Working in the Rain

PA040016.jpgIt rained all day today. It was more than a drizzle, but it wasn’t that cold, and because we have so many things to do, we worked out in it anyway. Frank dealt with it far better than I did, because I got whiny and cold and complained a lot, and he seemed to have fun. I kept wanting to go inside, but we have so many bulbs to plant, and a thousand other chores.

PA040013.jpgBut anyway. Things that got done. All of the original potato patch got dug up, and the harvest was pretty good. [Frank remains less than impressed. The only happy plants were the ones that could reach out of the lasagna into real dirt.] Not great, but far better than last year. The plants were pretty much dead from all of the hard freezes we have had the last few days, so it was time for them to come up. The ones growing on the compost pile took some frost damage but are still alive, so we’re leaving them to keep growing as long as they can.

Frank planted garlic in the same place that the potatoes were. We planted “Rosebud Dublin Pearl” topset garlic that we got from Agway in Keene. They come from Rosebud Garlic Farm in Dublin, NH, so we figure it’s got a shot at making it through our winter, as Dublin is only about 30 minutes from us. We bought two big bundles, which seemed like the right amount to me, but I think Frank thinks I bought too much. This was the hard neck variety, which supposedly does best in Zone 4.

The Bulb Hound that we bought the other day (that I spoke about here) got its first use today, and we were very unhappy with it. Frank thinks it might work well if your soil was light and fluffy, but that does not describe our garden. It kept opening up, and was basically useless, so it’s back to the drawing board for us on a good hole digger.

So we concentrated on planting the small bulbs that could be put in with the dibbler today. We didn’t have enough bulbs this spring. (No really! Look, there is ground showing!) and Frank went a little wild on the Van Engelen website. I wasn’t home, and I think he ordered a thousand bulbs or something insane. [Frank here: it was a mere 575, a modest 44% increase over last years 400. ;-)] Plus, we’ve been picking them up at Home Depot as well.

To keep from feeding all of these nice yummy bulbs to the local rodent population, I’ve got a new strategy this year. I’m putting the regular bulb food at the bottom of the hole, but then I’m also putting hot chili flakes on top of the bulb, as well as sprinkled on top of the soil. I forget where I read that it helps, and we lost a good portion of our bulbs last winter, so I need to do something. I guess I won’t know if it works until next spring, but here’s hoping.

Okay, the actual Van Engelen order:

* Muscari Mixture
* Scilla Siberica Spring Beauty
* Hyacinth Woodstock
* Tulip Black Hero
* Tulip Flaming Parrot
* Tulip Species Mixture
* Narcissi Jonquilla Simplex
* Narcissi Butterfly Mixture
* Dutch Organic Bulb Food

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