlings. After the seedlings get bigger, more mulch can be added and it will keep the weeds down. I’ll add mulch to these when they get bigger.
Here are some of my lettuce seedlings. If you’ll look closely, you’ll see some purple seedlings. I almost pulled those out before I thought. Here, we have a big problem with “careless weeds.” That’s our general Oklahoma term for Pigweed, Ragweed, and Careless Weed. When these weeds are seedlings, they are purple, and I just naturally go after anything purple, but the seedling of the careless weed is more like the one below. (that’s actually a picture of an Amananthus caudatrus- – -(a non-weed cousin). As it turned out, those purple seedlings are a different variety of lettuce I had planted in the adjoining row. This pic came from http://theseedsite.co.uk/seedlings.html (a very comprehensive database of seedling pictures.)
The seedlings above are basil that are growing in my garden shed. This is the first year I’ve done a variety of herbs. I always do dill and spearmint, but have not tried the others. I had been buying fresh cilantro for years, and it finally occurred to me…Why?” So this year I’ve planted basil, sage, cilantro, parsley and oregano to be later moved to pots on my deck and if there’s any over-flow, I’ll put them in my garden. I’ll plant my dill among my tomatoes later.
Did you know that dill attracts the big green tomato worm? If it is planted near tomatoes, the worms will go to the dill and can be picked off easily. They’re so much easier to see on the dill because the worms are fat and the dill is skinny. I don’t use a lot of dill (only for pickled okra) but it’s a very handy tool for controlling those worms!
Oh my!! I just have to go out now and dig in the dirt. It’s my therapy!! Happy Gardening!!!