Southerners may snicker at this, but here in central/SW Indiana a blooming rhodendron is a real bonus. Rhododendrons are a chancy proposition in this zone. I inherited two when I bought the house, probably because the original owner/builder hailed from Tenessee. The one in the yard did not make it through a cold winter a few years ago. This one is against a south-facing wall, protected from the north winds, and has done well. It’s had a few blooms in the past, but nothing like this.
mystery waterbird now has an identity. Every few days I see it on the pond. I
don’t know if the bird has taken up residence at the pond and is just seclusive or
if it calls a number of ponds in the area home.
pied-billed grebe, a very fast swimmer and diver. Its plumage is non-descript but the dark band
around the bill of the adult is unique.
It’d be nice to see a family of these little water imps on the pond.
vegetable beds are shaping up. I’m still
waiting for spinach after harvesting the overwintered plants, hopefully next
week. I picked more radish, 13 oz, which is especially good this year. Nothing like a sandwich and a couple of
radishes for lunch.
greens bed is in front in this pic. It’s
mostly growing lettuce and spinach.
There’s also a Major Broccoli, a Kolibri Kohlrabi and a purple Pac Choi
making good progress - the first set of brassicas. They were transplanted into this bed while it
still was covered with the plastic greenhouse.
The bed in the background will get the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant seedlings on the picnic table after the storms blow through later this week.
front bed in the center row of beds is mostly onions. The onions are flanked by carrots on either
side, and the triangular area has some herbs.
The center bed will get squash, and the back bed is for brassicas. Two sets of brassicas – about a month’s worth
– were lost when I traveled, so the bed is mostly empty except for the most
recent set at the far end and two Pakman broccoli that I bought at Lowe’s to
fill the gaps. The trellis is for sugar
snap peas and later on cucumbers.
west beds are the most recent, built in 2010.
The front bed was seeded with parsnip and the soil mulched with grass
clippings to protect the slow-germinating parsnip. The parsnips should help break up the clay
pan beneath the bed soil. Two okra
plants will go into the left side of this bed and the right side will probably
get some bush beans. Potatoes were
planted in the trapezoidal bed in the back, and yes those are cages. There’s a cage of Yukon gold, two cages of
Red Pontiac, and a cage of blue potatoes, a first-time for them, with five seed
potatoes in each cage. The tree line to
the west blocks much of the prevailing wind.
I’ve found cages help aerate the plants and at least slow down
far 15 pounds for the year, much of that parsnip and leek from last year. If the cucurbits don’t get bacterial wilt
like last year I’m hoping for at least a pound per square foot