Monday, May 10, 2010

Jane: Mother's Day . . .

Mother's Day means planting day for me! It's very near the last frost date here in Iowa, so that's when I traditionally put in my warm-weather plants--tomatoes and basil, to be specific. The lettuce and spinach are already in (Bill's birthday, April 1st, is planting-out-day for cool-weather crops around here!) It was chilly this weekend, but I put the plants in anyway--no forecast of frost in the near future, so we should be fine.

I started the basil inside, as usual, and, after adding a bag of composted manure to the garden, planted out about a dozen plants. Should be enough for weekly pesto beginning in late July!

Here are a few basil plants behind the spinach and lettuce. This year, I also interplanted some Cut and Come Again zinnias for cutting. I may also put in some blue salvia--that combination is nice in bouquets (though "bouquet" is a bit fancy for what I do with them--cut them and stick them in a vase on the table!)
I also put in my usual tomatoes--two Celebrity plants, one yellow tomato (this one's called "Taxi"!) and one cherry tomato. For the cherry, I usually get sweet 100, but this time I'm trying "Chelsea Sweet." I got all the tomatoes at the farmer's market Saturday, along with a dozen eggs from Forest Hill Farm.

They look pretty tiny in this photo! But they do grow fast in our rich Iowa soil. They also seem to like our rich Iowa heat and humidity. I shouldn't wait too long to put up their cages . . .

Today I put together a "tea pot," a pot of herbs for tea--mostly mint--for the patio.
I have spearmint, peppermint, and Egyptian mint (never even heard of that before) along with lemon balm. We like those in iced tea in summer. The kitty also loves mint, and spent some time sniffing the pot before the chilly wind drove her back inside. I mulched this pot with dry leaves (to keep the squirrels from digging, maybe) and mulched the vegetable garden with white pine needles--we certainly have a lot of those.

It seems silly to BUY mint and lemon balm every year. But I don't have a sunny spot in the garden to put them in as perennials . . . plus I'm not sure I'd want to--those two plants tend toward weediness and taking over gardens.

Supposed to rain all week--that's fine--everything can get watered in.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Are you doing any flower planters this year?
I just put up a 48 inch copper window box on our front landing and planted some lantana, verbena, sweet potatoe vine, and coleus in it. Hope it will withstand the hot Atlanta heat.