Shades of Green

Visitors often choose for us to sit here

Visitors often choose for us to sit here in the cool and shade of the evening.

Something was continually grating at my aesthetic sensibilities whenever I saw this area in images. It finally dawned on me that I didn’t like the étagère that was sitting there. It was too much busyness, so it was moved. The table glass broke a few weeks back in a gust of wind that knocked a heavy bottomed gold fake tree over, shattering it. Hope to find a piece in a thrift or make a mosaic round with all of the bits and pieces of stuff kicking around.

I like the metal shelf much better over in the container section of the East pathway.

Etagere moved to the container area of the East pathway offering some shade to cucumbers struggling in that fence spot.

Shelf offers some shade to cucumbers struggling in that fence spot.

The cage with the floor tile topper in the #1HugelkulturBed has a newly installed watermelon seedling from the ones that volunteered in the back yard #CompostCorner. Another one was planted this side of the camera, out of view. Watermelon City here. The crawling vines are another good shading strategy for the ground while it continues to develop into better soil.

This bed had artichokes that grew all through winter, finishing up in spring and flowering now. I ate only one. It was tough as I haven’t learned the artichoke system yet. The bed also had chard and beets finishing and going to seed. I wasn’t sure what to do with the bed this year; but as I accrued potatoes that started sprouting, I used the Ruth Stout method of planting and just lifted the straw, laid them on the dirt and covered them back up. #WaitAndSee if it works.

Most of you would have known, but I have never grown potatoes before and the images seen online just hadn’t stuck in my mind. I kept wondering what this was that came poking up through the straw; weed, something from last year? It looked substantial. Suddenly it struck that there was a brick near it. Bricks had been placed as markers wherever a potato went in under the straw. Lo and behold, it is, it is a potato plant! There are two coming through so far.

Planting Potatoes

Planting potatoes the Stout way may be the easiest garden chore you’ll ever do. Gather a bin full of sprouted potatoes, including those with long stems attached. If you want to go with a more conservative approach, get certified seed potatoes from a garden center or catalog. Toss the potato pieces on top of the mulch, keeping them about a foot apart. There is no planting here; a second layer of about 4 inches of mulch on top of the potatoes covers them and allows the green plants to sprout. A third layer of mulch covers the stems and growing tubers after the plants get to about 12 inches tall.

Simple as that. Now for my local feed to finally get in some straw bales so that it can be continually added as the plant grows.

The temperatures here in the Southeaster desert of Arizona have been over 110° at times lately. Scorching. Trying to find ways to ease the burden of this much heat and Sun on things, Little Red-Haired Girl got clipped with scissors and then buzzed with an electric razor, not very well, but she loves it. She knows something about getting a dose of Sun. Smack in the hottest zone she lays and pants until she’s had enough. She has a fur coat, not hair. Thick, thick and long, long. So, every summer I do this and it grows back quickly. We do it in stages. She snarls when she’s had enough and we come back later to clean things up. She doesn’t have a clue to her lopsidedness. I love to see her little pink body strutting around #TheCompound. She’s inside most of the time.

It isn’t always pretty but some things are just necessary. The last post, I explained what I did here. This shows that it is effective. The main thing is to cool things down some so that too much transpiration doesn’t stress the plants to death and to lighten the need for irrigation.

It is officially Monsoon season. There were projections of rain for days but none until yesterday and that, very light. Anticipating rain, I had neglected to water in the mornings and then forced to later. Turns out, it is working better to water early evening, 6-7pm. Because of cloud covers floating in and out all day, it has been cooler and not needing watered as much.

Speaking of water-melon, there was still a batch of seedlings needing homes. They had been nursing under the big tree in the #SouthFortyTriangleLot and weren’t progressing much. As soon as they are put in the ground though, they take off well. I found homes for four more. Two in/near the #1HugelkultureBed and two over #StevieWeeviesPlot, a memorial bed I created with her paw prints in cement block next to it. She was my beloved Heeler/Beagle mix.

Stevie Weevie rolling in the grass. She was the best ball doggie ever

Stevie Weevie rolling in the grass. She was the best ball doggie ever

I wrote a blog post, Her Wonderful Life, (it’s a tearjerker for me still), right after she died and couldn’t bring myself to write anymore there, so left that blog as a memorial to her. She was 14. I had had her since she was about six months old, wandering in to where I worked as a stray puppy.

More #ItIsntAlwaysPretty going on. Lots to clean up in the #SouthFacingBackYard. Still need replacement glass for the frames of #TheCatastrophe scenario where the Quonset pieces fell through that bedroom window before they left the premises. Lazy me. I have gotten the frames straightened but need to go to a neighboring city to get glass replaced. Meanwhile I’ve rigged things up so rain doesn’t enter and cats can’t escape. The glue needs to be heated out of the frames before new glass can be installed. I recently purchased a heat gun. The girl at ACE recommended a chemical to use in lieu of the gun. The trick is to find a long enough span of time to take the window frames out while the kitties are in the studio and get to that “big” city nearby with clean frames.

It’ll happen. I’d really like to build a glass-bottle enclosure around the bedroom as a patio and replace the window with doors. Gotta have dreams.

The Little Anna Apple Tree, dwarf, has struggled for years. It’s very tempting to take it out, but can’t bring myself to that conclusion. Last year the apples were much smaller and got sunburned. This year they were much bigger and more of them, but they are falling off before ripe. Readings recommend providing some shade for heat stress reduction. I purchased a canopy from a friend who was moving things for $15/ retail $85 awhile back. I would hate to have paid full price. It was useless. Bent like paper. I tossed the frame and have tied the tarp to anything it reaches to make afternoon shade for the little tree. What a difference some shade makes. So much cooler there. You can see Stevie Weevie’s paw print pavers next to her memorial planting plot behind it.

In an ongoing attempt to minimize things that have to be thought about, cleaned or cared for, a collection of ceramic animal and figure vases and green glass were lined up on the evacuated top book shelf in my bedroom to decide whether they need to leave the premises. I took pictures so that I can eventually list them on Etsy. Shades of Green. For many years, I entertained myself by going through thrifts and collectible stores hunting for values to someday start a shop. Now days, everyone is minimizing, downsizing and the trend is to tiny house living. Not the market for selling “stuff”. They may just have to stay. The books will likely be donated to our local “Friends of the Library”.

It feels so good to get rid of stuff.

Now that I will have the time to focus on creative sewing and gardening full time, (details in last post), I want all other distractions eliminated.

Shades of Green

Shades of Green

So though there aren’t the shades of green one can see at the wonderful gardens of Bealtaine Cottage Ireland, we’re working hard to install as many greens as possible, layer and shade them appropriately so that they might survive the ravages of the heat and Sun here in this desert in this Southeastern corner of Arizona. It’s brutal.

Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land: Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty - Nabhan, Gary Paul, PH.D., and McKibben, Bill (Foreword by)

This book just arrived. Can’t wait to dig in to it. Pun intended.

It looks wonderful.

Black Krim tomatoes, rather dwarfed

Black Krim tomatoes, rather dwarfed

Tom-a-to, to-mat-o, po-ta-to, po-tat-o…let’s call the whole thing off.

Nope, nope. We mustn’t give up. Try, try again.

Happy gardening.

More of my Beloved Stevie.

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One thought on “Shades of Green

  1. Pingback: Shades of Green | Spool Teacher

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