Monday, May 15, 2006

A WEED GROWS IN QUEENS, PART III

Back, yet again, with a progress report from the small patches of dirt known as my urban backyard garden. This past week was pretty overcast, with some rain. So (and being a novice, I'm still looking for patterns here), I spent a good deal of time on Saturday weeding. Man, oh man, lots of little green critters sprouting everywhere.

The annuals that best handle shade are doing quite well: a few impatiens, a begonia, a few others whose names escape me. But those that seem to need more sunlight aren't doing as well: two geraniums, some marigolds. Purple petunias looking fine. The flower bed's adjacent to a wall, and while the back yard gets lots of sun, the beds only for half the day, maximum. I'm confident for the coleus and dusty miller growing from seed, though. These fellas, especially the coleus, kick ass in shade. Should be a few weeks, and then I can transfer them.

My wife also dealt with the first of what'll be many problems: some insects & eggs in the newer branches and leaves of the two pepper plants. She dealt with this during the week while I was at work, so I can't honestly explain the problem or her solution, but she seems to be getting a leg up on the invaders. I've learned through the years to leave her alone to address whatever problem she's tackling. It's her project. She'll probably emerge victorious.

She just doesn't give up on sick or diseased plants. The day we started this year's vegetables she put the two unhealthiest lettuce seedlings and one similarly weak tomato plant in a separate pot. Droopy and dreary, these three unfortunates formed the Backyard Convalescent Ward. Needless to say, one month later all three are thriving and ready, like a bear nursed to health by forest rangers, to return to their natural habitat.

And there should be room for that return, due to our continued devouring of the other lettuce and bok choy. We had another home-grown salad on Wednesday. The red lettuce, especially, is quite delicious. A full, but pleasant, flavor. The leaves are soft and delicate, but not lacking in firmness. I can't wait until we can add some tomatoes.

Not to mention arugula, of which we have a couple dozen seedlings that are thriving. They look to be ready to transfer to their own boxes by next weekend. I'll update on this next Monday.

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