Sunday, September 2, 2012

 Seeds in the Ground, Ladies

It's hot.  Well, it's going to be hot.  I seem to be spending more time inside, looking out at what needs to be done, than outside doing it.  If there were a lick of a breeze, it'd be more comfortable - as comfortable as it can be when you're turning dirt - basically becoming a human tractor - or shoveling and humping new compost.  But since it's also humid, and I'm sweating buckets, a slight breeze would wick some of the heat away, not to mention the flies.  Bed preparation is not for sissies.
     Last year I planted the fall crops according to the phases of the moon.  Every turn of the phase - from full to waning to new to waxing, for 4 months - we carefully plotted and charted what was planted.  Consistently, I found that my seedlings came up later than predicted by the seed companies, and the harvest occurred later.  ROFL  This year I'm trying to understand the plants themselves better, to be in tune with what they need to produce, in terms of temperature, humidity, soil, sunlight.  I feel like a conductor, marshalling her instruments to perform at their best, and in their own best time. 

     I'm excited about how the tomatoes - and the other nightshades (peppers, eggplant) - are LOVING the hot & humid.  And how the legume seedlings (beans and peas) are JUMPING out of the ground.  I gave my roses an end-of-summer deep pruning for the first time ever, and they look fabulous.  Usually, in the desert SW, roses are deep pruned in January.  But the summer is so harsh on them, more so than the winter (plus the local 5-star resort prunes theirs in August, and I figure they can afford real rosarians) that I thought I'd try it.  I kid you not, the new branches were beginning the very day after I pruned them.  That, and a new layer of fresh compost, and they are looking fat and happy.

     Still, nothing comes up without a little labor, so on this Labor Day Weekend, the motto around our little farm is, Seeds in the ground, ladies.