Planting, Round 2

After the beach interlude, it’s back to the garden. I’m counting round 1 of planting as when I put all the trees and shrubs in the ground a few weeks ago. Round 2 consists mostly of perennial flowers and herbs that will be edible at least to some extent, and fulfill various functions — confuse pests, attract beneficial insects, accumulate minerals, provide habitat to beneficial insects. It doesn’t look like much at the moment, but hopefully in a few weeks things will be considerably greener.

I set up a small tunnel to germinate seeds in, of which I’ve acquired many over the last few months. In the end it was too much of a pain in the ass to start all the seeds in trays and pots, and I ended up just broadcasting most of them throughout the yard and hoping for the best. Seeds started in the tunnel: Russian comfrey, sweet cicily, bee balm, garlic chives, pumpkins (for Halloween), and corn. I think that’s everything; I was a bit hung over yesterday morning and was on autopilot for a good chunk of the morning. The hangover may or may not have contributed to my decisions to broadcast most of the seeds…

Speaking of which, seeds that were broadcast: creeping thyme, German chamomile, hysop, dandelion, yarrow, borage, basil, cilantro, dill, and parsley. I’m probably forgetting something in there. Some of these were broadcast in only one space, and some are sprinkled throughout the yard.

So here’s a rundown of what I planted, and where. Starting by the pond, I planted a mix of sunflower seeds in the big driftwood beds. Around the edge of the pond I planted a wildflower seed mix. I wanted something easy that will at least look nice and get some bees into the yard. My neighbors kid promptly kicked his ball into the yard and trampled through not only the wildflower bed but into the pond itself. It’s pretty low on water at the moment but the bottom is muddy and slick, and he nearly made a mess of himself.

I still can’t tell if the cattails are growing or not. Something’s protruding from the bottom of the pond, but I’m not sure if it is new growth or stubs left over from the original plants.

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In the side yard, I haven’t done anything in the keyhole bed yet — that will have veggies and it’s still too early for those. In the long bed next to the walkway I planted asparagus (more on that in a moment), and in the round bed I just broadcast a bunch of seeds. I’m thinking that next fall this will be my garlic/onion bed, so I decided to plant some kind of green manure for the summer. I intended to use red clover, since I have a giant bag of red clover seed, but I can’t seem to find it at the moment. So for now it got a selection of the seeds I mentioned above.

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Regarding asparagus, I always see seeds for sale and that’s how I intended to grow it. But this year for the first time I saw asparagus crowns for sale, and that seems like a faster option than starting from seeds. If you aren’t familiar with asparagus crowns, they look like this — I guess they are the root systems of asparagus plants.

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You dig a trench and spread out the crowns, then bury them, and wait a year or two.

Moving on to the front yard, up close to the house I planted a few kinds of potatoes. You can sort of make out the beds running along the row of rocks. I’m rolling the dice a bit by just sticking them in the ground rather than mounding up the dirt like I’ve always done. I started mounding it up but it would have entailed re-grading all of the beds to maintain proper drainage, and like I mentioned, I was a bit hung over. The soil is plenty deep enough, so we’ll see how the taters turn out. I’ll plant daikon here in the winter.

It’s hard to see in the picture, but along the fence at the far end of the yard I planted the Jerusalem artichokes and some myoga, which is a type of ginger.

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In the remainder of the beds, I planted the edges with seedlings of: wild strawberry, sage, oregano, artichoke, rosemary, lemon balm, St. John’s Wort, Penny Royal mint, Mallow, and chives. Now I just need to figure out how to use half of these things!

The open spaces in the middle of the beds got a mix of the seeds I mentioned earlier.

I got a nice surprise this evening when, just for the heck of it, I checked the Shiitake logs.

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I was under the impression that it would be at least a year until the logs started producing mushrooms, so I’m not sure what’s going on. No complaints though.

It’s looking warm and sunny for the next few days after a little rain today, so I hope there will be a whole lot of germination going on around here. May my yard never be this brown again!

By the way I’ve been being hounded by children throughout the writing of this post, so apologies for what I’m sure are ample grammar/spelling/nonsensical English mistakes, but there’s no way I’m proofreading this right now.

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